The legendary Pete Rock recently caught with The Tanning of America to discuss Hip Hop’s effect on race relations in America. During the interview, the Chocolate Boy Wonder responded to Jay-Z’s claim that, “Hip Hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.” Although Pete doesn’t discount Hip Hop’s beneficial impact on race relations, he says that Hip Hop wouldn’t even exist without the work of political leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
“I don’t believe that. We have so many black leaders who died for us to live. Without that, we wouldn’t be doing Hip Hop,” he said. “From the airport to the supermarket to the DMV, even in the way deals are made for me. Race has always played a factor for me….[w]e still have a long way to go.”
Pete also related one of his personal instances where he faced overt racial discrimination. He said that on a recent trip to Europe, a white stewardess denied him in-flight service despite attending to all other passengers. At the end of the flight, he said he confronted her about the issue and she promptly called security on him.
“On a recent trip to Europe I was the only person of color in first class on this particular flight,” he said. “The stewardess, who happened to be a white woman, ignored me the entire flight while she attended to all the other passengers. I had to constantly ask her to provide me with the same service that she was giving to the other passengers. When I exited the plane I was so upset I flipped her the bird…and she called security.”
The full interview can be found over at The Tanning of America.