Pete Rock Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Public Enemy f/ Pete Rock “Shut ‘em Down (Remix)” (1991)

Album: "Shut ‘em Down" Single

Label: Def Jam

Pete Rock: “I had a relationship with Def Jam and at the time I was with a company called Untouchables with Eddie F. They would go out and get us work. I got a shot with Public Enemy, and then after that I had a huge relationship with Chuck D.

I was a fan and I used to always see them work because we used the same studio as Keith and Hank Shocklee. I used to be in there watching them. I saw Ice Cube’s album being produced, I saw a couple of Public Enemy joints being made. From then, I think they wanted to give me a shot because they were hearing about me on the come-up.

“I made that beat in like fifteen minutes, that’s what’s ill about it. Immediately when I got the opportunity to do it, I got so excited that I just started working on the beat. I got everything I needed, did it real quick fast [at home before the session] and got the sounds down, then I got in the studio and tweaked it. I chopped it, lined it up better, and perfected it in the big house.

“I [rapped on it] on my own. I just did one version with [my verse] and one without it. They picked the one with it. They loved it.”

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