For Pete's Sake: Pete Rock Interview
While De La Soul was the main event at this year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, there were a few surprises and sneak attacks that left the crowd wowed. One of those welcomed surprises being the official U.S. reunion of the legendary duo, Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Although this performance was advertised, because it was added so late in the game it still caught people by surprise. After a scheduled rehearsal was inexplicably cancelled days before the show, even some in-the-know questioned that it would actually go down. But alas, both Mecca and Soul Brother #1 made their entrance on Dock street and we knew that it was going to be a beautiful day for Hip-Hop.
And it was.
There was this feeling of camaraderie and excitement, much like you would find at a High School reunion. Everyone was so happy to be there, but none more so than Pete Rock. Surrounded by a plethora of peers including Marley Marl, DJ Premier, Large Pro, and Duck Down, he turned to DJ Premier at one point and said, “This feels good.”
We caught up with The Chocolate Boy Wonder after he greeted all his peeps, to discuss what it took to get him and CL together on stage, how it felt to perform again and how it was working with Kanye West on his new project.
BB: You just got off the BHF stage, having a huge reunion with CL Smooth – which hasn’t been done here in the US in about six years. How did it feel to perform together again?
PR: It felt good! I wish we would’ve did more because we have a show that we do – even when we go overseas we do more songs but being this is New York, I feel like we should’ve had a much bigger show. But we gave the people what they wanted to see and that was it.
BB: How did this show even come about?
PR: Well they (Brooklyn Bodega) just got in touch with us and asked us to do it and we figured we just come out.
BB: Ah that easy huh? Well, some of us were skeptical when the rehearsal at Jazzy Jay’s studio the other day got cancelled. Did you ever doubt that this show would take place?
BB: Besides this performance it seems you have a lot going on right now. In a previous interview with Brooklyn Bodega you listed a bunch of upcoming projects including working on Kanye’s new album. How was it working with him on that?
PR: Aww man I hope I make that album! We picked a few beats and I think out of eight he liked three and of those three I think at least one is a go. I don’t know we’ll see, I am just glad to be a part of it – that’s a big opportunity. He’s very huge right now. It’s just like me all over again, but on some other shit.
BB: Right, he says he’s the young Pete Rock. So, how does it feel to have the younger generation reach out to you now?
PR: I love that. I love it because there is nothing more I love in this world than making music so I will always do this until I can’t do it no more. To have someone younger reach out it’s an honor.
BB: What is the creative process like in a studio session for let’s say, Monumental, the album you produced for Smif-N-Wessun?
PR: The creative process is just keeping in relation to one another. We all have some type of connection as Black artists, so with that said, we going in! That’s all that’s to be said, can’t wait for people to hear it. It’s going to be really dope.
BB: There are a lot of significant moments that went down in your basement studio. For instance, recording Large Professor’s demo. What other memorable moments have there been?
PR: Yes, that’s where it all started. I started hanging out with them guys and making beats and stuff. Them learning from me and vice versa, us just going back and forth. So many collabos happened there with everybody from LL Cool J, to Run DMC, to Das Efx.
BB: How does it feel to be here around so many people that you started your career with today? Everyone from DJ Marley Marl to De La Soul is here backstage.
PR: It’s like I died and went to Heaven. I’m amongst my era of people. It’s feels good.
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