Premium Pete is more than just the sneaker guy. While his IG @SneakerTubeTV is a testament to his early years in hip-hop Pete wants to be known for more than just fly kicks. Formerly of the Combat Jack Show, Pete ventured off on his own to develop his own podcast, the Premium Pete Show. In an exclusive interview with The College Of Hip Hop Pete talks success, podcasting and food.
TCOHH: Explain to The College Of Hip Hop Who Premium Pete is.
PP: Who Premium Pete is, is someone you can't explain in one sentence. Somebody that really just believes in the lifestyle and the culture, and you know, is a dot connector. I've been involved in sneaker culture for many years just collecting them, just being fresh. It's a part of New York City. It's part of just what we do. I remember when I was at an event or something like that and somebody was like 'That's Premium Pete, you know that sneaker guy'. And when they said that shit I don't know why it bothered me. And I was like man I need to work harder so people just don't think of me as the sneaker guy. Sneakers are pieces of conversation. And like yea they're fresh, but keep in mind there are millions of people who don't wear sneakers with the idea of 'Oh I'm wearing Yeezy's' or 'I'm wearing Jordan's'. They're wearing them because they need them on their feet. And I don't know why it bothered me because if someone says to a doctor 'Oh you're that doctor' he's not gonna be like 'Fuck. Why the fuck did he call me a doctor for? I do more than that'. I just felt that I didn't want to be put in one box. And I feel like in this world that happens a lot where you get put in a box.
I'm somebody who is involved in, you know, many different cultures and many different lifestyles. I'm a fan, a teacher and a learner of many different lifestyles and the cultures. So, what I did was work very hard to, you know. That's when we really went in with the podcasting and really just became more of a voice. That's when me and Bun started up You Gotta Eat This and really became not just a website and a social push but also like a marketing company. A company that could really push and help build brand awareness for other brands. So now it like 'That's Premium Pete - the Brooklyn kid, or sneaker guy, or from Combat Jack Show or You Gotta Eat This'. And then I was like now were getting somewhere because now we're beginning to grow out all this different facets of myself and that's what I wanted. I didn't want to be known as just one person.
TCOHH: What was it like growing up in NY during the 80s and 90s hip-hop era?
PP: It really was a life style, you know. hip-hop is a lifestyle. Some people think hip hop is just music. Nah, hip-hop is the way we dress, the way we walk, our mannerisms, our everything. I feel like it's the birth place of hip -hop, the mecca. I think people were just living the lifestyle not even knowing that hip-hop is more than just music. I think at that time it was more of a fad, people thought it would go away. Nobody ever thought that hip hop was forever. They figure country music, rock music, and heavy metal is forever. People from the 80s and 90s - I feel you have to thank them for pushing the culture forward and putting their stamp on something they didn't think would last forever. But it was special. NYC is tough. People really lived that shit. That's why I think people get mad about lyrics and everything like that, because the originators and forefathers of hip-hop really lived what they were spitting.
TCOHH: How did you come up with the idea for You Gotta Eat This?
PP: Me and Bun we talk a lot on the phone a lot. For years, we've had conversations about everything. Probably I would say nothing to do mostly with hip-hop, but more so everything around it and the lifestyles of hip-hop. We talked about movies and food, and different restaurants. Bun travels a lot, so he does a lot of different shows and concerts. Bun is very passionate, so he would call me all the time and tell me like 'Oh my god man I was in Germany and they had these meatballs... Pete listen'. Bun is a person who is a chameleon. He can adapt to any situations, and obviously with me being Italian we tap fun at the mannerisms and more so the verbiage of how Italians talk, so we would say things like 'This pizza? forget about it. It's amazing'. And one day we were like we should start like a blog and call it You Gotta Eat This. Kinda like 'Hey Steve man you ever had this clam sauce from Vermont?'. It's amazing, you gotta eat this. It's basically like a co-sign. So, it was just through conversation. There are so many people that I talk to and I have good conversations with, but I would say 9 out of those 10 things never happen, but that was one that did.
TCOHH: What is your idea of success, and why?
PP: That's a good question because success to most people is money, and for many years that was my thoughts and that's not really true. Success is being happy on your own terms, and if you find something you love and that makes you really happy then that's success. I think most people see success as a Rolex watch or a lot of followers on Instagram. Or success is dressing in brand name designer clothes. But for me success is seeing my kids get the best out of life and being able to provide that for them. Success to me is doing what you love every day. Success is whatever you think is success, but I think what happens is people look at other people's success for what they are doing wrong. I say look at it as inspiration for what you're doing right. Being successful is a continuing process of doing had work and enjoying the results. It's not one thing. Like my friend Dallas always says 'If you do one great thing you gotta do another'.
TCOHH: What advice can you offer someone looking to get into the podcast business?
PP: (Jokingly) Don't do it. No, I'm just kidding. In this day and age be different. For example, say it was a time when you were the only one wearing Victoria's Secret out in Detroit, then all of a sudden everyone is wearing it. And you're like 'Damn man everyone is wearing it'. That happens in everything. I know a lot of people that are like 'I wanna start a podcast, but everyone is doing it'. It happens with every single fucking thing. The thing is when it gets saturated that when you need to get creative. So, to anyone doing podcasting now, I would say be consistent, be real, be passionate, and be yourself. That would be the biggest advice I would give people.