Pete Rock Talks Marley Marl, “T.R.O.Y.” & James Brown On NPR (Audio)

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Growing up in a large, musically adept Jamaican family, Pete Rock has been groomed to become “passionately in love with music” from his earliest beginnings. The man who’s known for creating “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”, sits down with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley of NPR’s Microphone Check series to discuss his early days as a DJ with Marley Marl (8:00), the sudden death of longtime friend Troy Dixon a/k/a. “Trouble” T. Roy of Heavy D & the Boyz (18:00), the effects of 9/11 on music (39:00), and recording Nas’ “The World Is Yours” (1:11:00).

pete rock
In a particularly captivating story, Pete Rock discusses his first encounter with “The Godfather of Soul” himself, James Brown (27:30). When he was just seven years old, Pete’s mother took him and his brother to a concert at The Left Bank and was frozen by James’ presence on stage. During a break in the set, Pete’s mom took him backstage to meet him.

“During halftime, he was backstage, my mother took me to meet him. I just remember him saying “God bless you, God bless you,” and shook his hand. And I think from then on, he passed something onto me. I’m serious man, he had the power. And you know, I don’t know. I got it from maybe touching him. Straight up. And I wasn’t the same since.”

Do you think James gave Pete “the power?”

Related: Here’s Footage from 1994 of Nas, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Premier & Large Professor Discussing Illmatic (Video)