We got to chat, with the man behind the music, the decks and the beat. Pete Rock chats with us on his early days, James Brown and Thre3style.
You’re incredibly prolific in the music industry and as a DJ/producer...a household name...
I've been doing this for a long time, since I was 15 DJing on the radio with Marley Marl. When I turned 16, doing my first record all by myself, producing.
What drew you to music, in the first place?
Since I was 3 years old, when I heard the sound the music. I was addicted as a child. My father is a DJ and record collector. I think I learned alot (from him). I met James Brown when I was 7 years old. I think he passed along something in his hand shake to me. He had this type of power. Since then, I was curious about the man behind the music. Listenting to Marley Marl, Howie T...all these different producers making dope records in the 80's, 90s. Just by being inspired by those guys...and my cousin, Heavy D (RIP). He nurtured me.
Did you and Heavy D get to meet James Brown together?
No, my mother took me to a concert in Mount Vernon, NJ. She took me and younger brother. Yup...wasn't the same after that concert. He's (James Brown) like a god to me, in music.
Did you have the same affinity for producers of that time like Quincy Jones?
Yeah of course. Quincy, James, Issac Hayes, Barry White. You name it. All these great producers. They were always producing. They weren't just singing. They all made the music.
Do you think producers now, like those of previous generations, should know how to play an instrument, or develop that musical voice?
Of course. I play bass. I make up bass lines in my head all day. I think you have to be born with the talent. It's a way of expression.
When did you know you had to be the man behind the music?
I made the decision to say "I'm gonna to do this, regardless". I started out, doing it as a hobby, then it turned into something huge. Groove B Chill/Starting From Zero, was my first produced record by myself. I did the title track and another song, called "There It Is'. Those are my first two ever Pete Rock, by myself productions. I was co-producing with Heavy D on his album (before my first), then with Groove B Chill, I started getting calls.
Are there any artists you want to work with now?
Kendrick Lamar. J.Cole, I like J.Cole. I worked with Kanye and Jay-Z, on Watch The Throne.
Are there any Canadian artists you want to work with?
Kardinal Offishall. He and I have a strong relationship. We work alot, we do stuff.
What brought you and DJ Premier together?
We did our first show together in Japan and we thought we should put the idea to an album.
What brought you to Red Bull Thre3style?
Ya know, it's a cool competition.
Were there any sets from the Red Bull Thre3style World Finals week, that caught your ear?
Skratch Bastid and a few of the guys who went on before us.
Can you give any advice to DJs wanting to start out?
Practice. Keep practicing your craft. You learn your steps, then how to entertain. It all starts with a passion in your heart.
What can we expect from Pete Rock in 2012?
New album. New Camp Lo album. New Pete Rock vs. DJ Premier album. You'll hear some new music.
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