Lupe Fiasco Samples (And Irks) Pete Rock & CL Smooth For “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”

May 22nd, 2012 // 5 Comments
Lupe Samples Ellie
Mixtape track "Lightwork" samples "Lights". Read More »
Patrick x Lupe
The Chicago pair toast "This City". Read More »
Chat With Cee Lo
Lupe takes a seat on Cee Lo's talk show. Read More »
Lupe's Lasers
Last year Fiasco topped the album chart with his LP. Read More »
Lupe Fiasco Around My Way Freedom Ain't Free

Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco, no stranger to controversy, is already in hot water over his lead single from upcoming LP Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album. The track in question, “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” samples Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s 1992 rap staple “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”, which itself samples Tom Scott’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Today”.

Turns out Pete Rock is none too thrilled over Fiasco’s borrowing from his song. “No disrespect to lupe fiasco and i like him alot but TROY should be left alone,” the rapper/producer/DJ tweeted last night. “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!”

Hear both songs below.

Lupe Fiasco — ”Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)”

Rock, who originally penned the song for a friend of his who died, later added, “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?”

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth — ”They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”

Rock’s tweets continued throughout the evening: “I’m not flattered @ all. Dat shit is wack, and the producer should be ashamed of his fuckin self. Smh… I think lupe is a great artist, I’m that angry with him but it’s a major label idea. I can feel it.”

So far Fiasco has yet to respond. This morning he simply tweeted out a link to the original “They Reminisce About You (T.R.O.Y.)” video with the hashtag #20YearsLaterStillTheBest.

For the record, here’s Tom Scott’s “Today”, which contains the original saxophone bit that’s been sampled for both songs above:

Toward the end of his Twitter rant last night, Pete Rock noted, “And let me be clear cuz a lot of y’all don’t know this. But Tom Scott himself gave me an approval for TROY, told me I did a great job!!”

So far Rock hasn’t mentioned whether or not there’s an issue of the sample not being cleared through the proper administrative channels.

Do you think Pete Rock is right to be angry over the sampling of his song, or did he overreact? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook.



  1. Naomi

    I personally don’t like when artists sample other songs from the past. It does come off as lack of originality. But I can respect Lupe because he makes honest music. I don’t know who Pete Rock is because that song came out a year before I was born, so I don’t know where I stand on this. I think Rock should be at least honored that someone who makes honest music sampled his song, but I kind of understand where he is coming from. So, I’m on the fence with this one,

    P.S.- I think Lupe’s new track is great. :)

  2. Toward the end of his Twitter rant last night, Pete Rock noted, “And let me be clear cuz a lot of y’all don’t know this. But Tom Scott himself gave me an approval for TROY, told me I did a great job!!”

  3. tate

    Love both songs, Pete Rock shouldn’t really get worked up about it, seeing he didn’t make the original. Plenty of artist put their heart into their work and plus that song came out 20 years ago. He should follow the lead of Tom Scott and let the music live on. He better be happy his song continued on with a message especially in this day and age…

    • graham

      i think he has the right. it was easy for lupe to just take the already made beat, pete actually took part of the sample and added other elements to make a beat. not only that lupe should have touched this song. his version is tame and less heartfelt next to pete and cl’s.

  4. Sharmane

    I think you should listen to Lupe’s side. I believe the man, he wouldn’t be disrespectful like that and second of all atlantic record would be all over the sampling agreements. Sad day for everyone.

Leave A Comment