Posted by Newson 05/22/2012 at 11:00 AM
No doubt, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” is one of the classic ’90s hip-hop songs, a heart-rending eulogy for Troy “Trouble T-Roy” Dixon of Heavy D & the Boyz, laid over Rock’s absolutely gorgeous saxophone loop lifted from musician Tom Scott’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Today.” It’s celebratory, it’s nostalgic, and it’s tear-inducingly sad, and for fans of ’90s hip-hop, it elicits a whole set of emotions and memories, like all really great music is supposed to do.
That goes double for Rock himself, apparently. The “T.R.O.Y.” producer is somewhat territorial about one of his most famous (and one of his most personal) beats, and doesn’t take too kindly to the likes of Lupe Fiasco borrowing it for his own purposes. Lupe recreated the “T.R.O.Y.” beat for his latest single “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” drawing the ire of Rock over Twitter. The legendary producer ranted:
Fair enough—it’s Pete’s beat, his memories, and his right to disapprove of Lupe’s re-do. (For what it’s worth, Rock claims he got Tom Scott’s specific approval over the “Today” sample in “T.R.O.Y.,” though whether Scott got Jefferson Airplane’s permission for his cover was not addressed.) Still, it does feel a little archaic to get so self-righteous over sampling and covering in the year 2012, even for a song as untouchable as “T.R.O.Y.”—everything belongs to everyone these days, and coming out so forcibly against a song that’s already out in the world (and isn’t that bad, and is already up to #37 on iTunes) seems kind of pointless. If all the mess gets people listening to “They Reminisce Over You” again, though, maybe it’s all for the best.
For the record, Lupe has yet to respond to Rock’s complaints, though he did tweet this just a few minutes ago…
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