Pete Rock Says Biggie Wanted The Main Ingredient Interlude Beats For His Album (Audio)
UPDATE: Pete Rock clarified today’s earlier report regarding his Touré Show interview. The legendary producer, MC, and DJ points out that it is 1994’s Main Ingredient, and not Mecca & Soul Brother, whose interlude beats Biggie Smalls wanted:
In the interview, Pete explained Biggie’s request after host Touré mentioned Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s celebrated full-length debut.
ORIGINAL STORY: Pete Rock is the latest guest on Touré Show. The Hip-Hop legend gives an in-depth interview about his career. Peter Phillips recalls his older cousin Heavy D bringing him to Marley Marl when he was just an adolescent DJ. Pete also reveals that he is currently close to obtaining the masters to his early Elektra Records catalog with partner, C.L. Smooth. The Mount Vernon, New Yorker also admits he had feelings of jealousy when Dr. Dre released The Chronic the same year he and his partner dropped Mecca & The Soul Brother.
Mecca & The Soul Brother is a focal point of the discussion, as Touré regards it both as a classic and a personal favorite. The 1992 full-length debut from Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth includes some snippet beats that C.L. never rhymes to. DJ Premier, Buckwild, Diamond D, and others are part of a class of beat creators that often released small teasers of beat concoctions on albums, adjoined to other songs entirely. Pete’s tracks in particular, are revered by Hip-Hop Heads. For instance, the album version of Pete and C.L.’s biggest hit, “They Reminisce Over You,” has a 12-second intro beat before the track transitions to the song. Touré asks Pete his reasoning to only offer teasers, potentially wasting some incredible beats at 24:20. Pete reveals that a legendary MC had a plan to make sure those instrumentals were properly rocked.
“I’m just showing off [when I do that], man. ‘Listen to this, listen to that.’ Those were beats that Biggie wanted,” Pete says, repeating the last part. “He’s like, ‘Yo, I want your interlude beats.'” Pete says the request took place after the 1992 release, ahead of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 debut, Ready To Die. “When he was making the first album, the ‘Juicy’ thing, and everything like that [happened]. He said to me, ‘I want the interludes, bruh.'” Touré asks what happened regarding that request. Pete replies, “He got ’em! I mean, I gave him a cassette. You know, at that time [it was all about] cassettes. I gave him a cassette of beats or whatever.”
Pete famously worked with Biggie on his demo, in a period when the Brooklyn, New Yorker was recording for Uptown Records. Rock first produced the basis of hit “Juicy.” However, the Puff Daddy-remixed version is what made the album, while Pete’s take landed on the 12″ remix.
In the next part of the discussion, Pete Rock credits Brand Nubian’s Grand Puba with helping him step to the mic. “I didn’t want to rap in the beginning, to be honest with you. I was forced to [by] Grand Puba—in a fun way,” admits “The Chocolate Boy Wonder.” “We were all makin’ music at the [time]. I was workin’ with [Brand Nubian] before we had deals. We would just be playin’ around in my basement [studio]. I think he liked the sound of my voice. He was like, ‘Yo, I want you to try to rap to this joint. He wrote the rhymes [and] spit the rhyme; we recorded him rapping ‘The Creator.’ Then, I just followed it. I didn’t like my voice [Groaning]. I was young; I was about [making] the music.” Touré asks Pete if he wrote his rhymes by the time Mecca & The Soul Brother was made. Pete says yes. “Puba helped me with my first two songs ever. Then, everything else [was me].”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Pete Rock reveals that he still makes five to six beats per day. This year, Pete has worked with Kool G Rap and Apathy, along with a remix for Kali Uchis featuring Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins.
#BonusBeat: AFH’s 2016 conversation with Pete Rock: