Heavy D f/ Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap, Grand Puba, CL Smooth, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip “Don’t Curse” (1991)

Album: Peaceful Journey

Label: Uptown

Pete Rock: “That’s family. That’s where I got my start. [Heavy D] is my cousin. This is where it all began, ever since I was nine, ten years old. I’ve been DJing since I learned how to scratch at seven years old. My cousin Floyd, Hev’s older brother [taught me how to scratch].

“They had a little crew called Classy Rock Crew, and I was the youngest DJ, but you know, I couldn’t really go out to the parties they were doing late night. But you could catch me in their basement trying to turn on the equipment and practice DJing. My homie ‘Easy’ Lee Davis would help me perfect my scratching, being on time, and making sure I knew the speed [to match up the records].

“It was Hev’s idea to make that type of song. He used to make those type of fun songs. We used to always play around in the house and rap. But we had perfected our craft to a point where Hev was getting signed to major labels and putting records out. Hev came up with the concept, and it was his idea to get the people on it. He went out and got Kane, Q-Tip, all the people that were basically hot and on top at that time. He thought it was a great idea to engage them on the beat.

“That was actually the first time [I rapped on a record] ever. I never used to write at all. I wrote ‘Don’t Curse’ myself, but I didn’t consider myself a rapper. I didn’t feel I did too bad of a job writing that.”