Legendary producer Pete Rock was 10 years old when The Sugarhill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight,” Hip Hop’s first Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit.
As one-half of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, he rose to prominence in the 1990s with songs such as “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” and “Straighten It Out” from the duo’s debut album, Mecca and the Soul Brother. Needless to say, Rock has watched Hip Hop evolve in a myriad of ways over the years, and there’s a sense he’s not exactly impressed with what’s being pumped out to the masses in 2021.
On Saturday (October 9), Rock shared a black-and-white throwback photo of himself with C.L. Smooth to his Instagram account and condemned all the violence in some mainstream rap, while explaining why he thinks rap looks like it does today.
“Was just some clueless youngins here,” he wrote in the caption. “Wish i woulda knew then what i know now. A lot woulda been different but its all good. Being a threat in this business was a real thing for me. Unfortunately the less talented had some tricks up their sleeves to remove us from our message to the people to usher in negativity & fuckery.
“Our talent was the real deal which no part of what we had together talent wise could be fucked with. Remove the threat so we can change the direction of hip hop.”
Pete Rock continued, “Greed with a bunch of other shenanigans has turned real into fake, and fake into more fake smh. Talkin violence in your raps not uplifting our people. Gonna be time when dem street stories gonna get less attention and will have to show what else can you talk about other than thuggin. the real ones this dont apply to you. just the ones on front street rappin.”
He ended his diatribe by imploring people to conserve Hip Hop culture with, “Hip Hop is forever and forever is hip hop. Preserve The Culture!!!!!! With some of us its all we got.”
Following Mecca and the Soul Brother, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth dropped one more album in 1994 called The Main Ingredient but ultimately broke up. Since then, Rock has released a plethora of solo albums and produced numerous Hip Hop classics such as Nas’ “The World Is Yours” from Illmatic and Common’s Ice Cube diss track, “The Bitch In Yoo.”
Most recently, Rock released PeteStrumentals 3, the third installment in his ongoing instrumental series and first sample-free endeavor.
In a December 2020 interview with HipHopDX, Rock looked back on his expansive career and touched on a plethora of topics, including the controversy over the Biggie song “Juicy,” how a freak accident on a Heavy D tour led to “T.R.O.Y.” and finding out JAY-Z rapped over one of his beats from Young Guru.