DJ Premier Blog » 2009 » January

DJ Premier: Still Shinin’

New interview done by Anslem Samuel with DJ Premier, quite long, quite good, quite funny. I think Premo never was more in the media then last year and now 2009. It will be a busy year for him, again hope we will meet our wet dream this year for real. Time is flying!! This interview was prolly made in december last year.

When it comes to hip-hop architects, few are as revered as DJ Premier. As one-half of the legendary Gang Starr, the Brooklyn beatsmith (by way of Houston) has crafted classic tracks ranging from underground gems (Nas’ “N.Y. State of Mind,” the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments”) to radio jams (Common’s “The 6th Sense,” Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean”) to mainstream smashes (Christina Aguilera’s “Back in the Day,” Limp Bizkit’s “N 2 Gether Now”). Through it all, Preemo maintains his true school roots. That’s most evident with his label, Year Round Records, which houses hardcore acts like the NYGz and Blaq Poet. Taking a break from his Friday night satellite radio show on Sirius XM, “Live From HeadQCourterz,” Premier breaks down the foundation for his budding label and extends open invitations to Cory Gunz and Dr. Dre to spit on his tracks. Why did you start Year Round Records?

DJ Premier: I started to see how the labels would not open their arms to the pure hip-hop. They were just taking the sucker shit so whatever way to alleviate that and just do your own shit is very time consuming, very costly but the love of the culture for me makes me wanna stick behind this and push this label through immediately.

XXL: What was it about the NYGz that made you sign them?

Preemo: I like the way the NYGz sound, plus they lived the lifestyle of what they talk about and they’re well respected in their hood. I appreciate someone I can develop more and they’re older—they’re in their mid 30s—and I’m not concerned about the age difference. I wanna be a label that doesn’t do whatever the other labels do. We all out to win together as a team despite all the stress and what it takes to survive in this shitty ass industry.

XXL: What about Blaq Poet?

Preemo: Blaq Poet’s album we’re about to drop in February. It’s done; I’m just mixing it. We just shot the video to Poet’s single called “Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed” right in the Bridge. It’s a record showin’ he still gets love whenever he comes and sees his people. It was fun shootin’ it in the cold and we got it in, but I produced the whole album and it’s called The Blaq Print.

XXL: What should fans expect off that one?

Preemo: The album is actually a collection of songs that we just started working on in the studio and a lot of people was asking what we were gonna put out as a release. There are sick songs we have done in the past but I really like this record that we did called “Voices,” where he was hearin’ voices of Biggie and Pac and other deceased MCs—just great MCs period—talking in his head and he says it was ’cause he was drunk but he’s really telling the story of hip-hop. He does it in such an ill way where you gotta respect it, so a lot of people ask about that record.

XXL: Will this be the first official release off Year Round?

Preemo: This is the second release on my label as far as albums go. NYGz dropped Welcome to G-Dom last October and that did well for us just ’cause we were able to get them some shows in Europe. Now they’re working on their new album, Pros and Cons, and I’m producing the entire album.

XXL: What do you look for in an artist?

Preemo: Like I said, it’s very hardcore it’s very much needed right now ’cause I just like hard lyrics and hard beats. You don’t gotta be hardcore like a M.O.P. or a N.W.A, but you still gotta have some ill rhymes. Poet has the illest rhymes for a hardcore rapper that’s out right now and he makes sense. He’s a grown ass man but his lyrics can penetrate even the young ignorant muthafucka who still thinks he knows everything ’cause we’re speaking the language of the street. Everybody’s not thinking about the people that’s left behind and the people that’s on lock down, but we do it with a certain class.

XXL: Being that you’re independent and are working primarily with underground artists, what do you consider a success sales wise?

Preemo: I’m willing to start from the bottom. I don’t expect to be platinum overnight, we have that drive to win but not like, “Oh, yeah, we’re going platinum and this and that.” We just let it roll ’cause we understand that we gotta start from zero and even though I’ve had mad success in the industry, I don’t mind starting from the bottom because I’ve been there before so it’s easy to walk that road. It’s nothing I’m not familiar with and the artists have the same mentality because I could stop right now and I’m good. I’ve done my whole career and I’ve achieved pretty much everything I’ve wanted to. There’s still a lot more that I wanna achieve but if it stopped today I know I did a lot.

XXL: Is there anyone you wouldn’t work with?

Preemo: Dope is dope, but I really wouldn’t deal with a younger kid who’s like 15 because they really can’t rhyme about much that I can relate to unless he really just has some experience like when we were coming up. Other than that [I could] pump up some of the younger artists because they can hit the mainstream easier and the money comes a little quicker, but the hassle of doing something that you don’t love? I’m not gonna do it.

XXL: What about someone like Cory Gunz, who’s young but a beast on the mic?

Preemo: Yeah, I would work with him because I know his father [Peter Gunz] is showing him [the ropes]. So Cory I would definitely do a deal with… But I also have this kid Nick Javas from New Jersey. He just graduated from Rutgers and is a real witty MC. I’m really looking forward to working with him. We’re actually about to leak a song called “Opportunity Knocks.”

XXL: What’s that about?

Preemo: He told me he wanted to do a song about him trying to convince me to sign him, so it’s him coming to see me at the studio but I’m busy. He’s sayin’, “Look, I’m here; why don’t you let me get in the booth?” I told him I don’t do it like that and he’s still pushing me and I’m like aight, I’ll give you one shot so I give him one shot and he drops 16. When he asks me my opinion on the verse I respond to him with cuts. I don’t ever speak, I’m just letting the cuts say it like, one line I’m like why are you wasting my time like this? I cut that line from Fast Times at Ridgemont High so instead of me talking, the record’s talking.

XXL: What’s going on with your solo album, Man of Few Words?

Preemo: I’m thinking about starting my album [soon], but my wish list [of artists] keeps changing. I’ve changed it at least seven or eight times, but I finally found one I like and now I’m gonna stick to that. Now it’s more of a time thing. It has to be timed out right because it’s like me gathering 10 or 12 of my favorite artis
ts. It’s a lot of pressure but I’ma make sure that it happens. Yeah, let’s just make sure we don’t end up with a bunch of delays like Dr. Dre’s Detox. [Laughs] I would love to get Dre on my album. I wish I could do a beat and he would spit to it. I don’t care who writes it for him—Dre just has a dope flow when he recites rhymes that he wrote or were written for him. He always knows how to project it right that’s why he’s a true producer. Maybe one day that will happen…That’ll be a good collaboration.

XXL: Word, any possibility for one more Gang Starr album?

Preemo: My answer is if Guru is ready, then I’m ready. It’s really up to him, he says Gang Starr is originally his creation, which I really have no problem of giving him that, but the history we made together from ’89-2004, that’s the purest part of Gang Starr history that anybody will ever remember. In order to do it right again, if he’s ever ready again, I’ll be in the lab that day with the tape burnin’.

Source: XXLmag

DJ Premier’s Top 25 Underacknowledged Cuts

Source: Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists, 1998

Blaq Poet – Too Strong

Finally I have it, it’s taken from the vinyl. But I’m still waiting on my copy of the single, it didn’t reached Europe yet. Maybe next week, and I still don’t have a message of YRR when the video will be released. Oh well, make sure you cop this one. Or at least “Tha Blaqprint” (coming in a couple of months) if you don’t have a vinyl player. But then you won’t have this song, because it’s a vinyl only track. Just promise me you support DJ Premier in a way, how it should be:

Blaq Poet – Too Strong (Prod. by DJ Premier)

Laura Izibor Speak on DJ Premier Remix

Here I found a little conversation with Laura Izibor on the phone talking about DJ Premier. He made a pretty damn good rnb remix last year for the Irish soul artist, the remix is released in America on Atlantic as a vinyl single so you can still cop that!

Source: KiwiBox

PREEMISH: Convinced – Mass Appeal 2009 (Feat. Shawn Jackson, Tunji & El Prez)

I’m posting this quick because I’m a big fan of Shawn Jackson, also he should be on a Premo beat in my mind! And because this isn’t just a freestyle, but they made a new beat with the “Mass Appeal” sample. That is cool to do instead of just freestyle on a recycled beat, so I’m supporting this shit. Just a cool project, nuff said:

Convinced – Mass Appeal 2009 (Feat. Shawn Jackson, Tunji & El Prez) (Produced by J Keys)

All Eyes On: Khaleel

If you ask one of my visitors who is Khaleel they will answer ‘It’s a cat that is signed to DJ Premier‘s label’. But who knows really Khaleel?! What’s his personality, what are his legends, … That’s what I was trying to find out. So I went in contact with this young Texas living hip hop artist who is working on his debut album since last years summer. Please not that this is an oversea interview, so I did that best what I could do. You will definitely know him better, and at the end you want that album so bad haha. You can still vote on him, his debut album is titled “My MC Name Is…“. Last year we didn’t see much of him, but this year it will all change so watch. Starting you will see him in the “Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed” video of Blaq Poet (whenever that will be released lol, three weeks ago?) and ending with his debut album hopefully! Enjoy:


DJ Premier Homage

This is a special one, a track that pays homage to DJ Premier. I can’t say he doesn’t deserve this, because he is one true legend. I’m wondering if he would play it on LiveFromHQ, props to Phonte for the hook up who is actually also on the track together with Royce da 5’9″ and Stat Quo. DJ Premier didn’t produce this track, but Focus did! He did some nice productions is the past, but this one is real dope too. It’s for his new serie where he is going to make more homages. Haha, a very nice effort of these guys! Now I want to see Phonte on a Premo production!! Enjoy the homage to DJ Premier, who is know for 20 years(!) in the game, started with Gang Starr in 1989, congrats:

Focus – Homage To Premier (Feat. Royce Da 5’9″, Phonte & Stat Quo) (Prod. by Focus)

LiveFromHQ 24/01/2009

No new track, no guests but it was a tight show. A lot of bullshit was talking haha, Tha Blaqprint is coming in a few months DJ Premier said. Also Big Shug is already started working on his next album, did two new joints (not with Premo yet). Next week it will be DJ Eclipse because Preem will be to the superbowl. Big shout to the internet:

LiveFromHQ Playlist 16/01/2009


  • 50 Cent – Shut Your Bloodclot Mouth
  • The Notorious B.I.G. – Love No Hoe
  • Blaq Poet – Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed
  • Royce Da 5’9″ – I Gotta Shake This
  • EMPD – Jane/What A Nice Name
  • Sonny Seeza – Brooklyn (Feat. Agallah)
  • Rob Quest – My Way
  • Fusion UNLTD. – The Sun (Feat. Little Brother, Nickelus, H.O.F. & Skillz)
  • Ali Vegas – Everyday Iz War
  • Jadakiss – A Letter To B.I.G.
  • Young Maylay – He’s Uh Felon
  • Mikkey Halsted – Liquor Store
  • Nutrageous – Down With The Kingz (Feat. Planet Asia)
  • Q-Tip – Dance On Glass
  • Prodigy – Test Tube Babies
  • Skyzoo – Bells And Whistles
  • Scarface – Soldier Story (Feat. The Product & Z-Ro)
  • Ludacris – Do The Right Thang (Feat. Spike Lee & Common)
  • Big Shug – The Meaning Of Hardcore

Guest: DJ Funk

I Think “American Black Man” is Coming

Loool, I’m almost ashamed to post this, but I think “American Black Man” is finally getting released this season. Bumpy released some days ago a new song called “Yes You Can” with the tags “American Black Man coming soon…”. I really hope so! The album of the Gang Starr Foundation member will contain productions by Alchemist, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and himself. The album was first announced to be released the first quarter of 2005. Also he got an album made in three days with KRS-One that also should be released anytime, the productions are from Freddie Foxxx himself. Besides that he is also doing an album fully produced by DJ Premier with old and new joints. And he even said he was going to do a full album with Pete Rock if he could.

(This was the front of the album in 2005…)

Track with Premo that should be on it:

  • The Life
  • Mic & Gun
  • Freddie Blassey
  • My Thoughts

Some smaller news: you can pre-order House of Repz vls at, they are also going to release an album this year called “The 5ive Facez of Death“. Surprise surprise, also Natural Elements is getting ready to release an album haha (this got nothing to do with DJ Premier). For those who know them will be glad to hear this! And Royce da 5’9″Street Hop” is coming 21/04 on M.I.C/One Records, new video “Part of Me” will drop in a couple of days.