2 posts categorized "Pete Rock Drums"

December 30, 2010

DJ Premier and Pete Rock "Reminisce" Over "Memory Lane" and Other Classics

Two of the Most Important Beatmaking Pioneers Trade Stories About Some of their Most Acclaimed Production

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

In this gem of an interview (1-hr long), Pete Rock and DJ Premier drop a number of jewels. Using a format whereby each pioneer is handed a physical copy of a single or album that they produced and/or worked on, the interview (reportedly taped in Japan), makes for a very open, impromptu-like conversation, in which little-known and unknown details inevitably spill out from both beat icons.

For instance, Premier discusses the last minute magic that resulted in Biggie’s “Unbelievable,” revealing a small detail about is beatmaking process. He also stresses how limited sampling time forces the mind to be more creative. A point which I strongly agree. Having used the E-Mu SP 1200 and the Akai S950 (still a major piece in my current setup), I can attest that limited sampling time does indeed compel you to think more about the different ways in which you can rework a sample as well as how to sketch out unique drum patterns.

Of course, Pete Rock also chimes in with a number of great stories and details of his own. He's especially animated when discussing his days as a beatmaker in his parents' basement, offering a window into how he managed his production output. Along with Premier, PR makes a strong plea for Nas to do a an Illmatic sequel. He even goes so far as to warn Nas to “do it before it’s too late.” A warning I agree with.

Finally, both Premier and Pete Rock indirectly raise up a very important factor that's often overlooked these days: the proximity connection (chemistry). As both share stories of rappers routinely coming over to their homes in the prime of their careers, it becomes clear that the proximity connection—the chemistry that can only develop when beatmakers and rappers are in the same studio environment together—was a major contributing factor to their success.

Although some beatmakers still maintain that “come-over-to-the-crib/studio” tradition today (here, Marco Polo and Statik Selektah immediately come to mind), for the most part, that in-studio, proximity connection created chemistry is mostly gone. Considering this fact, one would have to say that the resulting disconnection caused by a decline of beatmakers and rappers working more closely together has, at least in some ways, contributed to a "different"—not entirely lower—grade of hip hop/rap music. Still, I see a revival of this factor. And hopefully, this Premier and Pete Rock sitdown will go a long way in helping to speed up this revival.

The video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Sitdown With DJ Premier & Pete Rock

Sitdown With DJ Premier & Pete Rock from DJPremierBlog on Vimeo.

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The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

December 18, 2010

Pete Rock's Drums Makes Kanye's "Runaway" Soar

Beatmaking Pioneer Talks Upcoming Projects; Says Kanye Sampled his Drum Work for the Making of "Runaway."

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

Any nugget of a jewel that beatmaking pioneers offer up is a good thing. Unfortunately, the Hip Hop Chronicle Exclusive Pete Rock video interview (covered below) is short on jewels in the area of the “how to” variety. But that being said, this video is interesting still the same. For one thing, Pete Rock drops a couple of names that he will be featuring on his half of the announced (but date uncertain) Pete Rock vs. DJ Premier album. Also, PR concedes that DJ Premier is both a major influence and competition. That’s a real jewel, as respect and admiration for the competition has always been a hallmark of the “hip hop sensibility” (The BeatTips Manual contains a detailed analysis of the “hip hop sensibility.)”

Finally, Pete Rock drops a surprise when he says that Kanye told him that for his song “Runaway” (from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), he sampled his [Pete Rock’s] drums from a Pete Rock & CL Smooth album. Does this mean that Pete Rock is in line for royalties, or was the matter resolved when Pete Rock gave Kanye the beat for “Joy” (a dope song curiously left off of Kanye’s latest LP, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)? Perhaps. I don’t think a pioneer like Pete Rock would pursue action against another beatmaker (producer) who sampled a drum pattern he created. Plus, I gotta (or at least, I want to) believe that Pete Rock was compensated for the “Joy” beat in some form. Either way, “Joy” was a good look for both Pete Rock and Kanye West, which means that it was also a very good look for beatmaking.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

*EXCLUSIVE* Pete Rock On DJ Premier & CL Smooth Album, Producing (via The Hip Hop Chronicle UK)


Kanye West – “Runaway” [Reportedly featuring the drum work of Pete Rock]

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The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

Dedicated to exploring the art of beatmaking in all of its glory.

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