DJ Premier Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Nas “I Gave You Power” (1996)

DJ Premier: “I was on tour with Gang Starr, and I was just getting back. And I was going right back out to go to Japan. So I didn’t have any time to make any other beats for It Was Written. But Nas said, ‘I want to make a record as if I was a gun.’ We started messing around, trying to figure out what he’s going to do, and we finally figured out a way, because he said, ‘Maybe I should do a skit where I drop the gun, and somebody else finds it.’ And that’s how it all built, and I said, ‘You know what? Instead of making this a hard mean shit, let me make it sound sad.’ Because he said I’m going to be the gun talking about being tired of all the stuff I’m doing to people. That’s why I put that emotion behind it.”

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