Pete Rock is one of the most revered producers in Hip Hop history. As one-half of the early ’90s rap duo Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth, the Mount Vernon, New York native crafted the timeless “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” before solidifying his pedigree with classic cuts for Nas (“The World Is Yours”), Public Enemy (“Shut ‘Em Down Remix”), Run-DMC (“Down With the King”) and many more.
Combined with more recent collaborations with JAY-Z, Kanye West and Busta Rhymes, as well as the third installment of his PeteStrumentals series that dropped last year, it’s safe to say Pete Rock remains the Soul Brother Number One as he enters his fourth decade in the rap game.
Looking to impart his wisdom on the newest generation of producers, Pete Rock has teamed up with Tracklib for their latest Beat Battle competition to offer one lucky winner the chance to work with the man himself.
Staying true to Pete’s soul-sampling foundation, aspiring producers must create a beat by flipping the 1970s soul gem “Handle With Care” by Ben Aiken, released on the influential label Philly Groove Records (home to The Delfonics and First Choice).
The winner, selected by Pete Rock, will win a one-on-one virtual studio session with the legendary producer, as well as an MPC Live II Retro Edition (worth $1400) autographed by the Chocolate Boy Wonder himself.
In addition to offering up-and-coming producers this rare opportunity, Pete Rock sat down with Tracklib to reminisce about his journey in Hip Hop. The 51-year-old beatsmith recalled learning how to produce from his cousin, the late Heavy D, falling in love with sampling through pause tapes and how the E-Mu SP-1200 changed his life.
Pete also broke down the making of some of his most iconic productions, including Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” Nas’ “The World Is Yours” and JAY-Z and Kanye West’s “The Joy.”
“You know, working with Kanye in Hawaii at his house, I met Kid Cudi, I met Rick Ross, I met John Legend,” he said of his Watch The Throne contribution. “I laid like eight beats down and we just narrowed it down to one.
“The sample in ‘The Joy’ was an old Curtis Mayfield song that people loved in the ’70s. It was so defining in my household growing up. I remembered it and said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna try something with this.’
“I had that beat made for a long time. Played it for Kanye one day and he murdered it… then he put JAY-Z on it!”
Pete Rock and Tracklib’s competition ends on November 28. More information, including how to submit a beat, can be found at Tracklib’s website.