DJ Premier: “Jay-Z was supposed to be on [‘Platinum Plus’] too. It was supposed to be the three of them, but he never had the chance to do it in the time frame. We really had to turn it in to make the date. So we just went ahead and did it without him. This is when Jay and Big L were talking about a deal, but they were friends anyway. L used to take Jay everywhere and go, ‘Yo, this is my man Jay-Z. He’s dope.’ He took him to Stretch & Bobbito, and he would take Jay to all the spots. It wasn’t the other way around. I met Big L through Lord Finesse and Showbiz way back. [Finesse] met him at Rock N. Wills, which was one of the spots we used to go digging and all that. They used to have battles there. L was at a battle, he met Lord Finesse who he was a big fan of, and they clicked. He introduced to him to Show, and then Show put him on ‘Represent’ on Runaway Slave.

“We were just always around each other a lot. L was just super funny. He was a jokester. One time, him and Showbiz were arguing about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in this room. Showbiz was like, ‘Yo, you’re stupid. You think you know everything, but you’re stupid.’ And L was still trying to justify himself. And he talks like he rhymes. He’ll be like, [raises the pitch of his voice] ‘Yo, yo, yo, Premier like, that nigga don’t know what he be talkin’ bout. Yo, check this out, yo, Martin Luther King, he said in his book like, yo, Malcolm X, yo.’ You know what I mean? And Show was just like, ‘You’re stupid! You don’t know shit! Fucking, you’re the dumbest motherfucker in the world!’ And L would be like, ‘Yo, fuck you, you don’t know shit, yo, let me tell you about Malcolm X.’ And they were waiting for Fat Joe to get here to do ‘Da Enemy.’ Joe finally walks in and goes, ‘What are ya’ll arguing about?’ And then Show was still going at it like, ‘You’re a stupid motherfucker.’ And L would be like, ‘Yo, yo, yo, you don’t know shit. Yo, ya’ll get the beat ready? I already got my rhymes.’ And Joe was like, ‘You go first.’ And then we heard L said his shit, and we were like, ‘Oh, my God. When the streets hear this? It’s on and popping.’”