Pete Rock Blasts Funkmaster Flex For Not Supporting Real Hip-Hop
At the top of this week, Conway The Machine spoke out against several gatekeepers of Hip-Hop at radio. In particular, the Buffalo, New York MC named Funkmaster Flex and DJ Suss One in an Instagram Live monologue venting frustrating with what gets played on radio. Funk Flex responded to Conway on social media by listing his associations to JAY-Z, Eminem, J. Cole, and others.
Now Pete Rock has entered the dispute. Fresh off of calling out Diddy last month for his remarks during a BET Awards Lifetime Achievement acceptance speech (which Pete took offense to), The Chocolate Boy Wonder takes umbrage with a fellow DJ, radio peer, and former label mate.
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“You don’t play real artists no more,” Pete began in an Instagram post edited for grammar and spelling. “You talk sh*t like you better than everybody and I believe all threats with real talent in music were removed by plan out the way for that new sh*t to happen. You a New York ni**a treating the other New York artists who put in work like our career is over. You stop playing Wu-Tang [Clan], you play no Griselda, nothing, stopped playing a lot of artist then you judge mafu**as and make fun of that fact you control what you want when you on air.”
Pete continued, “So much good music out here to be ignored, and [you are] a Black dude treating other Black, talented people like they [are] beneath you. You don’t make beats or rap, but you sh*tted on artists ’cause you could, and you stopped supporting real Hip-Hop music to cater to whoever got you in their pocket. That’s sucka DJ behavior.” Funkmaster Flex’s acclaimed 60 Minutes Of Funk mixtape album series found commercial success with its blend of Hip-Hop styles. At the time of the first three volumes, Pete and Flex were Loud/RCA Records label-mates. Pete also produced “Prime Time” by Tha Alkaholiks and Xzibit for the third in the series.
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Pete, whose career launched as a New York radio DJ, spoke as a peer. “When I was a DJ on HOT 97 and WBLS, I never fronted on artists in Hip-Hop [by] not playing their music. I played everybody’s sh*—even [the] West Coast sh*t you was frontin’ on. That’s why ni**as is upset, ’cause you sh*tted [on them] for no reason. Black people [are] not supposed to treat each other like that, but these days money will make a ni**a do anything.” The acclaimed producer/DJ/MC ended his words with a knock to Funkmaster Flex’s character, and @’d him in the post. “Always been a funny-style dude from day one only to front on ni**as later and run that mouth of yours playing wack sh*t. @funkflex, you do this in your own city to your own people and be nonchalant about sh*t laughing like it’s a joke.”
The HOT 97 mainstay responded with a mocking photo of Pete and sharp words. In a post titled, “Clown Alert,” Flex wrote, “I have watched this guy give his ‘opinion’ of me for about two years! He’s one of my favorite DJs, producers, and MC’s! I hope that some of our mutual friends will understand that goofy has been begging for smoke!” Funk Flex promoted his Thursday night (July 14) radio show, claiming he plans to air out Pete Rock and others.
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However, Flex wasted no time going into details. He attributed Pete’s remarks as “Coming from the guy who sh*tted on Drill,” pointing out that the music movement is from New York City. Then he pointed to Pete’s employment record. “They fired you from WBLS and HOT 97 in that order because you lost touch with the music, streets, and clubs. Please remember I’m a fan of your music, love every song you ever made, loved listening to you on the radio, love your bars … @realpeterock, you sit in your basement high as hell, out of touch, mad at the new generation.” Pete’s basement has long been his creative enclave.
Flex continued, “Pal…your career was over the day you stop realizing Hip-Hop can’t be dictated. YouTube, Apple and Spotify dictate the culture!” He refuted allegations of pay-for-play. “[I] never needed a petty $2,500 artist throw-around to get records played! Radio [and] clubs keeps my accountant busy! You wish I took money…makes you feel better about your wack songs you made in the last five years that I didn’t play! (Be clear everything else you produced is amazing).” Since 2017, Pete has released several instrumental projects, and produced work including Skyzoo’s Retropolitan and Benny The Butcher and Smoke DZA’s Statue Of Limitations, among others. Flex then responded to the character attack. “I’m funny style to you? Or you mad that we [are] the same age and your career went a little let’s say ‘different’ than mine? You’re right; I laugh like it’s a joke. A lot of people like you haven’t come to terms there is a new style of artist controlling the craft.”
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Flex finished with accusations of his own. “Get off the drugs and liquor and ask questions. Grown men grind…losers look at the next man’s plate!” Flex again promoted his Thursday HOT 97 show.
Pete Rock previously produced Conway on Everybody Is Food‘s “Piper” as well as 2019’s “Bullets” by Benny and DZA and “Eastern Conference All-Stars” by Skyzoo.
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#BonusBeat: The most recent episode of Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast revisits the Top 20 Hip-Hop albums of all-time, as decided by our readers. That list includes Nas’ Illmatic, an album that Pete Rock co-produced: