On Tuesday, the heralded hip-hop producer took to Twitter and lashed out at the Chicago MC for recording “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” a remake of his and CL Smooth’s 1992 single “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” but a day later tweeted that he and Lu had worked out their differences. But according to Lupe, that’s not the case.
“We wasn’t on the phone like, ‘Oh, I love you, Pete.’ At the end of the day, I was hot. My crew was hot, the people who put it together was hot, my record company was hot,” Fiasco said on Thursday morning (May 24) when he called into MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway’s “Sway in the Morning Show” on Shade 45.
The original “T.R.O.Y.” serves as a dedication to Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s fallen friend Troy “Trouble T” Dixon and samples Tom Scott’s 1967 jazz record “Today.” After hearing Lupe’s “Around My Way” on Tuesday, Rock took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the 2012 version of the song he popularized. “No disrespect to lupe fiasco and i like him alot but TROY should be left alone. 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,” he wrote.
“He wasn’t supposed to say that,” Lu said in response to Pete’s tweet about plans to collaborate, which has now been deleted from his account. “He was supposed to say the same sh– he said on the phone, ‘Yo man it was my bad, that was wack, it was f—ed up for me to say that, it was disrespectful, I was 100 percent in the wrong, I apologize.’ That’s what he was supposed to say.”
Lupe says that the remake should have come as no surprise to Pete because members of Lupe’s team reached out to the producer about using his classic instrumental back in November 2011. He said Rock gave them his blessing, but because “T.R.O.Y.” isn’t an original composition, Lupe had to remake the beat using “Today” just as Pete did back in 1992.
“The funky part is you ain’t even gotta go through Pete Rock to clear it because he don’t even own it,” Lupe said. “Then he comes on Twitter… the same day the joint is released and bodies me like that? And bodies my crew like that? And just hits on us like that? That’s foul.”
Though upset, Lupe says that his intent was to do something positive and pay homage to Pete Rock while also spreading a thoughtful message through his music. On “Around My Way” the “Kick, Push” MC rhymes about socio-political ills in Ghana and corruption in the oil industry.
“You let all these other dudes rap on it, but you sh– on me? It’s like damn, it’s me, kid,” Fiasco said pointing out his progressive hip-hop catalog. “I don’t know how to respect that. Part of me comes from the streets, straight from the streets and part of me don’t know how to respect that.”
What do you think of Lupe Fiasco’s “Around My Way”? Tell us in the comments.