Pete Rock Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Rakim “The Saga Begins” (1997)

Album: The 18th Letter

Label: Universal/MCA

Pete Rock: “Rakim reached out, and we met up somewhere and I gave him a CD of beats. He put the vocals down on a half inch tape, and I ended up picking up the vocals from the studio he was working at. It had to happen like that because he was having some issues with the law, so he couldn’t really leave [to go places freely]. I always listened to cats [like Rakim] to keep myself on my toes, to help inspire me to be different. I used to hang out with him in Queens. I had family out there.”

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