Exclusive: Pete Rock talks about studying Tek & Steele's classic debut to create their fifth album, and brushing up his emcee skills.
Mt. Vernon deejay/producer/emcee Pete Rock is joining Brooklyn, New York duo Smif-n-Wessun on their upcoming June 28 album, Monumental. The longtime partner of emcee C.L. Smooth teamed with the Boot Camp Clik members for their fifth album. Speaking with HipHopDX this month, Rock revealed that in order to help General Steele and Tek progress forward, he studied the duo's 1995 debut. "I went back and listened to Smif-N-Wessun’s Dah Shinin'. I listened to it and used it as a guideline as to what direction i should go in."
Dah Shinin' remains the duo's most celebrated work, as it was completely produced by Da Beatminerz, which at the time compromised of Black Moon's Evil Dee, Mr. Walt and then-member Baby Paul. Despite Da Beatminerz signature lo-fi cassette tape-quality-inspired sound, Pete Rock claims to have upheld his own musical identity. "I kept it 'Pete Rock,' but it’s definitely that good, Smif-n-Wessun feel. I do that with any classic artist I’m doing beats for. I go back and listen to their old projects and then see how I can take that vibe and bring it to today."
Pete Rock Speaks About Improving His Emcee Skills
Known as a legendary producer, Pete Rock is also a 20-plus-year emcee, and that's a role he plays on Monumental. "I need to prove myself doing this thing," admitted Pete about his microphone skills. "When you compare me spitting to the beats I make I’m much greater at the beats. But I know how to spit, I know how to flow. I just never took the time to sit down and write rhymes. So now I got my bars up and I’m ready to get it in. With all the young, vibrant talent that’s out there I need to be able to go in the booth and stand up for myself and let these cats know what it is."