Interview DJ Premier

Here's a problem : you got only 10 minutes for an interview with a foundation of hip-hop history. What can you do ? When DJ Premier stopped by Paris in late september, we had to figure out a way to answer this tricky question. So we submitted him a couple of random albums he produced, and hope he would come up with some dope stories. Guess what ? Preemo was more than happy to play this game. Check for yourself.

14/12/2008 | Interview by JB | Version française

The Lox –  We are the streets (2000)

I been a fan of The Lox, you know. I remember when Mary J. Blige first told me about them early, cuz she's the one that actually got them signed. They from her hood. She's the one that was shopping them and telling everybody they hot. She told Puff and Puff picked them up to Bad Boy. But we were always fan. When I was working with BIG for the "Life After Death" album, we were always in the studio together. It would be me, Biggie, Styles, Sheek, Jadakiss, Lil' Kim, all in the studio at Daddy's House, just chillin', choppin' it up. We were working on 'Kick in the door'. They weren't even in the Puff roster at the time. Working with them on that album was just an automatic go. [Being one of the only outside producers on the album] You gotta keep the streets hot, that's what I represent.

 

Limp Bizkit - Significant Other

Limp Bizkit – Significant Other (1997)

My former manager called me and said he wanted me to work with Limp Bizkit. I had already heard of them when they redid 'Faith' by George Michael. I saw the video and liked the way they rocked it out and did a rock version to that. So, after that, I ended up hearing they were working on a new album. I heard Method Man was on it. My man just asked me to do when I get down with them, but I said that Fred Durst can't rap ! It could have messed up my reputation. So he was like "He even has Method Man on the record, won't you at least meet the guy?". So [Fred Durst] came down to D&D Studios, he was like "Yo man, I know you don't want to work with me because I can't rap that good and you're right, but I really been studying you music for a long time. I even have your "Tape Kingz" mixtapes". I was like "You know about "Tape Kingz"?!". Cuz, you know, it was underground street shit. And he was like "Yeah man, that record you got with G-Dep, 'Heads over wheels'…" I was like "Damn, you know about G-Dep?!". So I was like "You know what? Let's do it."

I dit it because he mentioned things that I thought he would never know. We dit it, I recorded his vocals, it ended up I get the best vocals I could get out of him, they weren't that ill but we pulled it off. Then Method Man went it. It was actually originally done by Lethal. That sample was already in there. I just pretty much took the sample and just replayed the "du-du-du-dum". I just triggered it differently, put my drums and scratches on it. It was really a remix. He was like "Yo, here's the working version". If you got the 12 inches, it has the wrong instrumental, the one that they gave me. The drums were kinda down or whatever, they didn't put mine on it by accident. That was the original working version. The album turned out to be their biggest success. They sold like 5 millions albums. Because of that, me and my man Vic Black went to the video shoot. We were having Hennessey on the set, we were all drunk. And on top of that, Limp Bizkit had me do their pyjama party in the Playboy Mansion. Rest in Peace to my man Headquartez, he came with us and got kicked out twice ! Everybody was there, Leonardo Di Caprio and all that… And I was playing straight hip-hop, Ghostface Killah ! They were like "Keep it all hip-hop". It was all Playboy bunnies, and we got the pictures to prove it, so that's a good history. I'll probably never get to be invited to the Playboy Mansion again, but I met Hugh Hefner ! I took pictures with him and everything… He was like "Thank God for 'Nookie'" [laughs].

 

Fat Joe - The Elephant in a Room

Fat Joe –  The Elephant in a room (2008)

I've known Joe for years. I met him through Showbiz and Lord Finesse. That's a family thing. DITC is family so anytime he hollers… Plus he gave me a bangin' record deal with Terror Squad over at Atlantic Records. I know the album never came out but he didn't even question anything. And he's the one that ever gave me a record deal with a major label where if they ever cut him out of the deal and tried to just keep me on Atlantic, my deal is automatically not in void. Now, who give you a deal like that?! If they wanted to keep me over Joe, it's like "We gave you your doe". Nah, if he gets cuts out, I get to leave too. And that's a ill deal.

 

Nas - I am...

Nas – I am… (1998)

"I am…" has 'Nas is Like' right ? And 'New York State of Mind Pt. 2', yeah. The good thing about that was, out of all Nas albums, I had never have a single, and I always wanted one. I wanted 'New York State of Mind' to be a single. I wanted 'Represent' to be a single. 'I gave you power' was about to be a single and a video, but that's when they started taking guns and things out of videos. Nas couldn't find a way to shoot the video and make it work. We didn't have YouTube and all that back then. If we had that, we would have still shot it. He said "This one is gonna be a single" so he changed his mind. When he did the ["I am…"] album, he was like "Yo, you got the first single. I'ma shoot it in the Bridge in the place I used to live at. Somebody else live there now but they said we can shoot the video." We all went to Queensbridge, shot the video with all these people and got it done. It's one of my favourite records of my whole career.

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