The music industry is notorious for breaking up relationships. Friendships and family ties have went down in the ball of flames due to the inner strife that the industry is sickened with. The dynamic duo of Pete Rock & CL Smooth is no different. Pete Rock, one of Hip-Hop’s most celebrated underground producers, recently went on a riotous rampage against his partner in rhyme, unveiling to the world that the relationship fans figured to be rock solid was cracked at the seams.
As fans will find out shortly, CL Smooth is not the type of man to keep quiet when rivalry approaches. While on the comeback trail after years of hiatus, CL has returned to set the record straight about his strained partnership with his former producer. In one of Allhiphop.com’s most angry and curse-laden conversations ever, CL Smooth steps forth to send a message to Pete Rock that is sure to cause some controversy. Fasten your seatbelts!
Allhiphop.com: You recently did a performance at the Peace & Unity Fest in Toronto. Speak on that experience and exactly what happened there.
CL Smooth: It was a good weekend, man. I performed for 25,000 people at the Splashfest, and it was just incredible. It was a good look. I really loved the experience and I hope to do it again next year.
Allhiphop.com: What songs did you get on stage and perform for those 25,000 people in attendance?
CL Smooth: I performed my new single that I’m trying to promote, called “Love Thing.” The B-side is called “Appreciate,” and I’m trying to promote that. Those are the two current singles that I can perform on my own. Of course, I performed the essentials, so in all, there was about 13 or 14 records that I did.
Allhiphop.com: In your opinion, has your lyrical flow changed at all over the years? Cats that are in the game for over ten years tend to grow and mature with their sound.
CL Smooth: Lyrically, I have evolved because of the maturity and the growth process. You don’t normally stay artistically at one phase. Normally, if you elevate your game and you’re serious about your game, it’ll grow. I just nurtured it with the time I spent off. I nurtured my craft, kept it sharp, and kept it attentive so that I’m able to step in, be productive, and perform the way I need to perform.
Allhiphop.com: Who do you feel as the sickest flows in Hip-Hop right now? It does not matter if they wrote the rhymes themselves or if they have a ghostwriter.
CL Smooth: Right now, you have to look at the 50’s of the world, on down to the Talib Kweli’s, you have Fabolous on down to Black Thought. I’m very conscious of the music and what brands are out there. I recognize and see it because of how Rap has grown. It’s not only in New York or LA; it’s a whole movement going on outside. You have Outkast giving you an opportunity to see Lil’ Jon and all types of Rap start to emerge and hold court. I learn to recognize the different genres and different flows, and that’s what makes Rap competitive.
Allhiphop.com: In Jadakiss’s new song, “Why,” he made the statement that the Rap game is designed to keep artists broke. From your different experiences in this business, do you think that there is some truth to that?
CL Smooth: Well, I feel it’s like any job. You get a check, but it’s what you do with that check. Everybody gets paid, man. At the end of the day, there has to be somebody on your side that makes you understand that you need to put something away for a rainy f***ing day!
Allhiphop.com: Rappers seem to want to floss Maybachs and $500,000 necklaces more than they think about the future.
CL Smooth: That whole jewelry is another saga to the Rap game. That s**t is un-added pressure. N***as ain’t relating to your inside, they are relating to your exterior. What make me a man are the choices I make. I’m going to make the choice to [show that] the diamonds I wear are on the inside. You can’t blame or fault them, though. When these dudes go from nothing into one million, it’s like “Go freak off, daddy!” I did it, too. I spent $500 everyday for two years straight. But, at some point and time, you got to put the brakes on. You have to say to yourself, “F*** Jordan and Jacob, what about my enterprise?”
Allhiphop.com: Do you wish to comment on some of things that Pete Rock has been saying lately?
CL Smooth: If you’re not here to help, f*** you! Don’t act like I’m a cancer or a parasite. I’m not jealous of you! I would never be jealous of nobody with one car and one garage. I’m trying to get four cars and four garages! What is the matter with you? Come back home. I’m building houses where I sold crack at. So, don’t tell me that I haven’t changed into a better man. I’m not going to allow the negative s**t to display and take the forefront because it’s too hard to come back in the game after ten years and talk s**t to a n***a like me. I don’t even let them street n***as talk to me like that. The biggest record on Pete Rock’s album is from CL Smooth. I don’t have to make it up…ask my hood! I’m not the toughest n***a; I’m just more serious than the average man. It shows in my music, my discipline, and my enthusiasm. All of my enthusiasm is catered toward what I’m trying to build and what these n***as remember about CL and Pete Rock. I’m keeping that legacy alive. How are you going to do thirty shows with me and then tell me you don’t need me? Come on, you never had packed shows until you were with CL! You are fresh off the block, you’re getting all these shows and all this money, but you don’t need me? You need me. I’m telling you to come back home, but come home with a business mind and a plan. Kamikazes never had any plans but crash! The thing about me is I’m diplomatic because I know that overkill is overkill. A lot of times, a n***a is so scared he kills himself, man. I was just here to save that n***a, man because his spirit was broken. He stopped combing his hair and brushing his teeth, and I said to him, “Man, there’s a bigger light than that.” I told him to dust himself off and let’s get it. I just asked him to do his job. Do your job, Pete Rock! I didn’t ask him to be a superhero; I asked that n***a to make me a beat. How did you get to be you if you didn’t make CL any beats? Give me a beat, shut the f*** up, and stop trying to live my life for me. Give me the beat n***a, and let me go out here and please our public! I’m not the problem. The problem was getting your ass on that plane and displaying what you are truly gifted at. Why be a rapper when there’s no future in it for you? You are a wack ass rapper. Let’s be honest!
Allhiphop.com: He did an interview with us back in May, and he hinted that you could not make it on your own. Do you want to respond to that or not?
CL Smooth: That’s his opinion, and he could never say that to me personally. If that’s how Pete Rock lives his life, talking through the media, go ahead. I love you anyway. It takes a whole lot to be me, so I imagine it takes ten times more to be you. He knows me and his family knows me. They know how I get down. True indeed, I smack n***as heads off their shoulders! If you want to talk on the swings and talk s**t to your peers, that s**t doesn’t bother CL. It bothers CL when you lie and create a false image. Snoop Dogg said, “Come holla at me, homie, you know I love you.” How does Snoop love me and my n***a Pete don’t love me? How does Raekwon, Method Man, and the whole f***ing Wu-Tang Clan talk about how they really love me and Pete Rock don’t love me? I walked on blocks that Pete Rock can never walk on. Pete Rock, I love you baby. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. I got a good woman and a good life, so what should I be ashamed of? Pete Rock can’t ever disrespect me and not get his head smacked off. He can never say that to my face. I love him anyway. All I’m asking him to do is do the beats. The proof is there. CL Smooth is the biggest s**t on your project and you are a walking contradiction, man. We don’t have to sling no more mud. Make my beats, f****t! Stop playing games and throwing rocks at the dome. How are you going to say without you, I’m not going to make it? You got to say that about yourself. That’s kind of scary, because you are basically saying that I’m going to drown myself trying to drown this n***a. Pete Rock doesn’t have to talk to me. Make my beats though! I’ll cut you a check, you go in the studio, and make my f*cking beats, man. I don’t see anything else happening if you don’t facilitate CL Smooth.
Allhiphop.com: Is there any kind of positive spin that you can add to this whole situation?
CL Smooth: I just want people to hear the truth, man. If I was dogging that brother like he says, half of this s**t wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have an album out! At the end of the day, what’s marketable? You don’t have any new n***as on that sh*t that’s pulling some cargo and making the company ship out some joints, man. Get some n***as that push some weight instead of these light n***as that only YOU get along with. Those sucker ass meatball n***as! I gave Pete Rock what he wanted; now he’s got to give me back. After that, the chapter’s closed. You can juggle fruit stands for all I give a f***! Pete Rock ain’t even the cake…he’s the icing! I’m smooth, but I dog n***as when they play me out of pocket, man! I go to the toughest barbershop in my town where n***as get shot in the barber’s chair! I won’t make it? Man, my woman has more money than Pete Rock! That’s the truth, and she holds me down impeccably! My woman is like, “F*** Pete Rock!” Pete Rock thinks he’s the catalyst to this s**t. Pete Rock needs to play his f***ing role! He’s a spoke in the motherf*cking wheel! He better wake up quick because this world is not big and he will run into me. You will see me. By no means will I sit at home for another ten years and watch a f****t like you prosper! I take his beats and dog them out; that’s what I do. That’s what I’m built for. I take his beats and take them to the f***ing hemisphere! I’m trying to give the people what they want. Let Pete Rock know to stop throwing rocks at the dome because we will knock your teeth the f*** out! I love you, Pete Rock. Stop being a f****t and do your job.