lupe samples pete rock's T.R.O.Y., pete rock is exceedingly respectful in his warranted fury, and lupe throws out some context. →
sort of a mess. pete rock & c.l. smooth’s ’T.R.O.Y.’ (they reminisce over you)’ is without a doubt a very big deal, one of the more enduring and beloved tracks in hip-hop history, an ode to a close friend and fallen musical comrade, trouble t-roy of heavy d & the boys. for lupe’s upcoming album, food and liquor 2: ‘the great american rap album part 1’ [C’MON SON!!!], he decided to sample it for the lead single, ‘around my way (freedom ain’t free).’ i’ve gradually started to appreciate lupe over the years, from seeing him live at florida state with a full backing band, to seeing his performances with esteemed jazz musicians like robert glasper and chris ‘daddy’ dave. i find this to be pretty tasteless though, and think that pete rock totally had it right when he said ‘.…it’s a major label idea. i can feel it.’ a needless ploy for attention. pete rock is one of my favorite producers alive and i trust that he has a pretty thorough understanding of how hip-hop is a sample-based art form. he got permission from the original musician, tom scott, for his track, which surely wasn’t necessary, but reasonable when approaching something of a deep emotional caliber. now that the track has been extensively elevated past its original form, lupe didn’t display a comparable level of respect by checking in, appalling failing to do so as it pertained to one of the greatest beatmakers of all time, and one who happened to have respect for his previous work up until that point.
lupe spins it as being a significant piece of music, one with enough power to even overshadow previous variations, but i don’t hear it. a soulful memorial was turned into a moderately deep bunch of verses; ranging into some thought-provoking topics, but also willing to sacrifice that push to incorporate a few bullshit lines about hash tags and strip clubs. it’s like the unwritten code of graffiti; you don’t tag over someone’s work unless what you’re doing is an evident improvement. that’s not the case here, and i think it’s only taking place for publicity’s sake. pete rock was rightfully disgusted, but repeatedly stressed that he’s not a hater and otherwise appreciated lupe as a musician. his main issues were with lupe’s producer (who didn’t even come CLOSE to achieving the soul brother #1’s master touch), and whoever’s idea the re-appropriation was. sort of an interesting conflict to pop up. i heard a beat from pete rock’s petestrumentals (i tell you guys all the time, GET ON THAT ONE) while refereeing beach volleyball on monday with mf doom pandora playing on the speakers outside. sorry lupe, but what are you thinking? this…..uhh…..fiasco…..definitely didn’t need to happen.
while pete sampled that tom scott track and isolated a loop from it, lupe’s producer just took the easy way out and sampled t.r.o.y. instead of the same original track. basically, it’s lazy at best, and disgustingly derivative, offensive, and capitalistically grimy at worst.