Filled in by DJ Premier
In the last 20 years, there have been few hip-hop producers as prolific, talented and versatile as DJ Premier. Born Christopher Martin, the beatmaker has been almost inextricably associated with east coast rap throughout his entire career, but the Houston, Texas native is far more eclectic and unpredictable than his pedigree, and even his discography suggests. In addition to working with late rapper Guru in the group Gang Starr, he’s produced everyone from Notorious B.I.G. to Nas, Jay-Z to Janet Jackson, and even ventured into pop territory with collaborations with the likes of Christina Aguilera. But in the new film “The Re:Generation Project,” he joins several other music industry luminaries to venture into territory even he’s never explored, bringing his expertise to bear even as he’s learning new things about a completely unfamiliar genre: classical music.
The premise of the film was to pair up producers and performers like himself with musical genres they hadn’t worked in, and Premier found himself working with a live orchestra to re-record segments he borrowed from composers like Vivaldi and Brahms. Crave Online caught up with Premier last week via telephone to discuss the process of immersing himself in classical music, experimenting with sources of inspiration disparate even for a producer whose bread and butter is sampling, and moving forward as a producer and performer whose musical palette only continues to expand. Additionally, he offered an unexpected scoop for longtime fans who have been waiting for a reunion between him and one of his most gifted collaborators: Jeru the Damaja.