Pete Rock & CL Smooth “Straighten It Out” (1992)

Album: Mecca and the Soul Brother

Label: Elektra

Pete Rock: “When I’m making beats, I’m [constructing them using] whatever ideas I have in my head and whatever good records I have around me. I was playing with this one record, and I heard the sample and I liked what he was saying, but we wanted to flip it and talk about bootlegging, because that was really strong around that time. Bootlegging cassettes of albums and selling them on 125th Street.

”We filmed the video in Essex County Jail, in a real jail, and then from there we went down to 125th Street and did a reenactment of the bootleggers, and us destroying their stand selling our music and taking food out of our mouth. The people weren’t getting the quality sound, and [the bootleggers] were just making a quick dollar.

“‘Straighten it out,’ you can take that [phrase] and apply it to any situation you may be dealing with. If it’s between you and a friend and you guys have friction, ‘Straighten it out.’ Whatever business deal you got or beefs you got with people, ‘Straighten it out.’

“We watched other people get sued [for not clearing samples], but we were on a major label so we were clearing them. We had to get permission and clear the samples.”