“We reached out to Pete in November, right? My team. It was my partner’s idea. He wanted to go back, take an iconic Hip Hop record, flip it, breathe some life into it, and bring it back to new school. That’s the whole point of it so we reached out to Pete…When we rap over the original instrumental we send it to get cleared, Warner Chapel tells us ‘No, that’s the publishing company.’ They tell us ‘You can’t clear that. It’s unclearable.’ There’s portions of that song that have never been cleared before ever. You have to remake it.”
As Lupe continues, he explains:
“The funny part is you ain’t even got to go through Pete Rock to clear cause he don’t even own it. Then he comes on Twitter the day after the joint’s released or it’s the same day that it’s released and bodies me like that and bodies my crew like that. And just shits on us like that. That’s foul. Then when we finally get on the phone, we didn’t have a [good] conversation. We weren’t on the phone like ‘Oh, I love you Pete at the end of the day.’ I was hot. My crew was hot. The people who put it together was hot. The record company was hot. He just wasn’t on the phone with me; he was on the phone with six people. Like Pete what’s wrong with you? Going in on us like that. We’re trying to pay homage to you.”
Listen to Lupe’s interview as he goes in on Pete Rock, below:
Before Lupe aired out Pete Rock, Pete’s camp released a press release addressing the issue:
“The storm is over and it’s time to move on,” says iconic Hip Hop producer Pete Rock. After two and a half days of heated discussion and debates within the Hip Hop community about Lupe Fiasco’s remake of Pete Rock’s classic Hip Hop song (T.R.O.Y. / They Reminisce Over You), the legendary producer gives a full statement: “There is no Pete Rock vs. Lupe Fiasco and there never was. Lupe called me last night for the first time about the remake of my song and we worked out our differences. With that, we can do business together and focus on what we both love to do, which is make great music.”
On Monday (May 21st), GRAMMY® Award winning rapper Lupe Fiasco released the lead single Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free) from his forthcoming album. The song, produced by SimonSayz and B-Side, is the artists’ take on T.R.O.Y., a Hip Hop staple originally released in 1992 by hip hop duo Pete Rock and CL Smooth on their debut album Mecca and the Soul Brother.
According to the explosion on social media that began on Monday, the Pete Rock classic holds an “untouchable” and “sacred” place in Hip Hop music history given the tragic circumstances surrounding why the song was made. Troy Dixon (aka Trouble T Roy), who was part of the group Heavy D and The Boyz, died accidentally in 1990. Dixon’s close friends, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, would later release Mecca and the Soul Brother which featured the tribute song. It was instantly heralded as a classic. Reflecting on this and the passing of his cousin, Hip Hop trailblazer Heavy D (who died unexpectedly just six months ago), Pete Rock explains the emotions behind his Twitter timeline: “The whole meaning behind T.R.O.Y. is that it’s a song about showing respect and doing what’s right. That can’t be down played. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about Troy and Heavy. All my emotions are front and center, especially now. But as long as respect is given where respect is due, then it’s all good. That’s why we’re moving forward.”
June 9th marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Mecca and the Soul Brother. Pete Rock will announce his new projects on this milestone date.