DJ Premier Blog » 2011 » October » 19

M.O.P. Talks Gang Starr Influence

DX: As far as collaborations go, you guys have put in a lot of work with DJ Premier. I want to backtrack for a second, because he’s been quoted as saying “Face Off 2K” is one of his most personal records. What inspired that?

Billy Danze: I wrote that record in the dark. And it wasn’t because I wanted to be in the dark, it was because my motherfuckin’ lights were cut off [laughs]. I was just feeling a way when I wrote the record, and when you listen to it, you see that I stop and start over a couple times. I loved the track so much, and I was going through so much, that I just wrote two verses. I wrote one, and I was like “I don’t love it. I don’t know if that’s hot. Let me try it again.” So I wrote another one. Preme came to the crib to pick me up, and we got in the truck…I don’t know where the hell we were going; we were just driving. And I started spitting the verses and asking him which one he liked better. He said, “Both of them shits is hot, so let’s figure out a way to tie ‘em in.”

DX: You guys stopped in the middle of your set tonight and made the crowd give it up for Guru and DJ Premier. How important is Gangstarr to you professionally and personally?

Billy Danze: Ridiculously important, man.

Lil Fame: To me, Premier is my brother. I grew up on Premier since I was a baby. That was one of my favorite dudes that I used to look up to music-wise. And Guru is just a fuckin’ beast on everything. Although he’s from Boston, we he moved to Brooklyn, that’s what we had. We had [Big Daddy] Kane and we had Gangstarr.

Billy Danze: You can search from as far back as you can remember up until this very moment and you’ll never find anybody like Guru. Nobody. His recording process was so crazy, because he would go in there and spit the rhyme one way. Then he would come out and talk to Premier, go in again and spit the rhyme another way. So by the time he spit it four or five times, that was the complete shit. And he was fucking amazing. His voice was amazing.

And Premier…the passion that this dude has. Let me tell you something: can’t nobody change Premier for nothing in the world. Premier was the last dude on the planet to get Pro Tools. He ain’t following nobody’s lead. It was like, “I like this big ass, heavy table!” I love him for that, and he always keeps it 100% real with us. Premier is the only producer I ever worked with that stopped me and was like, “That line wasn’t dope. You gotta do that again, dude.” Strangely, him and Puffy were the only ones.

DX: Bullshit…Puffy?

Billy Danze: Yeah. Puffy said, “That ain’t no M.O.P. record. Where that shit at?” He’s a good man. I respect his hustle and everything that he’s done. We did a record for the Bad Boys II soundtrack, which he was handling. He heard the record, and he liked it enough to put it on the soundtrack. So when we went over to talk to him, and he was like, “Yo this shit is crazy. The beat and the lyrics are dope, but where that shit at?”