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Pete Rock Pays Tribute to James Brown with New Mix

Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Producer Pete Rock is often referred to as Soul Brother No. 1 by rap fans Hip Hop fans, but there’s no denying that the original Soul Brother is (and always will be) the legendary James Brown. The Godfather of Soul’s influence on Pete Rock is undeniable, so it’s natural that the veteran hitmaker would pay homage to one of the most important musicians in history.

With the James Brown biopic ‘Get On Up’ playing in movie theaters, Rock unveils a special tribute mix to the iconic soul singer. Along with this special mix, Pete also shared his memory of meeting Brown as a child.

“When I met James Brown, I think he passed along something to me when I shook his hand,” he said. “I look at that today, and I say, ‘Damn, I think James Brown gave me a piece of his [soul] power.’”

“He came to Mount Vernon and he did a concert with Bobby Bird and The JB’s in my hood at a spot called the Left Bank,” he continues. “And I’m telling you I’ve never seen Mount Vernon so poppin’ in my entire life! It was always poppin’ — don’t get it twisted — because we used to do little parties in the hood and stuff like that and everybody would come out.”

Rock said meeting his idol as a child influenced his musical upbringing and eventually got him interested in production.

“I mean I was seven years old, me and my brother Grap [Luva], and we walked in the joint and my mother talked to one of James’ bodyguards or managers or something and was asking him, ‘Yo, can my kids meet James?’” he recalls. “And the next thing you know, he came up behind us and I shook his hand and he was like, ‘God bless you man, God bless you.’ And he shook my mother’s hand and he shook my brother’s hand.”

“And it left something with me,” he added. “This was before he got on stage. He shook our hands and then we watched the show. And I left that place not the same. So you see how strong black music can be. It had a heavy impact on me in my life.”

Listen to Pete Rock’s fantastic tribute to the late and great James Brown below.

Listen to Pete Rock’s James Brown Tribute Mix

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