DJ Premier Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

D’Angelo “Devil’s Pie” (2000)

DJ Premier: “It was actually a Canibus track for ‘Niggonometry.’ And he said, ‘I just want a hard bass line, and some drums.’ I did that beat, but he said I’m not cutting it in to his vision. Then D’Angelo called me the same night talking about, ‘Yo, man, I want you to hear what I’m working on and get a track from you.’ So I go by there, and I played him the track Canibus didn’t want, and D’Angelo was like, ‘Ooooooooh!’ He gets really amped. You see him all sexy and naked in the video, but he was running around the room, and we were just looking at him like, ‘Wow.’ He was like, ‘Yo, this is it.’ And then we cut it. All of a sudden Belly comes out, and Lyor Cohen was like, ‘We want to buy that for Belly.’ So we got paid twice: for the album and the soundtrack. [Laughs.] And I got a Grammy for that.”

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