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DJ Premier Talks ‘Compton,’ Working With Dr. Dre for the First Time & Why ‘Detox’ Is Dead

It’s hard to name two hip-hop producers more iconic than DJ Premier and Dr. Dre. They’ve both had a hand in the genre’s growing canon, yet despite traveling in the same circles for more than 25 years, the pair had never worked together — until now.

Compton, Dr. Dre’s first album in 16 years (which went on sale Friday), features “Animals,” the pair’s first collaboration. Billboard spoke to Premier about his contribution to the album, his history with Dr. Dre and what it means to be a hip-hop producer.

When did you first meet Dr. Dre?

We met back in 1989, when my first Gang Starr album, No More Mr. Nice Guy, came out. We had a release party, and N.W.A came. Eazy-E came, MC Ren came, and Dre came. They were in town, people were still new to N.W.A, but they were starting to make a little noise to where they were getting accepted in New York.

They came to support our album, so we he had met them — but as far as having conversations and being around the recording process, I was around right after The Chronic came out, and I was there for when [Snoop Dogg’s] Doggystyle was still being recorded. I knew him and Suge [Knight] around that time, so we were already cool. I just had never really done any work with him on that process.

I’d recorded and produced records for [Death Row Records artist] Lady of Rage — [but] Dre had already left Death Row at that time, so he wasn’t around.

Was there ever any tension as far as West Coast vs. East Coast?

It’s whatever — people like me and Dre are music people, so we’re beyond just hip-hop. We’re purists. Not everybody who makes beats is a purist.

I did his radio show [The Pharmacy on Beats 1] that’s going to air in a couple weeks, and he dedicated the whole show to my career. We talked about the same thing you just asked — for one, what’s the difference between a producer and a beatmaker? I explained how I see it, and he felt the same way.

We don’t just lay the beats down — we’re coaches. We tell you, “Your voice squeaked right there. You need to go back. Let’s fix that line,” or “Can you do that again with more energy?” or “Can you say this better?” We’re about more than just putting the track down and calling it a day.

How did “Animals,” your track on Compton, come together?

He was working on a different project — not for the movie [Straight Outta Compton], he just started recording again for a different project — so I was already sending him tracks because we spoke to each other last year.

He told me, “I want to start recording, doing some new music, and I want you to get involved. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them yet, but I’d love for you to send a few tracks if you have time.” I said, “Yeah, I’ll put something together,” and I sent him like three or four. One he liked right off the bat, and he said, “I’m going to work on this.” He told me, “I don’t have a set time for it, but I do want to do it.”

I went to Moscow earlier this year to work with, like, the top producer in Moscow, which I don’t do — I don’t need to work with any producers. The pitch was for me to get with a Russian producer, to use Russian samples and music, and then to have MF Doom rap on it. I was like, “Hell yeah,” because me and MF Doom had just done a song for the PRhyme deluxe album that’s about to be released. To get the opportunity to work with him on another project, with the producer in Russia, who goes by the name of BMB Spacekid.

When we were about to head out to Moscow, MF Doom fell ill and wasn’t able to come out, according to what they told us. I’m like, “Well, who are you going to get to replace him?” He said, “We’re going to get a singer instead of a rapper, Anderson .Paak.” I was like, “Who is that?” They asked if I was down to do it with him, and I said, “I gotta make sure I like him first, I’ve never heard of him.”

They sent me some YouTube links, and there was one called “Suede.” I saw Knxwledge doing the beat, and I know Knxwledge and his work on Stone’s Throw. So I already liked the track, and then I just loved the way [.Paak] looked in the video and his whole demeanor. I told them, “I’m totally in.”

Once we got out there, we recorded two tracks. The first one was the one that ended up on the Compton soundtrack — we didn’t have any vocals on it, it was just a beat. BMB [Spacekid] programmed the drums. I liked the way he laid it down, I found some samples and stuff I liked, I laid that down and programmed it to have the same bounce that I do, so it would have the Premier style of sound. That’s all we did to it — it had a couple change-ups, but mostly we left it alone and started working on another track.

The second track was more of a bounce record, which is already out, through Boiler Room TV. That’s how the whole project had come about, because I had done it with PRhyme, and [Boiler Room] was connected with people in Moscow, and they just wanted to show the process of me connecting with a producer in another country.

They wanted to go with the second track, which ended up being called “Til It’s Done,” which has already come out. The first track was just sitting on the back burner, to be used for whatever we wanted to.

When the whole Freddie Gray thing happened in Baltimore, Anderson called me and was like, “I’m real angry with what’s going on with the police, and I just wrote a song to that other beat. I want to sent it to you and see what you think — maybe we could leak it out, put it out in the streets and show that we’re angry too.”

When he sent it to me it was called “F.S.U.” — F— Shit Up. In the hook he’s saying, “Don’t come around these parts, the whole world thinks we’re animals/ The only way they want to turn the cameras on is when we’re f—ing shit up.” When he said that, I was like, “Yo that’s dope.” Anderson just happened to be going to a meeting with Dre — he had already done a few songs with him, through their management. Anderson’s from the West Coast as well.

When he told him he had a record with Premier that he did in Moscow, Dre said, “Let me hear it.” Once he played it for him, [Dre] called right away and said, “Yo, I want to do this song for my soundtrack. I decided to do a soundtrack album last minute, and I want to put it out with the movie.”

I said, “What do you want to do?” And he said, “I want to put a verse on it.” Like, shit, Dre rapping on a verse? Hell yeah. The song was already done, and I explained how it came about with BMB Spacekid. He said, “I’ll spit the verse and let you hear it and make sure you’re cool with it, and if so let’s add on to it. Come out to L.A. and we can add on a few more things to it.”

I flew out just to add a few more things to the production side with some of his musicians. A couple more vocals were added in the hook, Dre already had his verse down — even Talib Kweli showed up and put a verse on it. We’re not going to use it for the album version, but I told him maybe we can do a remix version and maybe add Common or somebody. That kind of commentary with police brutality and killing black men is totally up their alley.

Next thing you know, it’s on the soundtrack.

Does Dre’s verse fit in with the theme of fighting police brutality?

[Dre] showed me [Straight Outta Compton] in the studio, so I got to feel the whole energy of the movie. He had already said that the 1992 riots, with everything going on with the police after the Rodney King beating, was totally in that same vein as Anderson .Paak’s lyrics. His verse is about the same thing: Why the f— are they hassling me? They’re harassing us and doing all this stuff, so it’s still relevant to this day with how we’re being treated.

He said, “All I’m going to do is change the title, from ‘F.S.U.’ to ‘Animals,'” because that’s what Anderson says in the hook.

Is this the first time you’ve worked together, officially?

Yes, this is the first time. We went in the booth together and talked a little shit at the end of the song, me and him. I scratched on it, with my traditional scratches. Just saying that we’re collaborating together — buggin’ out and having fun. A real dope experience.

Have you gotten to listen to the rest of the album?

First thing I asked him was how many songs he had. He said, “16.” I was like, “Wow, that’s a lot.” People don’t do that anymore.

I heard about seven of them, they were all dope.

What’s the vibe like?

It’s very now. Even just the people that are on it… Snoop Dogg, you’re not even going to know it’s Snoop. He played that one for me, it’s like a rock-type of song. When he played it for me — I went to the house that night, to do some work at his home studio — we’re chillin’ and he’s playing this hard guitar shit and I’m just boppin’ my head and all of a sudden the vocals come on and I’m like, “Damn, who’s that guy?” He said, “That’s Snoop.” I’m like, “That’s Snoop?!” You’re gonna be surprised — it doesn’t sound like “One, two, three and a four” [imitating Snoop Dogg’s voice]. It’s a whole different thing.

Dre just looked so happy — you can tell that he knows this album’s solid.

Did he talk to you at all about scrapping Detox?

Yeah, he just said it’s not up to his standards of quality. He said it is officially over. But when they hear this album, they’ll understand why. It’s well-produced, well-done — he does this record with The Game that’s just straight raw boom-bap, hard lyrics and head-nodding, snap yo’ neck type shit. “All in a Day’s Work” is crazy — I kept bothering him while he’s recording, like, “Can you play ‘All in a Day’s Work’ again?”

There’s this one called “Deep Water,” I got to watch them record that — Anderson .Paak recording the drowning. He’s rehearsing with a bottle of water, swigging the water [makes choking noises], and I think that he’s choking for real. I get up to grab him to give him the Heimlich maneuver, and he was like, “I’m just rehearsing!” He was like shaking his body and trembling, but he was just preparing to do what Dre wanted him to do to sound like a drowning man. Once they have all the effects on it, it sounds like a guy really drowning.

It was fun to witness all of that stuff.

How long were you guys in the studio together?

Four days the first week. I went home, and he flew me out three days later to mix it down and to put on the finishing touches on it. [Dre] was like, “Yo, I’m making this date.” I said, “You still got six more [songs] to go!” He goes, “I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it.” Everyone’s always like, “Oh, it’s coming out” and it doesn’t.

The day that I was leaving from finishing my song, all of a sudden he had a chart on a dry-erase board. He had the sequence — he was moving fast, like “I’m gonna make this date.” Very determined. He said once the movie got to a certain point, he started watching it and was like, “You know what — I’m doing an album right now.” That’s what inspired him to do it.


DJ Premier on the Making of “Animals”, Working With Dr. Dre on “Compton”

While DJ Premier has known Dr. Dre since the late ’80s, the two legends of their respective coasts had never made music together, but that just changed with the release of Dre’s Compton album, the first project from the gangster rapper turned production god turned headphone mogul in 16 years.

It all started about a year ago when Dre called Premo, asking him if he had any beats for a new project. At the time Premier didn’t know anything about this mystery project except that Dre assured him that Detox had been scrapped, but when the good doctor calls, you answer. So Premier sent him a folder of five beats and kept his fingers crossed. It was just hours later though when he heard back.

“I was headed to Korea, the plane was literally lifting off, and my phone goes off,” DJ Premier told me when I reached him by phone. “And he [Dre] goes, ‘Yo, this is amazing, this is dope.’ I thought wow, what timing, right on liftoff. At least I got that text to let me know I was on the right track.”

Premier hoped for the best and the two stayed in touch, but it became clear that Dr. Dre was so busy working on the N.W.A. movie it would be a while before anything firm crystallized. Fate, however, would continue to bring Premier into Dr. Dre’s mysterious project. Premier got connected with Anderson .Paak during work on a collaborative project with Russian producer BMB Spacekid that would result in “Til Its Done.” The trio parted ways, but shortly after they finished Premier got another call from Paak, who had continued to write to another beat they had created.

“The Freddie Gray murder by the police happened, the riots in Baltimore jumped off, so Anderson hit me up and said he was really angry about what had happened, that he had made a song about it,” recounted Premier. “At the time it was called ‘FSU’, which means Fucking Shit Up, talking about how they treats us like animals, the only time they turn the cameras on is when we’re fucking shit up.”

They planned on releasing the song as a loose single to show their support for Baltimore, but at the same time Anderson .Paak was fortioutusly meeting with Dre and told Dre that he and Premier had just finished working together. “Paak played it for him and Dre said, ‘This totally fits this soundtrack I decided to do for the movie’ – music inspired by the film, it’s not in the movie. Dre wanted to rap on it, so since the song was already finished we changed the arrangement, and he had me come out to L.A. to work on it,” said Premier.

And just like that, after decades of waiting for the hip-hop planets to align, DJ Premier was in Dr. Dre’s home studio making music, working to seamlessly blend Premo’s classic east coast sound with Dre’s boming west coast DNA. “We started off by getting on the mic, talking shit,” said Premier. “And then I started scratching, cutting in other cuts: Eminem, Ed O.G., Torae, Rhettmatic was there and gave me a line to scratch and close it out. And it was real cool, making magic happen. But I kept quiet until now.”


The Making of Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal”

There are few rap acts that stuck to their guns quite like Gang Starr. Comprised of DJ Premier the late, great Guru, the duo’s sound came to define the purist hip-hop standard of the ’90s. They crafted a style that was true to New York despite the fact that neither of them actually hailed from New York. The duo never sold millions and millions of records, but they never made a bad album either. While they made plenty of great songs, in 1994 they released “Mass Appeal”—the quintessential Gang Starr record and a song truly worthy of a Magnum Opus treatment.

We got with DJ Premier, Guru’s close friend Big Shug of Gang Starr Foundation, and the group’s managers Patrick Moxey and Phat Gary to talk about the making of the song. What we found out is that despite the fact that the song made fun of rappers who aspired for mass appeal, Guru’s actually aspired for commercial relevance himself. But, of course, the group never abandoned their aesthetic. Ironically, “Mass Appeal” became the group’s biggest hit thanks in part to Premier’s hypnotic beat.

We also talked to Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Stretch​ Armstrong about the group’s lasting impact and legacy. And to round things out, veteran hip-hop journalist Chairman Mao and Complex’s own Editor-In-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever explained how Gang Starr took the road less taken to achieve their legendary status.

RIP Keith “Guru” Elam.

Props to Complex

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DJ Premier interview with Beatleg (Japan)

Here’s an interview done by Kevin Glenz in January for a Japanese magazine called Beatleg:

When magazines and websites do surveys on the greatest hip hop producers of all time, DJ Premier is almost always near the top, if not number one. As one half of the duo Gang Starr with late rapper Guru, he hit the scene in 1989 with the breakthrough single “Manifest” and quickly became one of the most in-demand beat makers in hip hop. Initially, after Gang Starr’s single “Jazz Thing,” featuring Branford Marsalis and included on the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, made waves internationally, he was sought out for the “jazzy hip hop” sound, working with Soul II Soul, Neneh Cherry, and Loose Ends. He also raised his profile with tracks for hip hop stars Ice T, Heavy D & the Boyz and Lord Finesse. Then came Gang Starr’s third album Daily Operation in 1992, with a harder-edged sound that showcased Premier’s innovative approach to chopping up samples, programming thumping drums, and putting his signature scratches on every hook. The B-side of that album’s first single “Take it Personal,” a collaboration with Nice & Smooth called “DWYCK,” became a massive club hit. Guru launched his solo project Jazzmatazz, while Premier became New York hip hop’s top producer, doing most of the Return of the Boom Bap solo album for KRS-One (Boogie Down Productions). Along with several more Gang Starr LPs and singles, including the gold-selling Moment of Truth, he produced tracks on the albums now considered “golden era” classics, including Nas’ Illmatic, Notorious BIG’s Ready to Die, and Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt. The final Gang Starr album was released in 2003 (Guru died of cancer in 2010), but Premier has never stopped working, producing literally hundreds of tracks and several full-album projects for hip-hop legends (Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim), superstars (Kanye West, Snoop Dogg) and underground heroes (M.O.P., Bumpy Knuckles), and even R&B singers (Janet Jackson, D’Angelo, Christina Aguilera) and rock artists (Robbie Robertson, Maroon 5).
He just released the album PRhyme, a collaboration with Royce da 5’9”, who has worked extensively with Eminem and Dr. Dre. But on his Japan tour in January, he debuted a brand new 4-piece band that played along with his beats and scratches at Billboard Live in both Tokyo and Osaka.
As he sipped on hot tea with lemon to soothe his sore throat, we asked Premier how it felt to be on stage with a band for the first time.

“It’s dope, man. I’m the type of person that’s very stuck in my ways, from all I’ve done and accomplished. And this was a last-minute thing, brought up by my manager and also Yuji who brought us out here. Plus I’m moving from my studio from 24 years, D&D, so that’s a big stress on my brain. And I’ve revamped my business with my team to go back to the way I was in the ‘90s, like lickety-split. I can do 10-15 records in a week – done! Like, completely recorded, mixed, out there. So I wanted to go back to that work ethic, and it feels good to do that.
But I’m a challenge guy. I like challenges that will be tough to pull off. So that idea (the band) being pitched to me so soon from moving and getting the studio set up was a challenge – I mean, where are we gonna rehearse? What songs are we gonna do? You want 70 minutes? OK. So at first I was like, I don’t really have time to concentrate on a band! That’s a lot of individuals mixed in with the way I do my thing. But it’s just crazy, man. We just clicked like that. I feel like I’ve been on the road with them for a while. And this is just my third day with them!”

After doing two shows at Billboard Live Tokyo, Premier and the band played at a packed club at 2 a.m. His manager confirmed that there were at least 700 people in the main room, and probably a total of 1200 that paid to get into the venue. Premier had also sold out the Billboard Live on Sunday.

“It’s been different, man. We had to learn 23 songs. I know my stuff, but I had to learn how we would gel together. We’ve got Brady with the bass, Lenny on the drums, Corey on the trombone and keys and Taku on the keyboard and trumpet. Sometimes I would call and ask them to give me something, and they were right on time. They did some weird shit last night and I was like ‘What the fuck was that?’ because they didn’t do it the previous night, but it just adds flavors to the show. You know, even when we clash or miss a spot, we all either look and laugh or we just recover. And with a new group of people that might take a minute, but we’ll mess up and recover right away, because that’s how much we’re in sync. Four days of rehearsal, and I came out here to do a couple of DJ gigs in Korea, and then we rehearsed the day of the show here.”

Premier saw James Brown when he was six years old, which left a huge impression on him. We asked if he feels like James Brown with his own band on stage.

“Not in the same way. He danced. I got old knees! And I’m a dancing dude, too. But he’s in my psyche when I do whatever I do. Everything is just off the vibe of the music.
And part of it is from watching other MCs do it live. Like the way he would point. All that stuff we borrow from each other, but you still make it your own style. And that’s being professional with your business, especially with your craft. But those guys, man, in this short period of time, I’m already convinced if we do more band stuff or are gonna make an album, I want to do it with them. We’re gonna do some funky things.”

We told Premier that beatleg magazine (a Japanese print publication) is for hardcore music fans, the “maniacs.” He immediately replied, “Like myself.” I asked him to talk about the breadth of his music interests.

“I remember when MTV came out. My dad told me, “You ain’t getting no cable TV! You need to study!” That’s my father!
But I watched TV and when they showed the ad that there would be a music channel that was 24 hours of music, already I was like, “Wow!” At the time I was thinking there was gonna be more black stuff in there. But when they advertised, I totally remember them showing David Byrne from Talking Heads in the ‘Once in a Lifetime’ video, and he had the suit and the glasses and the way he was moving and the duplicates of him, I was like, ‘What the fuck is that?’ Because he looked like that but it also had some funk to it. So that made me go, ‘Who are they?’ Just from the music and the look. I caught it because they didn’t have a lot of content then and kept repeating the same stuff. And I’d always go to my friend’s house every day and stay there for hours and hours, watch all the videos and see the Fixx, INXS, all these groups had a dope sound, U2. So I started going to these shows to see if they could put it down like the record, and they did! So I said if I ever get a chance to do the rap version, which evolved later, I gotta do it to that capacity because I remembered how they tore it down when we went to go see them.
All the artists that came I would see. Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie and the Banshees. I saw the Smiths and they broke up right after that, the same year! I saw Devo a few times. Saw them recently too. They’re in their 60s, and they’re killin’ it! They were getting busy. And it was right before Gerald’s brother died, so we got to see the full Devo. And their energy was no different from when I saw them when I was 19.”

Could Premier imagine when he was watching MTV at his friend’s house that you would be on it just a few years later?

“You dream of it, yeah. I thought I’d like to be on there in some type of way. I didn’t know if it would be hip hop or whatever, but I felt those artists and thought, ‘Damn I wish I was in that group. That dude looks so cool the way he’s playing.’ And when I saw the Killing Joke video for ‘Eighties,”’ I was like, ‘Yo, the way he’s playing that bass and the way he uses the mics.’ And everybody wants to be cool. And that’s the way you can relate, like, ‘I’m cool like that.’ The way he plays, the way he moves, it all goes with it.

Growing up with the soul music of the ‘70s (James Brown, Al Green, Rufus and Chaka Khan) and the new wave of the ‘80s shaped Premier’s unique production style in the ‘90s. But when making hip hop tracks, he has a very clear image in mind.

“I take from everything when I produce. But the first thing I think of is a boombox, with a B-boy walking down the street, with a big radio, his skully (cap) sitting right at the top of his ears, like a cone with the pom-pom. That’s how the B-boys rocked it then. They didn’t pull it all the way over their ears. And they looked like they were about to go into battle, fat laces with the Pro-Keds or the Adidas shell toes. And the record was playing out the radio. An old Mantronix record, a T-La Rock record, old Cold Crush. And it seemed like the radio was set to only play that. So that’s the first thing I think of when I apply the approach. To this day. Even it’s a pretty song or a radio record, I still have to think in that light. Even if it doesn’t sound like (Nas’ 1999 single) ‘Nas is Like’ or it’s something more melodic and pretty, all of that is thrown in.”

Gang Starr produced not only some of the most respected hip hop albums of the 1990s, it also put out lots of singles with non-LP B-sides. Premier says that was also a product of his early musical tastes.

“We put ‘DWYCK’ as a B-side (of the ‘Take It Personal’ 12” single). A lot of artists were doing that – Stetsasonic, De La Soul, Public Enemy. They would always have a song that was not on the album. And new wave artists did that. Joy Division records would have a new record on the B-side. Bauhaus. Prince all the time. Always. I have a lot of Prince 45s. So I wanted to do the same thing, where it says ‘unavailable on LP’. My intent from day one was to make sure we make stuff that makes people want to buy our records, and go, ‘Ooh, they got a new joint!’ That’s why we did ‘The ? Remainz.’ And it has to have that sound as a B-side record. Like ‘Natural,’ that’s one of my favorite records. Man, I love all that stuff. ‘So Wassup?!’ Those are the type of joints I would pick to play out of Gang Starr stuff. As a fan I’d be like, ‘I’d bump that.’ I love ‘Mass Appeal’ and ‘Above the Clouds,’ but those singles from left field are the ones that I bump.”

Speaking of Prince, Premier did a record for Wendy & Lisa called “Satisfaction.” How did that come about?

“I told my manager Patrick Moxey to get me some work. He said nobody knows you, but we can go to Europe and see if we can get you on some of that stuff and maybe it’ll spread. So that’s why we did Loose Ends, and the record with Jazzy B from Soul to Soul, and also Slam Slam, which was Dee C. Lee, whose husband was Paul Weller from the Jam. I did a record with her that’s hard to find. Actually I just found 10 of them on 12”. It’s called ‘Free Your Feelings.’ The remix I did on that was one of the first jobs I ever had.
But I never got to meet Wendy & Lisa. And I wish I did! I would have been asking them every fuckin’ question! I would have asked Lisa, ‘Was that really your pubic hair on the (Prince) ‘Let’s Work’ 12-inch cover, coming out of your white panties?’ And she’d probably say, ‘Yeah.’ Back then having pubic hair was sexy, it was like, ‘Oh, I saw her bush.’ But now it’s like, ‘Aw man, she’s hairy!’ And you see that and Prince didn’t care to show that, it made me go, ‘Yo, he’s dope! He’s fuckin’ dope!’ And the music was just as rebellious. It went right with the whole look. Dirty Mind will forever be one of the illest albums to ever touch the planet. Ever. Nobody was even that bold. I was blown away by the lyrics and the sound of it, and I was into new wave too. Everybody was. Even hip hop kids were. It’s from the same scene. You know, ‘Shout’ by Tears for Fears, that’s hip hop. It’s all part of that same world.

Back in 1998 I remember seeing fliers for a Gang Starr show in Tokyo. We asked if he remembered anything about that tour.

“It was good! Yeah. All our tours were good. Our tours have always been fun. Europe showed us that there’s a reason to keep doing it even if at home they’re more lightweight to it and they stop buying records and stuff. They invest in everything out here and put their money up. The same with me, I put my money into things I want.”

Premier keeps himself busy when he comes to Tokyo.

“I saw DJ Abe (at Disc Jam in Shibuya). He gave me these new needles he made. I’m using them tonight. They’re really sturdy. He even showed me how to set the weights for them. ‘That’s the mark, turn it to 3 1/2.’ And he was in the audience, and I said, ‘Yo, I’m using your needles!’ He was happy. Everybody knows his store. Every celebrity DJ and every DJ that’s thorough and respected, they go to his store.
Then I bought some hats. I get in the habit of throwing hats out in to the crowd, and then be like, ‘Damn, I didn’t mean to give them that one!’ This was actually a gift from my manager for Christmas. I got a couple Kangols too.

Next on Premier’s agenda is a trip to Thailand for some DJ gigs, then an American tour with PRhyme, Boldy James and Your Old Droog that starts on February 18. PRhyme’s album came out in late 2014 but topped several writers’ “Best of 2014” lists. How is it putting out an album today compared to the ‘90s?

“With PRhyme, we didn’t have a single, no radio records. Even when we dropped the first track ‘Courtesy,’ I told them not to call it a single. Just drop it. Just call it ‘Courtesy,’ PRhyme. Give it the write-up and let everybody just pick up on it, because they will. We got some new remixes coming, one with Black Thought. We just did one with Logic. The MF Doom record will be coming too.”

Many hip hop fans will buy any record with “Produced by DJ Premier” on the label.

“That’s what I do. Like if I saw a Def Jam record, I know it’s good. You trust the brand, and that’s what I wanted. That’s how I was with Marley Marl – he had like ten bangers out at the same time! Eric B and Rakim, Kool G Rap, MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane… And every one was bangin’. I want to have the same thing, when people see my name on it, they know it’s good.”

The members of DJ Premier’s live band are:
DJ Premier (Turntables)
Brady Watt (Bass)
Lenny “The Ox” Reece (Drums)
Takuya Kuroda (Horns and Keys)
Corey King (Trombone and Keys)

Props to Kevin Glenz for the headsup!

DJ Premier receiving the Global Spin Awards 2014 (Live Footage)

Props to Loykes for the heads up!

Related: DJ Premier Interview with Music Times x Global Spin Awards

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