DJ Premier Blog

Torii Wolf – Free (Feat. Macklemore & DJ Premier) (Prod. by King of Chill) CDQ

New track from the upcoming album of Torii Wolf “Flow Riiot” (with 9 Premo productions on it!!), out in September 29th. Here’s more details about the single “Free”:

“When we had our first meeting to compile which songs were going to make the album [Wolf’s upcoming Flow Riott], King of Chill plays this track that I hadn’t heard,” Premier told Complex. “It was only a beat and Torii was singing a line from the Police’s ‘Voices Inside My Head.’ I asked both of them, why have I never heard this? It needed lyrics, but we removed the hook because I wanted to scratch on it. Torii came back to the studio, wrote and recorded her vocals and she decided to call it ‘Free.’ I was instantly hooked on this being one of the single releases from the album.”

The track’s subject matter holds very special meaning for Wolf as well.

“‘Free’ is a special tune. It’s very relatable,” she explained. “True freedom comes from within; it’s the battle we face each day with our own identity. Having the confidence to be comfortable in our skin and with who we are; and being our true authentic selves. I find the content of someone else’s mind most attractive.

She continued, “Feeling free in my gender fluidity and the way I connect with other humans is vital to my being. To feel safe in outwardly expressing what it is that ignites a spark in me can be very challenging in the society we live in. However, it’s only harder when I try and resist it. It feels very important for me to lead by example in sharing with others how we are in control of our own destiny. To be in touch with ourselves in knowing what we want, who we are and what feels good is such a gift. It radiates and it is very liberating. Allowing your spirit to shine can be contagious and that freedom from within is the light that we all need.”

Despite the fact that Wolf didn’t mention the song’s deeper meaning to Macklemore, he still hit on it in his verses.

“Without even getting too in-depth with him conceptually, Macklemore’s verse fell so in line with the feel so organically,” Wolf added. “Ben’s words are so dope and I feel so grateful to hold space for them on this record. ‘My spar partner is the devil, but I train with God’ and ‘As long as I’m me, then you know that I’m free’ are such incredible lines that truly resonate.”

The song’s artwork was done by the mother-daughter team of Amanda and Jaxon Demme. Amanda, who also created the artwork for the DJ Premier/Royce Da 5’9″ collaboration PRhyme, has a long history in the entertainment business, having done music supervision for movies like Judgment Night, Blow, Garden State, and Mean Girls.

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Related: TORII WOLF EXPLAINS NEW SINGLE “1ST” & WORKING WITH DJ PREMIER

Hendrix Lives On In the Hearts of Hip-Hop Producers (And the Internet)


There’s a saying that heroes never die, they just get sampled. The art of sampling is a cornerstone of hip-hop culture, and it’s also become a vital part of keeping the legacy of older artists alive. When a sample is done right, it can spark fresh interest in a classic or obscure song and bring new attention to deserving influential artists.

They say that game recognizes game, and that’s definitely the case when it comes to the most talented producers. These are people with record-collections that will make your eyes bug out. They have a unique ability to introduce listeners to brand-new sounds and make you hear classics in a unique way you never thought possible. Nowhere is this more evident than with the catalog of Jimi Hendrix.

The rock icon has been sampled in some of hip-hop’s most recognizable songs including classic tracks like The Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By” and A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario.” Hendrix is one of those artists with such a rich catalog of music (despite his tragically short career) that his samples appear everywhere from the old school to the new school. Rick Ross can be found sampling Hendrix’s blistering hit “Fire” for the song “The World is Ours” with Pharrell and Meek Mill. For another terrific example, look no further than the master himself, DJ Premier. Premier has flipped tons of samples during his career with Gang Starr, but one that stands out in particular for me is the way he puts Hendrix’s “Stone Free” on its ear in the remix for “The Militia II.” It’s such a simple riff, but Premier renders it nearly unrecognizable as it becomes the backbone of the driving track.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hendrix has such an influence on hip-hop, despite the disparity in genre. As a matter of fact, one of his old producers said that if he was alive today Hendrix might have gotten into rap. Given his willingness to push boundaries and constantly experiment with what’s possible in music, it makes sense that he would continue to be on the cutting edge of industry. Hendrix was an innovator that tested the limits of what’s possible not only with a guitar, but also with production and technology.

That’s why it’s more than just fresh music that’s helping to keep Hendrix at the front of the public consciousness. We still see his legend all over the internet in everything from tribute pages to streaming albums and now there’s video games, too. An online slot game made with the musician’s likeness and music as part of a collection of multiple big name rock band branded slots is a fun way for fans to kick it with the rock god while playing some casual games. These games have proven to be an effective method for older artists to get their names—and their music—in front of fans. They also help to keep influencing new generations beyond their established discographies.

Jimi Hendrix remains one of the most iconic recording artists that ever lived and he managed to accomplish more in a little less than ten years than most musicians do in their entire lives. The affect of his music can still be felt through his classic albums and the producers who continue mining his catalog for some of the best beats in hip-hop.

DJ Premier interview with Philaflava

STREAM NOW: Which Way Iz West by MC Eiht (Executive Prod. by DJ Premier)

Before the first bicoastal dart was ever fired in the much-hyped East/West rivalry of the late-90s, two of hip-hop’s finest had already bridged that proverbial gap. MC Eiht of Compton’s Most Wanted and DJ Premier were still cementing their respective status as legends when they collaborated on wax back in 1992. The resulting remix of “Def Wish II,” from CMW’s classic Music To Driveby manifesto, paired the best of both coasts: gangsta rap’s reigning menace and boom-bap’s principal architect.

Twenty-five years later, the cross-country homies have finally made good on their promise to expand that collaboration into a full-length album. The long-awaited Which Way Iz West — out June 30 and jointly released by Eiht’s Blue Stamp label and Preemo’s Year Round Records — reunites the emcee who put the “GEAH” in Cali gangsta-ism and the producer synonymous with New York’s sonic boom.

Executive produced by DJ Premier, the 15-track release finds Eiht back in the driver’s seat after a decade-long break since his last solo LP. Far from sacrificing West Coast riding music for the East’s boom-bap, Premier oversees a solid mashup by sharing the bulk of production duties with Eiht’s longtime collaborator Brenk Sinatra.

In an era defined by bluster, Eiht always steeped his stories in something more akin to the blues — literally and figuratively. The narratives told by the Tragniew Park Compton Crip reflected a cold-hearted reality where the anti-hero always met a tragic end. That’s what made his Menace II Society theme song (“Streiht Up Menace”) a perfect synopsis of the 1993 hood classic in which he co-starred.

On Which Way Iz West, the plot is driven, in part, by his own survival as an OG. The sinister sneer that defined Eiht’s voice once upon a rhyme has aged into a throaty groan, the better to hear his world-weary observations. On standout track “Last Ones Left,” he reunites with Compton’s Most Wanted cronies Chill and Boom Bam for an ill eulogy: “And rest in peace to the dearly departed / shots rang through, my homeboys caught it (damn) / That’s why I stick to the format / it’s killers right here cuz, you know where the war’s at.”

The hood ain’t the only thing bound to take him under. Album closer “You Nia’z” finds Eiht lamenting how the game has changed since the era when emcees paid the cost to be the boss: “And these Internet sites, with their forums and fights / another day, another new n**** that they like.”

As the title suggests, Which Way Iz West stars a cast of left-coast heavies from Eiht’s era: Kurupt, WC, Lady of Rage, B-Real, Xzibit, MayLAy and The Outlawz. Even New York underground legend Bumpy Knuckles makes a guest appearance, as does New Orleans’ own Big Mike.

But this is Eiht’s murder show, with Preemo executive producing, all the way down to the very last GEAHHH.

STREAM HERE

Out 30th of June on Year Round Records! Support!!

MC Eiht – Compton Zoo (Prod by Brenk Sinatra) Video Clip

Premo on the cuts!

MC Eiht – Compton Zoo (Prod. by Brenk Sinatra) (Scratches by DJ Premier) CDQ

New MC Eitht droppin’ end of this month on Blue Stamp/YRR yo! Enjoy:

Related: MC EIHT – REPRESENT LIKE THIS (FEAT. WC) (PRODUCED BY BRENK SINATRA) (SCRATCHES BY DJ PREMIER) (MUSIC VIDEO)

Cherub – My Space Baby (Prod. by DJ Premier) Video Clip

Gang Starr – Rite Where U Stand / Skills (Live on The Orlando Jones Show July 15, 2003)

Jeru The Damaja – Come Clean (Live on Soul Train February 19, 1994)

MC Eiht – Represent Like This (Feat. WC) (Produced by Brenk Sinatra) (Scratches by DJ Premier) (Music Video)




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