HHW gives you another exclusive Behind The Beats featuring Bronx NY’s, Pete Rock.
“The Joy” – Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Pete Rock & Charlie Wilson
“Reminisce (T.R.O.Y.)” – Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
HHW: When did you first get into producing?
Pete Rock: Man, probably when I was 13 years old. Just being with my cousin Heav’ and going to his studio sessions, and going to Marley Marl’s house, and Teddy Riley and Howie P… you know, I was the little sidekick cousin with him—learning, soaking everything up like a sponge. I was fortunate enough to have family in the business and to make it in the business and was also fortunate enough to be with my family and meet other great people, producers and see how they work.
When did you first get your own equipment?
It started with turntables. From there it went to a Dr. Rhythm drum machine that had tremendous kicks and snare sounds coming out of it. It’s actually the same drum machine [Grandmaster] Flash used on “Flash To The Beat.” I wanted to be the man behind the music. So that’s how I made the decision to say, ‘Ima go hard with this.’ Not because it was a business, I liked it as a hobby and I love making music. That’s what the feeling was at first.
How would you describe your sound?
Original, jazzy, funky, soulful, courageous and challenging, you know?
Speaking of challenging, what was the craziest sample, loop or break you ever found?
Damn it’s so many…Um, there’s 45’s, there’s albums…that’s a hard one. But one of the most intriguing ones I’ve found probably has to be a Tom Scott album that I just adore. That’s the same album that I used the sample for “Reminisce.”
What have you been working on recently?
Styles P, Tek and Steele (Smiff-n-Wesson) new album, Camp Lo and my new instrumental album, I’m really excited about that. Other artists that I’ve worked with are Red Cafe, my man Roc Marciano, Jay Electronica, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Kanye.
How did “The Joy” record come together?
That’s from working on Kanye’s album out there in Hawaii.
What other records did you do out there?
Actually “Runaway” is one, and “The Joy” is the other song. I was surprised to hear Jay-Z on the beat because we never worked together. So when I heard him on the beat I got really excited. Hopefully we’ll do more together. As far as that record goes, I hope they put it out on the Watch The Throne project. It would be shame to just throw that record away.
You’re a hip-hop veteran with an extensive catalog…what keeps you motivated to keep going?
To see the passion in other people in getting work done. When I see that in other people that gets me really excited because I got music for days. We could sit here and make volumes of stuff. If I see that feeling in somebody, then that’s what inspires me to wanna do the work and get done and have fun.
Is there anything else you want to let the people know?
That Pete Rock is the king of the SP-1200. Don’t get it twisted!
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