DJ Premier Blog » 2012 » June

Live From HeadQCourterz (06/29/2012)

Filled in by DJ JS-1

Jason Dean Beats – Blood Drip Drops (Feat. Big Shug, Prop Dylan & Paul B) CDQ

New track featuring Gang Starr Foundation member Big Shug for Norwegian producer Jason Dean upcoming album. Enjoy:

Big Shug upcoming album in stores next month!!

Related: Big Shug – I.M. 4-EVA Album Sampler

Exclusive: MC Eiht – Where We Go (Prod. by Brenk Sinatra) CDQ

Damn, I fell in love with this track right here when I ripped it from the radio last week. Now we have the CDQ for this leftover from “Which Way Iz West” album. Produced by Austrian Brenk Sinatra, he keeps surprising us… And MC Eiht with his usual flow makes the track just perfect, enjoy:

MC Eiht – Where We Go (Prod. by Brenk Sinatra)

Live From HeadQCourterz (06/22/2012)

DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – B.A.P. (Clientel Remix) CDQ

Here’s the remix of the winner from B.A.P. remix contest, once again congrats to Clientel. He won a free verse from Bumpy Knuckles! What do you think?? (You may post your remix once again…)

DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – B.A.P. (Clientel Remix) CDQ

Related: DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles Announcing The BAP Remix Contest Winner…

DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – B.A.P. Music Video

Gang Starr Interview Hip Hop Connection February ’91

Shout out to Leon Nockolds at, this magazine was found between John Peel’s Hip Hop LP’s!

John Peel’s Hidden Gems: Step In The Arena

LP: ‘Step In The Arena ‘(Chrysalis 1991)

Artist ‘Gang Starr’

Catalogue Number: A21755

This week we’re joined by fellow John Peel Archive team member and all round vinyl junkie Leon Nockolds, for a special review of Gang Starr’s ‘Step In The Arena’.

Step in the Arena was the second outing for Brooklyn based Hip Hop supremos Gang Starr, a duo that consisted of the late MC Guru and DJ/producer DJ Premier hailing from Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas respectively. DJ Premier often refers to the Step in the Arena LP as “the first real Gang Starr LP” after recording their Debut “No More Mr Nice Guy” (An LP which also resides in John’s collection here) over a two week period in 1989. For it was on the Step in the Arena LP that Gang Starr started to define their trademark sound and DJ Premier came into his own in terms of production style and programming, this time handling the production of the entire LP without assistance.

Judging by the notes on the inner sleeve it would appear that John thought very highly of this LP, with four tracks obtaining the maximum 3 star “must play” rating and five worthy of a 2 star “should play” rating. (Also keeping his house in order by taking note of the word “sh!t” contained within the first verse of “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight“)

John aired the debut release from the album, the Jean Jacques Perrey sampling “Just to Get a Rep” in November of 1990. Throughout January and February of 1991, honouring the aforementioned star ratings he went on to play the upbeat tale of disposable artists “Here today, gone tomorrow” (For which Premier was later sued on account of the uncleared sample of Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds), the Pointer Sisters sampling account of betrayal “Execution of a chump“, the laid back “Beyond comprehension“, the European single release “Take a rest” and the stunning California Soul sampling “Check the Technique”, a stand out example of Premier’s wizardry behind a sampler, with the clever looping of the original drum section.

Interestingly, there are two one verse tracks on this LP (“Street Ministry” and “Say your Prayers“), which DJ Premier puts down to his experiences listening to punk and new wave artists like The Smiths, Psychadelic Furs, The Cure, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Dial House and Joy Division and was recently quoted as saying “I was into all that stuff. The Thompson Twins, just all this crazy stuff. And sometimes they would have a song that just had one verse. And then it’d fade out. So I took a lot of inspiration from that.”

For many outside of London, the John Peel show was one of the few places to hear some of the latest Hip Hop offerings at a time when it was going through one of it’s most important periods. With the likes of Lord Finesse, Main Source, a Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul all releasing classic albums around the same time, Gang Starr’s Step in the Arena LP sat neatly in amongst them and has gone on to be considered by many as one of their finest pieces of work and a very influential LP in Hip Hop’s rich history (as if we needed further evidence of John Peel’s ability to pick out a record that would go on to become a classic)

Gang Starr went on to release a further four LPs,1992’s Daily Operation, 1994’s Hard To Earn, 1998’s Moment of Truth and 2003’s The Ownerz with breaks between albums where Guru would work on his very successful “Jazzmatazz” LP series and DJ Premier would work on production for other notable artists. The Ownerz was to be the last record Gang Starr record before the untimely death of Keith Elam (aka Guru) in 2010. In 2012 DJ Premier is still very much an integral part of the Hip Hop scene, 23 years after joining forces with Guru to form Gang Starr in 1989, Premier can still be found producing records for many of Hip Hop’s heavyweights, releasing a recent compilation showcasing his new label “Year Round Records” and hosting a weekly radio show ‘Live From HeadQCourterz’ on Sirius Satellite Radio.


rip John Peel

38 Spesh – Support (Feat. Styles P) (Prod. by Pete Rock) Music Video

With a cameo of DJ Premier! Premo will deliver three beats on his upcoming LP.

Kurious – Magic (Like That) (Feat. A.G.) (Prod. by Diamond D) CDQ

Here’s the CDQ of the exclusive DJ Premier played on his last LiveFromHQ episode:

Kurious – Magic (Like That) (Feat. A.G.) (Prod. by Diamond D) CDQ

Legends on the boards!