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.