How the murders of Biggie and Tupac prompted Pete Rock to connect East Coast hip-hop to the West Coast

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Exclusive – Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock tells his story on TV One. Unknown episode on Sunday (March 27). The episode follows The Rock’s journey from the Bronx to Mount Vernon, New York, where he continued to work his magic at the Hillside Avenue studio, affectionately known as The Basement.

Like Outkast and Goodie Mob Dungeon in Atlanta, The Basement was the hub for hip-hop creatives to hone their craft. Nas, Will Smith, Busta Rhymes, The Notorious BIG and LL COOL J were among the many who passed through Mount Vernon’s humble home. It was here that Rock really honed his skills as a producer, DJ and host.

In 1992, Rock’s life was forever changed when neighbor friend Troy Dixon died in an accident while on tour with Rock’s cousin Heavy D. The tragedy spawned the Pete Rock and CL Smooth classic “They Reminisce Over You (TROY)”, a tribute to their late friend. Taken from the duo’s second album Mecca and soul brother the song propelled their career to incredible heights and Rock soon became a producer.

After creating songs for artists such as Nas (“The World Is Yours”), Run-DMC (“Down With The King”) and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (“Something Like Dis”, “Code Red”), Pete Rock was on the rise, and then the murders of 2Pac and Biggie shook the hip-hop community to its core. But they also gave Rock the idea to combine West Coast and East Coast hip hop with a 1998 collaboration called “Tru Master” featuring Kurupt and the Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck that arrives at Rock’s. soul survivor solo debut.

“Once I established myself in the game and built relationships with people and artists and everything, whenever I met an artist, we always talked about work,” he explained in a recent Zoom interview. hip hop DX. “So I thought that after everything that has happened, this is the perfect opportunity to get our ribs together and show our love. That’s all.

“I have always respected the West Coast. I was probably the only DJ in New York playing West Coast music at the time Chronicle out and all that. I distinctly remember playing on The DOC record when it first came out. People will think it’s nonsense, because a good ear knows good music. That’s it, period. It’s not about the staff of one person. This is music. If you know what I mean? And then it was a cover version of that Foster Silvers record. [Misdemeanor de 1973]which I have loved since childhood. It was pretty cool for me.

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When asked if the murders of Biggie and 2Pac were the catalysts for “Tru Master”, The Rock replied, “Yes. It was 1998. Every time I was on the West Coast, I always showed love and respect, and I got it back. So I feel it’s very important when you go to the other side of the coast and enter the other arena because you don’t know anything and you don’t know about any culture that they know and you need to know where you are going, where whatever you go. are going.

The Rock talks about how he never took part in the West Coast-East Coast rivalry during Unknown episode stating “I never believed in east and west coast beef.” As a result, he could work with anyone – be it Compton’s most wanted rapper, MC Eiht or Method Man.

The 51-year-old rhythm magician owes a lot to his father, who was also a DJ as a child. If he had not banned his son from building a mini-studio in the family home, The Basement might not have become a musical mecca.

“He had a lot of records, and the entrance to the basement was closed,” Rock explained. “I couldn’t get a place with all his records. He took his space seriously. He didn’t play. Instead, Rock took his records to a friend’s house, and the rest is history.

“I had a party near my friend’s house and I brought all my records and my equipment there and had a house party that was packed that night,” he recalls. “It was a good party. It was such a good party that I just left my things with a neighbor friend and never took them out. I don’t know why, but I didn’t.

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“Then I started working on my career with Heavy D. And he was already working on his career and I was right under his wing. But he believed in me and believed that I had a talent, and we worked hard on it with each other. … And then the stuff was still there in the basement, and I just made a little house out of it to make music.

Except for a short break, Pete Rock has been making music for over 30 years since discovering his passion. As stated in the document, he wakes up gets up at 7am and starts making beats, sometimes until midnight. So it’s no surprise that the fourth installment of his ongoing instrumental series, PitInstrumental 4, should arrive March 31st. Until then look Unknown Premieres at 9/8 am CT on TV One.

This article is automatically translated from the original language into your language. Feel free to let us know if it contains translation errors so we can fix them as soon as possible.

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