DJ Premier in South Africa

9 Oct

DJ Premier is here in Cape Town folks, right under our noses hovering like a towering  Juggernaut over “The Assembly” in Cape Town where he will teaming up with DJ Kenzhero, DJ Ahzul and Illetrate -Skills.

this is undoubtedly going to be an awesome night, for those who follow Kenzhero’s “Party People” would know how big of a crown he attracts alone, now picture an army of hardcore Hip Hop followers who worship this phenomenon called DJ PREMIER?

DJ Premier and Nick Javas meeting up with legendary ex South African president and Nobel Peace winnner Nelson Mandela during their 2 towns tour in Africa. Props to Phat Gary for the picture.

Not Convinced:

Christopher Edward Martin (born March 21, 1966[1] in Houston, Texas), better known by his stage name DJ Premier (also known as Preem, Premo, or Primo for short), is an American record producer and DJ, and was the instrumental half of the hip hop duo Gang Starr, together with the late MC Guru. Born and raised in Houston, he has lived in Brooklyn, New York, for much of his professional career. Rolling Stone magazine identified Premier as arguably Hip Hop’s greatest producer of all time.[2]

The Source magazine named DJ Premier one of the five greatest producers in hip-hop history, while editors from ranked him as #1 in its Top-50 Hip-Hop Producers list.[3]




[edit] Productions

Premier is known for producing the majority of Gang Starr’s songs as well as many of the Gang Starr Foundation‘s songs as well. Premier has collaborated with MC Jeru the Damaja, and the album The Sun Rises in the East, released in 1994, as well as the 1996 follow-up, Wrath of the Math.[1] Also from the Gang Starr Foundation, Premier produced and supervised Group Home‘s Livin’ Proof; although overlooked at the time of its 1995 release, the album has since come to find similar acclaim.[clarification needed][1] Among others in that are closely tied to the Gang Starr Foundation who have worked with DJ Premier include Afu Ra, Krumb Snatcha, Big Shug, Smiley the Ghetto Child, and NYGz.

[edit] Samples

DJ Premier’s style of production epitomizes the New York sound of his earlier peers. He is known for sampling jazz, funk, and soul artists, as well as sampling an artist’s past work when creating a new track for that same artist. In addition, his encyclopedic memory of hip-hop lyrics allows him to distinctively speak with his hands by scratching in lyrics from several different songs to construct new phrases.[4] Premier’s beats are known for his oft-imitated combinations of short vocal samples, often from multiple artists, to create a chorus. For example, in the chorus of Mos Def’s “Mathematics,” Premier cuts the following in quick succession:

“The Mighty Mos Def” (from Mos Def‘s “Body Rock”),
“It’s simple mathematics” (Fat Joe from Big Pun‘s “John Blaze”),
“Check it out” (Lady of Rage from Snoop Dogg‘s “For All My Niggaz & Bitches”),
“I revolve around science” (from Ghostface Killah‘s verse on Raekwon‘s “Criminology”),
“What are we talking about here” (from the movie Ghostbusters Said by William Atherton’s Character),
“Do your math” (from Erykah Badu‘s “On & On”), and
“One, two, three, four” (from James Brown‘s “Funky Drummer“)

Note, however, that Premier has experimented extensively with atonal samples that are not confined to soul, jazz, and funk. For example, he sampled chopped up seminal electro-acoustic music from the 1960s on the track “Mental Stamina” by Jeru the Damaja.

[edit] Influences

In an interview with XXL Magazine, DJ Premier was asked how his sound evolved, to which he replied, “Marley Marl is my number one inspiration. Jam Master Jay, Mixmaster Ice and UTFO. Grandmaster D and Whodini. DJ Cheese, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa. Jazzy Jay, even Cut Creator. Seeing them do what they do. It’s black music, it’s black culture, it comes from the ghetto. How can you not relate to ghetto people when that’s the rawest form of blackness? Even though it’s not a good place in regards to the economy and how bad people have it in the neighborhood, the realism’s there, and that’s what we were born out of. So I very much pay respect by doing the same type of music in return.” DJ Premier attended Prairie View A & M University of Texas and may have been influenced by the musical atmosphere at the university.[5]

[edit] Relationships with artists

The early line-up of the Gang Starr Foundation in the mid-’90s included Jeru The Damaja, Group Home, Big Shug and Gang Starr. DJ Premier was fully responsible for the production of Jeru the Damaja‘s first two albums, The Sun Rises in the East and Wrath of the Math. Jeru released three albums since then, with Premier having nothing to do with any of them.[1]

As far as Group Home was concerned, Premier commented, “They don’t respect what fed them,” in a 2003 interview, going on to say that the only reason he produced a track on their second album was because Guru said he would rhyme on it.[6]

Besides the Gang Starr Foundation, Premier is closely affiliated with M.O.P., which he names as one of his all-time favorite groups. The relationship started with the remix of Rugged Neva Smoove in 1994, a single from the group’s first album, which also included the exclusive B-side Downtown Swinga. From then, Premier produced about 1/3 of the songs from each album as well as overseeing and mixing the projects. On M.O.P.’s 2009 released Foundation album, DJ Premier provided only one track, called “What I Wanna B.”


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