An education from Pete Rock on his first trip to Australia.
Pete Rock became significant in the 90’s for his unique soul/jazz style of hip hop (heavily influenced by his father’s musical tastes) firstly with a remix for Public Enemy – ‘Shut Em Down’ and then his releases with CL Smooth.
It’s amusing how Americans like talking about our native animals when they’re here, almost like we share the same fascination.
“I came here tonight to play every kind of music, so don’t nobody *acks* me to play anything.” “Let’s see if you can appreciate some shit”.
Using a digital setup with turntables Pete opens with a soul R&B tune that didn’t make much noise but the track that followed was a beautiful piece that I wish I knew. The first 45 minutes consisted mainly of funk, soul and disco tunes and commentary like “I want yall to understand where the history comes from”. Pete also said “I grew up on this type of music, this is what made me funky” while executing some fine turntablism over a couple of unidentified breaks and basslines. Some more familiar tracks included ‘Cymande – Brothers on the slide’ (1974) ‘Brick – Dazz’ (1976) ‘Chic – Good Times’ (1979) ‘Darryl Hall & John Oates – I can’t go for that’ (1982) and ‘Nick Straker Band – A little bit of jazz’ (1981) which was nicely slammed into the mix. He also played ‘Liquid Liquid – Cavern’ from 1983 which inspired ‘White Lines’ from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5. Tunes by Prince, Michael Jackson, Rick James and the Bee Gees followed, receiving sing along validation.
The next section was all about 90’s hip hop and raw shit like ‘EPMD – Rampage’ which Rock has remixed. These people like their Tribe Called Quest especially ‘Scenario’ as about 5 tracks were played consecutively, ‘Oh My God’ being my favourite. Straight into a similar format of Gangstarr music and ‘Full Clip’ didn’t quite have the desired effect, seeing as we heard it earlier in the night and it really does get smashed at every hip hop party, I look forward to hearing other not so published tracks. ‘Legacy’ and ‘Zonin’ would fall into this category although weren’t as celebrated as ‘Mass Appeal’ and ‘Above the Clouds’. It was about this time we learned that Rock and DJ Premier have an album due out soon.
Time for some warm Pete Rock production with ‘Fakin Jaxx’ and ‘It’s A Love Thing’ hitting the spot, ‘Run DMC – Down with the King’ (also Rock) gets the deserved support and is a must have for any follower. Everyone seems to be feeling good as the soundtrack creates an environment where you could either watch the DJ or chat and be merry with others. Another 3 beautiful tracks ‘Back on the Block’ and ‘Tell Me’ earn the “oohs” but T.R.O.Y is overlooked, so much so he rewinds it back demanding acknowledgement.
The remaining 20 minutes was dedicated to his cousin Heavy D’s music who recently passed away.
By the end alot of people had left leaving room to walk around but Pete notice didn’t continuing to seek feedback and “make money monies” with the same enthusiasm.
It went on a bit long, an effective climax would have been after T.R.O.Y seeing as it’s his defining track and he could have weaved Heavy D in earlier.
Before coming I imagined seeing an MPC in use with Pete performing the type of instrumentals you listen to while looking out the train window. Some of this was achieved without the live component however. I guess he had something for everyone with the party tunes, his influences and the more soulful hip hop side. A decent party in a stylish venue with friendly people, chocolate boy wonder Pete Rock.
Pete Rock Kicks – All White Nike Air-Force 1’s.
Other tracks worth mentioning.
Bobby Byrd – Hot Pants
Rick James – Give it to me Baby
Group Home – Livin Proof
Chubb Rock – Treat Em Right
Big Daddy Kane – Warm it up Kane
Public Enemy – Shut Em Down (Pete Rock Remix)
Nas – The World is Yours (Produced by Pete Rock)
Keni Burke – Rising to the Top