By now you've likely heard about the controversy surrounding Lupe Fiasco's “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” a remake of the beloved hip-hop classic "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth. Lupe spoke with rubyhornet.com and explained his inspiration for doing the remake (“All the credit goes to my partner and manager Chill, he just felt like it was time to bring back a joint. Go back and take one of the iconic records of hip-hop and put a new spin on it and put it back out there”). Now the song's co-producer, Bsides, who made the track with his partner DJ Simonsayz, has responded to the fiasco on the Soul Strut message board. Peep what he had to say, after the jump...
UPDATE: A CHICAGO RADIO INTERVIEW WITH LUPE FIASCO IN WHICH HE ADDRESSES PETE ROCK'S REACTION HAS BEEN ADDED.
Yes, its a remake of T.R.O.Y, .... Yes, I did it.
It was something he wanted to do, and I thought his lyrics were cool. We did it with no samples, as per instruction, and it was pretty damn tough to pull off. I think we did a pretty good job. I did not know that Pete Rock would be so pissed..... Truth be told, I thought he was in the loop with it.. but no matter.
I certainly didn't intend to come out and shit on pete rock in any way. He's always been one of my biggest influences, and he's a hip hop legend. It feels kind of bad to have one of your idols come out and diss you. But I understand his perspective. I will say that the vast majority of kids I talk to have never heard the original, and maybe this will get them to go back and pay attention to the first record.
The legal issues with using the original made it pretty impossible from a modern major label perspective, My intent was to pay tribute in the best way I could and maybe make something cool and new, with an obvious homage to the original version.
I have tons of original beats, people that know me on here know that. Its not even the first time I've been asked to remake this track for someone. All in all I thought it came out pretty dope.
Maybe I shouldnt even be speaking on this, but there it is. Redoing it gave me a new appreciation for Pete's original production and how intricate and complicated it was. I dont blog and I'm not active on twitter, so I figured Id put this here.
Anyways, you can hate me now. I'm just trying to get over like the rest of yall though.
I mean, i know it probably doesn't mean anything, but my version was made with no samples. We called in a sax player and everything. When you look at the original, its a sample of tom scott, covering a Jefferson airplane song and using james brown drums. Not really possible to use these days.
I can't really blame anyone who knows the original for not being excited for the remake, but theres a lot of kids out there that have never heard the original before.
For what its worth, Tom Scott gave his blessing. Technically Im not even sure we needed to clear things that far as its an interpolation of a cover song.
I've got a couple other joints with dude that will hopefully make the album that are much more original. In the meantime, its cool to say I have a single for a major artist. I've been doing this shit a long time without that. No one can say I havent paid my dues.
Just wanted to come back to the strut to talk about it. Cause if it weren't for this place, I probably wouldn't have known the original in the first place. I hope that it helps to know I worshipped at the alter of mecca and the soul brother, and have tracked my own copy of honeysuckle breeze out of the dollar bins years ago.
I did my best to keep things as funky as tom scott's Birkenstocks, and I hope Pete will see this as the honest tribute it was meant to be eventually.
Oh well, hopefully y'all enjoy it and hear something more original from me next!
To read the rest of the ongoing thread, go HERE.
(Shout out and thanks to @GrandpaJesus)
UPDATE: WGCI's Tony Sculfield and the Morning Riot radio show interviewed Lupe and asked him about the Pete Rock controversy. Props to Fakeshore Drive.