After a rollicking 2010 in which iconic label not only celebrated it’s 15th anniversary, but continued critical success with releases by Skyzoo & Illmind, Kidz In The Hall, General Steele and others, the company that DruHa built maintains it’s focus on pushing quality projects independently. Phoaroahe Monch’s highly anticipated, W.A.R. debuted at #54 on the Billboard charts and it’s upcoming Random Axe (featuring Sean Price, Guilty Simpson and Black Milk) is set for it’s mid-June release. Last week in Manhattan’s Ace Hotel, Duck Down hosted a listening party for it’s latest anticipated release: Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun’s, Monumental.

Monumental is fourteen tracks in length and entirely produced by Pete Rock. “This has been a dream for me for a long time,” Rock said describing how he teamed with Tek & Steele. “Me and Druha, we always had a relationship with each other and one day I spit at him and told him I wanted to get Tek & Steele and do an album. When push came to shove, we made it happen.”

In a sense, Monumental is a collaboration within a collaboration. Pete Rock and Smif-N-Wessun united to present the album, but also enlisted the talents of Styles P, Sean Price, Raekwon, Memphis Bleek, Bun B, Freeway, Buckshot, Black Rob and a host of others to round out it’s sound. “Everything that was created on this Monumental album was created with Tek, Steele and Pete Rock,” Steele told The Well Versed.

“After we designed the blueprint so to speak, we sat back and thought, ‘Who would be dope on this track right here?‘ Not to reach out for who was poppin’, who would sell our album. We didn’t say that. We said, ‘Who can we get on this track that would make sense that when we play it for the people who we know already fuck with us, [they] will be like, ‘OK. I’m with that.’”

Monumental is Smif-N-Wessun’s fifth album and the first since 2007’s Smif-N-Wessun: The Album. Along with this Duck Down Music collaboration, Pete Rock also released 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s with Golden Era duo, Camp Lo this year and is rumored to be working with DJ Premier on Pete Rock Vs. DJ Premier (release date TBD).

Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun’s, Monumental will be available in stores and online on June 28.


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