Tuesday, March 06, 2007
For Pete’s sake
Pete Rock interview
He’s the man behind “This World Is Yours”, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” and countless other classics like “Rather Unique” and Mecca and the Soul Brother. The legendary Pete Rock is in town this Saturday playing at the Starlite Room, and I managed to get a hold of the Soul Brother #1 (or #2, next to James Brown, according to the man himself) today for an interview. Here is what Pete had to say about producer beef, hip-hop’s future, and his upcoming projects:
Until the Train Stops: Your manager told me you’re in L.A. right now, what are you doing there?
Pete Rock: Working on a bunch of stuff with people.
Until the Train Stops: Could you name any of the people you’re working with while in L.A.?
Pete Rock: Not right this second, it’s got to be solidified first. A couple of good people.
Until the Train Stops: What have you been up to lately?
Pete Rock: I’ve been chillin’, working on a new album. It’s called New York’s Finest.
Until the Train Stops: Is it like a Soul Survivor-like album with a focus on New York?
Pete Rock: Somewhat, but I’m talking more about as far as myself, as New York’s finest. Like I have Slum Village on there and they are from Detroit. It’s not a New York based album; it’s more New York than anywhere else, but it’s open to anyone.
Until the Train Stops: So will be assuming rapping responsibilities in addition to producing the beats?
Pete Rock: Yeah, definitely.
Until the Train Stops: Speaking of the Soul Survivor series, will see ever hear another installment, and if so, who do you want to get on for the third record?
Pete Rock: There’s a lot of good emcees that I want: Snoop Dogg, DJ Quik. People from the east coast like Fabolous. Eminem.
Until the Train Stops: Is there any chance you and C.L. Smooth would get back together and do another album together?
Pete Rock: Nope.
Until the Train Stops: Have you heard his new album, American Me?
Pete Rock: Nah, I didn’t even know he had an album out.
Until the Train Stops: You did a bunch of tracks on Ghostface’s Fishscale. What’s working with Ghostface like?
Pete Rock: It was cool. It’s a classic collaboration, you know, with the way I make music and the way he loves soul.
Until the Train Stops: Last month was the first anniversary of J Dilla’s untimely passing—do you have a favourite Jay Dee story?
Pete Rock: I have lots of them; I have lots. Basically, he always invited me out to Detroit and I’d play music with him and stuff like that. That’s how we met. He let me stay in his house while he was out doing what he was doing. It was just a good feeling, you know, that he invited me to Detroit like that. Then he came to visit me in New York, and we’d ride around in my truck playing music and stuff. It was good.
Until the Train Stops: Last year DJ Premier worked with Christina Aguilera. Is there anyone outside of hip-hop you’d like to work with in the future?
Pete Rock: Oh, definitely, definitely. Lots of those. Any one of those pop stars. Whitney Houston I’d like to work with.
Until the Train Stops: Recently, Timbaland and Scott Storch have been firing diss back and forth between each other—Scott Storch going as far as writing a diss song and actually rapping on it. What’s your opinion on producer beef?
Pete Rock: I think it’s ... [laughs] It comes with the territory. Producers having problems with each other is nothing new. It’s all music; rap, whatever. It’s all good though, it just makes it more exciting. Show off your talent. As for Storch rapping on his song, everybody’s rapping right now, know what I’m saying?
Until the Train Stops: Of today’s up-and-coming New York rappers, who would sound best over a Pete Rock beat?
Pete Rock: Jay-Z. And Biggie, rest in peace. I always consider him [Biggie] the best, to me.
Until the Train Stops: Would you entertain the thought of working with Nas again?
Pete Rock: If he reached out to me, yeah, maybe. I haven’t talked to him for a long time. You’d have to ask him.
Until the Train Stops: What are your thoughts on his new album, Hip-Hop Is Dead?
Pete Rock: I can see the purpose of why he was doing it, and naming the album that, but I think that overall hip-hop is definitely not dead, it’s just that we have a couple of people who are steering the music in the wrong direction, you know?
Until the Train Stops: So if hip-hop’s alive, where do you see it going in the future?
Pete Rock: Just getting back to it’s roots, and back to real music. People are tired of hearing the simplicity of the pop, commercial hip-hop. People wanna hear something that’s gonna drive their soul in a positive way.