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The 25 Best DJ Premier Beats

4. Jeru the Damaja "Come Clean" (1993)

Album: The Sun Rises in the East
Label: PayDay/FFRR/PolyGram

After making an appearance on Gang Starr's Daily Operation album, Jeru The Damaja launched a solo career as properly as possible with this, his first single, a jaw-dropping example of the creativity possible with pastiche-style music production. As Premo told us during a breakdown of his classic records, he didn't need to add much to the beat for Jeru to get busy. It already had the essentials-incredibly banging drums, and a bass line that sounded like it was constructed from a recording of liquid anvils hitting the concrete .(It's actually a Shelly Manne sample.)

Premo says, "I thought about putting some melodies to it, but Jeru's so grimy and hardcore, the beat was perfect for him. He didn't need any extra keyboards, or melodic sounds. It just sounded raw." Add in a rowdy Onyx vocal sample on the hook, and you've got one of the toughest joints to ever come out of Brooklyn. Heads up! Daniel Isenberg

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