Lupe Fiasco ignited a firestorm with the release of his first Food & Liquor 2 single “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” earlier this week. The track didn’t sit well with Pete Rock, who produced the 1992 sample “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.).” But after a public dispute, they have settled their differences.
Rock took to Twitter to express his outrage on Monday. “No disrespect to lupe fiasco and i like him alot but TROY should be left alone,” he tweeted. “Feel so violated, the beat is next to my heart and was made outta anguish and pain. When it’s like that it should not be touched by no one! It’s so hard for folks to make original music, I possess that, but these dudes are scared of that and this is supposed to be HIP HOP?”
The debate raged on, but by mid-week, they had reached a resolution. “The storm is over and it’s time to move on,” said the hip-hop trailblazer. “There is no Pete Rock vs. Lupe Fiasco and there never was. Lupe called me last night for the first time about the remake of my song and we worked out our differences. With that, we can do business together and focus on what we both love to do, which is make great music.”
Lupe’s label Atlantic Records released a statement to clear up the confusion. “Since there appears to be a great deal of confusion online, we want to make it clear that ‘Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)’ was in all respects fully and legally cleared,” wrote the label. “Out of respect, we did reach out to Pete Rock prior to and during the recording process. We truly support Lupe Fiasco as one of our preeminent artists and look forward to the release of Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1.”
The original song was recorded for Troy Dixon, part of the group Heavy D and The Boyz, who died in 1990. Dixon’s friends, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, released the tribute song on their album Mecca and the Soul Brother.
“The whole meaning behind ‘T.R.O.Y.’ is that it’s a song about showing respect and doing what’s right,” explained Rock. “That can’t be down played. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about Troy and Heavy. All my emotions are front and center, especially now. But as long as respect is given where respect is due, then it’s all good. That’s why we’re moving forward.”
Lupe thanked those who helped put this behind him. “Shout to the Friends&Family for bringing some internal closure to this…all g on this side Pete…Big Chuck whaddup… #MyGodFoRealListen.”
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