Pete Rock’s Remix Mag Article

I hope you all got a chance to read the feature my dude Will Johnson (who is a dope upcoming producer in his own right) wrote on Pete Rock in the new issue of Remix. If you haven’t, I implore you to do so.

In the article, there’s something that I feel is often overlooked in hip-hop production today. It’s one of the reasons why we regard people like Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Jay Dee, and other folks of that ilk almost as beat scientists, rather than beatmakers or producers.

Quoting Young Guru, who mixed Pete’s new album, NY’s Finest:

“Watching Pete’s mind at work is crazy,” [Young Guru] says. “He would sample three different records and get it sounding like a mixed, single record. I’ve never really seen a producer do that and work so quickly. Sometimes he’d make beats on the spot, as many as three or four a day, and to his credit, each of them was already mixed within the machine.”

It’s this idea of pulling samples from multiple sources and crafting one singular piece of music out of it that makes folks like Pete Rock truly remarkable. These days, and I don’t want to harp on new producers or popular music, but I hear a lot of tracks and it’s just a loop with some drums behind it. Maybe there’s a 2nd loop that the producer uses for the hook. But it’s not distinctively chopped up and rearranged, there’s nothing added to the sample or done to the sample that would distinguish it as a unique piece of music.

Granted, in the history of hip-hop production you’ve got your loopers and your choppers. But you’ve got to keep in mind that if you were a producer who came up on an SP1200 and S950, you only had but so much sample time. You couldn’t necessarily grab a whole section of music and then another section to use for the hook and so on and so forth. You had to get by doing the little things, like sampling little stabs here and there and manipulating them with effects or by re-arranging them into some new type of melody. Now I think the technology, particularly having so much sample time in our gear, has made folks lazy. So you’ve got to appreciate someone like Pete Rock, who has switched to the Akai MPC2000, and now has the technology to sample damn near a whole song, and still works to create new pieces of music out of a bunch of different samples. That’s beatmaking for the art of it, just to see how creative you can get with some source material. I think there’s something to be said for that in ’08.

I think it beats looping up Lenny Williams “Cause I Love You” for the umpteenth time.

  • C.A.

    you never get tons of replies but keep the blogs coming, i’m a producer and I dig em, always on point

  • chun

    Because he doesn’t go for bullshit controversy like sunday. Always a good read.

  • NumberOneStunna

    I feel this drop, but at the same time people like RJD2 do this (combine mad samples into one track) and it sounds like shit (sometimes). I feel like the collage style can sometimes just make for dirty, busy tracks. Pete’s dope cause there’s still some simplicity.

  • JONATHAN

    ITS ABSOLUTLY HILLARIOUS TO ME WITH YOU PEOPLE DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING! FOR REAL FOR REAL! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES AND ITS CRAZY WHEN IT ALL FALLS DOWN HOW YOU REALLY DONT HAVE MUCH TO SAY AT ALL! AT ALL! YOU KNOW! NOT MUCH AT ALL! FOR REAL FOR REAL! TAKE CARE AND THANX YOU KNOW! YOU SHOWED JUST NOW! HIPHOP IS MADE UP OF A BUNCH OF 2 YEARS OLDS! STILL IN THE SANDBOX! GOODLUCK!

  • HIPHOPLIVES

    Jonathan,

    Take your meds homeboy.

  • http://myspace.com/websince1982 websince1982

    pete rock is still one of the illest alive

    VIOLATOR ALL-STAR DJ’S, DJ JAM X & WEB

    22 EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL CUTS!!!!

    COPY AND PASTE THE LINK TO DOWNLOAD….

    http://www.mediafire.com/?alfjlnzibyn

  • http://www.myspace.com/onemanprod ONEMAN BX

    Yo Pete Rock and Dj Premier are the 2 producers that made me start producing. Its been awhile since i chopped up a sample and reading this makes me wanna go back to that. The industry has me going crazy because trying to clear samples is a headache thats why i stopped.
    Now im on some ish like F it whatever happens happens as long as it sounds Hot.
    myspace.com/onemanprod