Editor’s note: In “Tweets Is Watching,” Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.
Pete Rock releases his collaborative project with the retro-tastic Camp Lo duo next week. Titled 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s Part 2, the freebie download is inspired by Gary Weis’s 1979 South Bronx-based gang documentary. Ahead of the album’s release, here’s the Soul Brother Number One talking through his recent tweets about running into members of The Manhattans at an Atlanta airport, being an unabashed comic book nerd, and whether he created rap’s greatest ever remix.
80 Blocks From Tiffany’s drops in 6 days! Comes with a free neck brace hahahahaha! #realhiphop
— TheRealPeteRock (@PeteRock) July 24, 2013
When did you first come across 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s?
I saw the documentary about a year ago for the first time. I fell in love with it. One of the guys in the group, Cheeba, introduced it to me and he told me he wanted to apply the name of it to an album, which I thought was a great idea. We’re also all from the Bronx, which is one of the key things. Then after I saw the documentary I was really blown away.
What’s your favorite scene in the documentary?
Probably the way Fly was telling the story in the end, I thought that was pretty funny. But it’s so many different parts! You got to understand, being from the Bronx it’s something special that I love.
What were Camp Lo like in the studio?
They’re great. They’re real easy to work with and real witty. They’ve still got it; they haven’t lost it from the ’90s. It was really exciting and they’re real people, they use the slang like they use it on wax.
— Darryl Makes Comics (@DMCMakesComics) July 23, 2013
Did you donate to DMC’s comic book kick-starter?
I didn’t get to, no! But he reached out to me about it. We’re both comic book heads. I’m into Marvel comic books and I’ve been a collector since a kid, ha ha! We’ve been into hero collecting books and so when DMC reached out to me I was real intrigued. He wanted me to be involved, but we haven’t locked heads about it yet ’cause of scheduling.
So you were a Marvel kid not a DC fan?
Of course, Marvel all day! Even when the big movies started there were a couple of Marvel movies that didn’t do so well but I have Captain America on DVD and Fantastic Four on VHS and it was the Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four. Things like that are cool to look back on. When the new movies start it’s like a continuation of the ideas that Marvel stories should be doing.
If there was a Pete Rock super-hero, what would his power be?
Probably like flying disc-stars! You know how the Chinese karate dudes have the little stars they throw? Mine would be little 45s! That would be a part of a weapon in my utility belt, using my musical strength.
@PeteRock “shut em down rmx” woooooooooooooo possibly the best rmx ever!!!
— PHAROAHE MONCH (@pharoahemonch) July 18, 2013
Do you agree with Pharoahe Monch that “Shut ‘Em Down” is the best remix ever?
Yes, I agree! Ha ha, I agree! Pharoahe is a good guy. I love working with Pharoahe.
When you first got the chance to remix “Shut ‘Em Down,” what was the first idea that came to mind?
My first thought was to make it better than the original. That was how I came up in the game–it wasn’t confrontational, just whoever did the original I had to blow ’em away with the remix. That was my goal. It’s just something I’ve always felt. I did my job right on that one.
Were their any alternate remixes to “Shut ‘Em Down” that you considered before the one that was released?
Nah, but I’ve done that with other remixes. I even did two different remixes of “Nighttrain” for Public Enemy.
Were you nervous of what Chuck D would think of the remixes?
Of course I was, I was young, very very young at the time, and Chuck D was established and well known and I wanted to impress him and I think I did.
Where did you meet The Manhattans?
That was at the airport in Atlanta. Their music actually was the soundtrack to my life growing up, all these great songs my mom would play like “Kiss and Say Goodbye.” I noticed the lead singer and the other guy, but I didn’t want to say anything ’cause I might have been wrong. So I just came over and I asked him and it was.
Did you ask them many questions?
Not really, just basically told them how much of a fan I was and how their music helped soundtrack my life. I took a picture with the cell-phone and that was it!
Dem joints is different but not sure I would pay 500.00 stacks for 1 fitted hat lol.
— TheRealPeteRock (@PeteRock) July 21, 2013
What was the $500 hat you said was way too expensive?
I saw some hats that I think Kanye and Don C are doing together in a store in D.C. I think they’re snakeskin and they were NBA teams and they were $500 a piece. I was like, well they look good but I don’t know if I’m paying that much for a hat when I’ve got so many fitteds that I haven’t paid anywhere near that for, you know what I mean?
What’s the most you would pay for a hat?
About 30 bucks, ha ha!
What’s the most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought?
Probably a couple of pairs of jeans that I paid like one or two hundred dollars for. You remember the Evisus that came out that was expensive, and the Guess jeans, those was expensive. It’s a lot of jeans that I’ve paid for.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2013