It’s not every day you get to interview a true hip-hop legend, someone who has paid their dues ten times over and always held on to their core values despite the ever-changing musical landscape. That kind of strength and character not only made Preem’s signature drums and crisp scratches great but immortal, destined to live forever in the same vein as Miles Davis, James Brown and Bob Marley. And sure, DJ Premier has been doing more interviews as of late to promote his upcoming compilation Year Round Records: Get Used to Us, but it’s not until you hear his scratchy, deep baritone vibrating through your cell phone speaker that it really hits you that you’re carrying on a conversation with THE DJ Premier, the man responsible for crafting countless classics as one-half of Gang Starr while still snapping necks with the likes of Jeru the Damaja, KRS-One, the Group Home, Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Cormega, Screwball and Nas (among many, many others).
As Primo’s voice battles the static on our phone connection, I can tell he’s excited about where his talents have been taking him lately, as he’s wrapping up his compilation album along with albums from NYGz, Khaleel and MC Eiht and Young Malay while continuing work on signee Nick Javas’ debut album Destination Unknown, DJ Premier Versus Pete Rock and a new KRS-One album Return of the Boom Bip. But right now, Premier is more hyped over what just transpired in his day. DJ Swa, a talented DJ from France, was hanging out with Premier and asked to go to Queensbridge to sit on the same park bench where Nas once sat to write Illmatic. Not only did Preem take Swa to QB, he took him to Nas’ old apartment. The current tenant, upon recognizing Premier, invited the two of them into Nasir’s old stomping grounds for a makeshift tour that reduced Swa to tears.
As soon as Premier drops Swa off at the airport, it’s back to the grind, which means answering questions that I’ve been mentally storing ever since I heard his first scratch. Thus began an interview that flowed more like a conversation that ranged from his upcoming projects to staying motivated to why Busta Rhymes hasn’t been able to find a suitable banger from the production god. Read on for the full, unedited DJ Premier HipHopGame interview.
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