Sunday, May 22, 2022

Legendary Producer Pete Rock Talks Tracklib, Music, Growth and Social Media Mishap with Young Dolph | VideoPhotos

Pete Rock (Getty)
Pete Rock (Getty)

*Recently, was invited down to IMI Studios for a chat and interview sessions with renowned hip-hop and soul music producer Pete Rock.  The event was filled with other journalists of great repute as well as several A&Rs with major skin in the game.

Part of the discussion was to discuss Tracklib, a beat making competition of which Pete Rock will determine the ultimate winner. Thousands of would-be hitmakers from across the globe have until November 25th to get their submissions in.

One of the first things that Pete Rock discussed was how a chance encounter with the late Godfather of Soul was a catalyst for the man who would eventually become known as the Chocolate Boy Wonder.

“I met James Brown when I was seven years old. So, when I first heard his music, it did something to me,” he explained. “When I shook his hand is the night that I became Pete Rock, but I didn’t know that at the time because I was only seven years old.  Moms took me to a concert, he came to the hood and performed. I didn’t know Bobby Byrd was at the time.”

“I remember hearing his music, but I had never seen him. Lyn Collins was there. She used to sing ‘It takes two to make a thing go riiight,’ she was there. James had all of his people there. Fred, Maceo, all of them,” he continued. “It was a crazy meeting. Mom just finagled it somehow and we met them backstage. He shook both me and my brother’s hand.  That man was incredible, musically.”

Mom’s stay “finagling” things. Indeed, we most certainly see how that wave reverberated out and affected everyone that ever heard a Pete Rock track.

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Whenever a chat session is visited with individuals who posses great knowledge of the subject matter, stories tend to write themselves, and this one most certainly did.  Last year, Pete Rock was taken to task for posting an uninformed opinion of the COVID vaccine on his Instagram page and quickly felt the wrath.

“You learn lessons on everything,” Pete said of being an O.G. on social media. “You learn about the social media life, too. It’s like ‘A’ight, don’t post that because you don’t know if it’s all the way true. Then you get chewed the f**k out. They’re like ‘Oh, he’s posting some bullsh*t on his page’, so I stopped responded to comments. I used to be getting’ motherf****r in the comments like ‘F*** you!’ But I was told ‘Yo Pete, don’t do that! You look crazy doing that.’ But this was all new to me. I didn’t know how to behave on Instagram.”

“Now it’s mostly a bunch of silly stuff on there. I might post a track, or something related to hip hop. I like to laugh, and I love animals, sh*t like that. One thing I wanted to say, the followers are crazy. I don’t even read them sh*ts no more.”

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Pete Rock stepped outside of the boundaries of simply being a hip-hop producer at least 25 years ago.

However, his bread is still buttered by the fact that he has a signature sound that permeates throughout his tracks, no matter the genre.

He informed the gathering, though he is more of a teacher and coach these days, he’s still a dope at what he does. Indeed, you probably listen to what he has to say. Ah, but the hubris and cockiness of youth often shines through.

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“It’s hard to bring out new artists these days. The younger generation, GOD bless them, I used to be really upset but not anymore. But GOD bless them, and I Feel like they should really listen to how to really take care of yourself in this business, know what I’m saying? How to master your craft. Shit is real when people say, ‘master your craft.’ You have to do that if you want to be successful and respectable.”

“Shout out to real hustlers out on the streets. Without the streets, hip hop would be…you gotta be a ‘distinguished gentleman’ type of street cat. You gotta be smart, have some morals and so forth.”

Pete Rock - Young Dolph (Getty)
Pete Rock – Young Dolph (Getty)

“I’mma tell y’all something I bet y’all really didn’t know, I had beef with Young Dolph, I had beef with Waka Flocka. The Young Dolph sh*t was crazy because in my comments I didn’t see nothing but dolphin emojis. Me and him squashed that, then I squashed it with Waka and I realized that I was being an asshole.”

“Then I realized ‘Hey, everybody gotta learn how do something their own way. Then, you do have some ignorant mother***ers who’re like ‘I want the bread and the broad!’ But, yeah, a lot of us our sour because we felt the work we had done, we did this for the cats coming up.”

“I take some of the blame because I feel like now, I can start getting into teaching young cats how to do music. We did come out with an attitude toward the younger generation but now I realize that everyone who wants to learn has to learn in their own way to steer music into their own direction.”

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Pete Rock is currently set to release Petestrumentals 4, which is his seventh instrumental album.  As part of the Tracklib competition, Pete Rock wants participants to create a beat by reimagining 1970s soul classic “Handle With Care” by Ben Aiken. Remember, the deadline is coming fast for those who want to participate.

Ricardo A. Hazell began his career in journalism in 1996 as a Research Intern for the prestigious Editor & Publisher Co. His byline has appeared in The Root, Washington Post, Black Enterprise and he helped define culture within the African Diaspora as Senior Cultural Contributor at The Shadow League. Currently working on the semi-autobiographical novel "Remorse".




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