DJ Premier Blog » 2017 » February

DJ Premier Talks Creating a New Label “TTT”

Legendary Hip Hop producer and turntablist DJ Premier has launched another imprint, TTT (To The Top), a wisely calculated next step in his impressive 30-year career. Although he established Year Round Records in 2003, he wanted to have another way to release music that was outside of his wheelhouse. Consequently, TTT (To The Top) was born.

“I wanted to have a label that would keep the street, gutter stuff in its own lane, one where I could release anything I wanted, how I wanted and where I wanted,” Preemo tells. “I had previous artists like the NYGz, part of Gang Starr Foundation family, Blaq Poet — stuff like that. I wanted to keep that as is. Every time my manager Ian and I handle business, he’s always like, ‘To the top, buddy. To the top.’ He said it so much, even though it got annoying.

“He suggested an alternative label that would keep Year Round going, but we’d have a division where we put out stuff that’s more alternative, a little left field, R&B stuff — whatever,” he continues. “Almost like Motown. We had to figure out a name. He’s great manager, but not the best at names [laughs]. He kept throwing names out and I didn’t like any of them. He finally said, ‘How about To The Top?’ and I was like, ‘Eh, I don’t know about that either. It doesn’t really catch.’ For some reason, it happened to click.”

He was also able to confirm singer Torii Wolf as the first official TTT artist. The two released their first collaborative single “1st” in May 2016.

To mark the inception of TTT, the Gang Starr pioneer has shared an alternate version of Miguel’s “Damned,” which originally comes from the singer’s 2016 effort, Wildheart. Titled “2 Lovin U,” this incarnation is met with Preemo’s precise scratches and the updated title. He was surprised Miguel’s label, RCA, was open to the idea.

“I asked if he was cool if we put it out,” he explains. “He’s signed with RCA, so I had to get management and the label to say yes. Usually, they say no to an indie, but they were totally cool with it. Instead of it being Miguel featuring DJ Premier, we flipped it and said DJ Premier featuring Miguel. When it finally came to seeing the light of day, I told him he’s saying, ‘You’re damned to loving you,’ so why don’t we use ‘2 Lovin U?’ That way, it kind of makes it new.”

The collaboration started with a glass of whiskey. While at SXSW in Austin, Texas several years ago, Preemo was posted up at a bar. “I hear a voice like, ‘Yo what are you drinking?’ and I turned around it was Miguel,” he recalls. “He bought my whiskey and the next thing you know, here we are.”

For now, TTT will release a string of singles, including a new one from Torii Wolf, “Big Big Trouble,” and one from a group called Cherub from Tennessee. However, the focus is on Miguel at the moment.

On the Year End side, he’s putting the finishing touches on his collaborative album with West Coast gangster rap vet MC Eiht.

“I’m actually driving right now to shoot my scratch scene for one of the MC Eiht videos,” he says. “I found my old Compton shirt and I’m driving to a parking lot because the director said he needs to shoot me with the sky in the background. I did all of the scratches on his album and we are about to do launch ‘GEAH’ campaign. You’ll see a new Eiht video in next two weeks for sure.”


DJ Premier & All-Star Tournament Console Finals (NBA 2KTV Interview)

Miguel – 2 Lovin’ U (Prod. by DJ Premier) CDQ

Aaah finally!! There’s some history behind this track, back in 2k14 Premo worked with Miguel on some tracks for his new album. The song they’ve created was called “Damned”… When the next album of Miguel dropped in 2k15 we were looking for that track… But nowhere to be found, until the song appeared on the Deluxe Version of the album. Alright alright… but when I bought it… no… it wasn’t a Premier beat. Very sad, almost depressed, I thought I would never hear the song. Well people, 3 years later, it’s here! Going to be released on February 21, 2k17 under the title “2 Lovin’ U” but basically it’s just the original version of “Damned” as you will hear. Already leaked a week ago but now it can go officially:

Still lovin’ this:


MC Eiht Says DJ Premier “Which Way Iz West” Album NOT For Freshman Class

Since taking the gangster rap world by storm with his 1993 breakout hit, “Streiht Up Menace,” which was featured in the cult classic film, Menace II Society, MC Eiht has continued holding down his spot among the Hip Hop elite. Beginning with 1994’s We Come Strapped, his solo output has also been fairly consistent, culminating with his twelfth offering, Compton’s O.G., in 2006. The 49-year-old vet and founding member of Compton’s Most Wanted is now gearing up to release lucky number thirteen, a collaborative project with DJ Premier titled Which Way Iz West, which he says is “not for the Freshman of 2017.”

“It’s not for the new class,” Eiht tells HipHopDX. “It’s not for them. My music is for people who love Ice Cube and for people who love Dr. Dre’s first record. My music is for people who liked Nas’ first record—that type of era of music. Not to say that I’ve switched up to this righteous intellect. I’m still MC Eiht on that Compton’s Most Wanted shit, but the music or verses don’t reflect the bullshit of today. When you pop in Which Way Iz West when it come out, you gonna go, ‘Oh this is some of that 1990s shit.’ That’s what it is. We trying to give you that feel. That’s all.”

Preemo and Eiht have already shot two videos for the project, and the album is completely mixed and mastered. It’s being released as a joint venture between Premier’s label, Year Round Records, and Eiht’s imprint, Blue Stamp Music.

“Right now, we are finishing the cover art and setting the official release date,” he says. “I’m lookin’ forward to bringing back some quality in West Coast music and in general.”

When Eiht began making music, he never imagined he’d be going on nationwide tours, selling countless albums or working with some of Hip Hop’s most coveted artists. In East Compton, where he spent his childhood, his only goal was to gain the respect of the homies on the block. Now, however, his name is often mentioned in the same breath as Eazy-E, N.W.A and Ice Cube. DJ Premier and Eiht are aiming to drop the new album mid-February with a goal of continuing the West Coast legacy of innovative, unforgettable music.

“It’s been a long time since we first started with our type of music as far as the West Coast is concerned, but I feel it’s been pretty significant over the years,” he says. “If you look down the line, we’ve produced or put out some of the most prolific rappers— from myself and Eazy-E to Dre and Snoop. The list goes on with The Game, Kendrick, and whoever else, too. As far as representing the West Coast or Compton, our music has come a long way— from when we first started with Ice T’s ‘Six ‘N The Mornin’ to Kendrick Lamar winning Grammys and whatever, so West Coast and Compton music is significant as far as Hip Hop as a whole is concerned. You have to put us right there with the pioneers like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. No doubt.”

Source: HipHopDX

Faith Evans & The Notorious B.I.G. – NYC (Feat. Jadakiss) (Prod. by DJ Premier) CDQ