DJ Premier Is Honoring Hip-Hop History With His New EP, and He Has More on the Way

DJ Premier invites us to his studio to hear his new EP 'Hip-Hop 50 Volume 1' and talks about a plan to “constantly” release new music for the rest of the year.

DJ Premier interview July 2022 press photo

Photo by Andrew POE Mohrer

DJ Premier interview July 2022 press photo

The 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop is next August 11, 2023. A force as impactful and rewarding as hip-hop deserves more than just one day to celebrate, though, so Mass Appeal is commemorating the anniversary a year early with a series of EPs called Hip-Hop 50: The Soundtrack. First up is DJ Premier’s 5-track EP, featuring Nas, Lil Wayne, Slick Rick, Joey Badass, Run The Jewels, and Remy Ma and Rapsody, which is out now. The “Remy Rap” bar fest between Remy and Rapsody will have an accompanying video releasing shortly. 

The honor is well-deserved for a legendary producer like Preem, who’s been a go-to producer for artists across several decades of rap. He joined Gang Starr in 1989, scoring his partner Guru’s legendary baritone on albums like Step in the Arena, Daily Operation, Hard to Earn, and Moment of Truth. Outside of Gang Starr, Primo has laced beats from many of rap’s greatest MCs, from Nas (“N.Y. State Of Mind,” “Nas Is Like,”) to Jay-Z (“D’Evils,” “So Ghetto”) to The Notorious BIG (“Unbelievable,” “Kick In The Door”) to newer acts like Drake (“Sandra’s Rose”)  and Kanye West (“Everything I Am”).

As I sit on a couch in his studio on a mid-July afternoon and face the console, it doesn’t feel like I’m in a recording space, as much as it does the cockpit of an airliner touring the rarified air of rap history. His Astoria, Queens studio is lined with plaques of canonical centerpieces from Nas, Notorious BIG, Lauryn Hill, and other icons. And as he tells me, he’s still out for more.

DJ Premier: Hip-Hop 50 Volume 1 is just one of several projects that we should expect from him in the near future. “Everything’s coming out,” he says, leaning back into a plush chair at the studio’s console. “From this point to the end of the year, to the top of next year, I’m just constantly dropping music.” I look over to the buttons on his MPC and can see they’re well worn from an incalculable amount of hours in the lab. Now, we’re about to be blessed with the results of those sessions.. 

Today, I’m here to talk about the EP. Before explaining how it came together, he plays me the music. Each sample evokes a different vibe, but every artist sounds like they knew a DJ Premier beat had an inherent assignment to rap like their life depended on it (especially Lil Wayne on “The Root Of All”). Premier is facing his computer screen playing the records while I’m on the couch, so I’m taking in the music in my own space. As a music journalist, there are times where you’re politely nodding to stuff you’re not actually feeling, but that could never be the case with a Premier project. 

He’s excited about being the first producer to curate an EP in the series, and he’ll be followed by Swizz Beatz, Mustard, The-Dream, Mike Will Made It, No I.D., Hit-Boy, Take A Daytrip and Tainy. The tenth producer will be chosen by fan vote, according to Premier. 

Over the course of a nearly hour-long interview, our conversation veers to a debate about how the rap world’s changed, why he’s still dedicated to making bangers and preserving the culture, and a discussion about an upcoming Gangstarr documentary that features footage as far back as 1989. And yes, I also make sure to ask if that long-awaited Nas collaboration project will actually happen. The interview, lightly edited for clarity, is below.

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How did you get involved in the Hip-Hop Volume 1 project?

I was approached by Mass Appeal, and they told me it was to celebrate [hip-hop’s birthday], which will be next year, August 11, and they wanted to do ten producer EPs. When the last one comes out, it’ll land on the birthday of hip-hop and that’ll be 50 years. So I liked the idea. Plus Nas is involved as a part of Mass Appeal, and I wanted to be a part of it for Nas, because we have a long-time friendship. When they explained it would be five songs each, and they wanted me to start it, I was like, cool. I wouldn’t want to be the second, third, fourth, or fifth to release one. I want to set the first vibe. So already, I was thinking: I want to keep it just boom bap Preem. That’s what I’m known for; that’s what I like to create. So it’s just about assembling the right artists.

Joey Badass’ record was actually for his album that he’s about to drop, but he said it didn’t sonically fit what he already had. His album was almost done—he just hit me out of the blue and was like, “Yo, can I pull up and maybe we can squeeze one in?” So we did “Lettin’ Off Steam” and he wrote it right here [gestures to studio console]. But when it came down to him getting ready to get it mastered and sequenced, he said it just didn’t fit. So I said, “Yo, I’m one song short of doing this Mass Appeal project, can I put it on there?” And he checked with management and they were cool. I did three of [the songs] for the project, and two of them I’d already done.

The Slick Rick and Lil Wayne song started out as a Logic record. It turned into a Slick Rick and Lil Wayne record because Logic had done it about a friend of his who died over a bad drug deal, and he was just saying money was the evil of it. So when he said that, I didn’t want to call it “The Root of All Evil.” I figured [it should be] “The Root of All.” That way it could be evil or good, and it still covers both things. So when I did it with Logic, we were out of touch for a while and then I was like “Damn, man.” 

During the pandemic, I started working on a solo album, which is totally different from the Mass Appeal record. I said, “This is the best time [to do a solo album because] everybody’s home. No one’s going to no clubs, and nobody’s doing concerts. This is probably the best time to hit everybody up and see if I can get a feature.” Snoop was the first one to do it, and Remy was one of the first ones to do it before I got Rapsody on it.

“The Root Of All” was intended to be on Logic’s album, but when I asked him if he was using it, he was like, “No, I’m not going to use it.” But he didn’t remember that the rhyme was something he used already. So at that time I was like, let’s see if somebody like Lil Wayne could get on it. I reached out to Mack Maine and I gave him two records. One was a Rick Ross record and one was “The Root Of All.” He sent me both back and said, “Yo, take them both. Do what you need to do.” 

So I called Logic to let him know I put Wayne on it, and he goes, “Yo, send me that joint again so I can hear the rhyme.” Because I had had it for almost two years, I sent it to him, and he’s like, “Yo man, I already did that rhyme on a different record. I’m going to send you a new rhyme.” But it was just some battle shit, straight spitting bars, which is still dope. The topic didn’t match what Wayne did, though, so I said, “Let me take [Logic’s verse] off, [and] keep it for my solo album.” Because the bars are crazy.

So now I’m like, who can replace Logic with to make it complete? Since he said that verse was used and the other one doesn’t fit the topic. That’s when I thought about Slick Rick, and he was with it off rip. He said, [imitating Slick Rick’s accent] “Let me hear the Wayne verse.” He talks just like the way he raps. And I sent it to him. He’s like, “Oh yeah, I’m on it. Do you want to hook or verse?” I said, “I’ll take both.” So that’s how I got Rick. 

[With Nas], even though we’ve already started working on new material, he said since this was about the history of hip-hop and paying homage, he wanted the one with beat breaks to be the go-to. For one, it’s over a classic break called “Theme from the Planets,” which is very popular in our era and of the breakbeat era. And then two, it fits the concept of the Hip-Hop 50 Volume 1. 

The cover art on all ten volumes will have a boombox, but they’ll be designed differently. Mine looks like the original version with the NYNEX telephone on the turntable and the whole doorbell on the buildings. And when you go to people’s houses, there’s the Sedgwick and Cedar sign and just so many little things that make it look and sound like what we were doing. So that’s what I went for on that. 

Remy and I have the same management, so I see her and Papoose a lot, even when they’re here working on other stuff or having a meeting. So when I told her I got to do a joint with her and vice versa for whatever she’s doing to get her album ready, she was like, “Yo, whatever you got, I’ll write to it.” So she wrote it right here and did it. The next thing you know, she put it down and I was like, “Damn, who could go after her?” I thought Rapsody and her would be a dope combo because they have two different lanes—they’re both spitters but they’re so different with the audiences they attract. I knew putting them together would be odd but dope at the same time, because the rhyming ability is going to be there and they’re both going to deliver. So that’s how that happened.

And with Run The Jewels, I’ve known El-P for mad years, and Killer Mike and I have been good friends. They have a dope following with what they’ve been doing for their last couple albums. And when I talked to them about being on it, they were like, “Yo, just make some dark sinister shit and slow.” I had given them a beat prior to and they said it was a little too fast. So they said, “Can you slow it down to the slower 80s and we’ll do our thing.” I did that one, sent it to them with the scratches already in there with the “run your jewels,” and they were like, “This is it.” And he said, “Mike’s going to set the tone, I can’t think of nothing yet.” El-P said, “Whenever I hear what Mike writes and you like it, then I’ll put mine down.” And that’s how we got “Terrible Twos.”

press photo of DJ Premier by Andrew POE Mohrer

So the Nas and the Run the Jewels songs have the two beats that you made specifically for the artists?

Nas, Run the Jewels, and I’d say “Remy Rap,” even though it’s for my solo album. I was already specific in how I wanted it to be like “Oh My God” from Tribe Called Quest with that slow bounce and that type of a skip drum. But I always heard Fatback Band’s “Backstrokin’” because that’s such a hit record. And I usually don’t sample hits and chop them up, because I’m known for the obscure samples that make you go “where’d you get that from?” But I just said, “Man, if I could run ‘Backstrokin’’ through Ableton and slow it down, and slow down the drums and just really make it bounce, like, “Oh My God,” the way it skips. Then we got a jam. And that’s what I did. “Backstrokin’” and Tribe Called Quest, “Oh My God.”

How much time did it take from beginning to end to put the five songs together?

Not long. Once I knew what they wanted to do with the celebration of these 50 years, my DJ mentality kicked in. I’m a producer still and I’m an artist still, but the DJ part starts to take over on sequencing. Because with the Joey record, I was expecting that to be on his album. So when it didn’t make it, I was like, it sounds like the first one to start it. On that one, you hear the Antman Wonder sample, because I had leftover samples from the PRhyme 2 album. When we were looking for sounds, Joey heard that one and was like, “Yo, I like that. Make a beat right now for that.” So I cooked it and he wrote it right here. [It’s a perfect way to start the EP] because I just like the way it begins with “Joey Badass and Big Preem, we letting off steam and we still came back for the cream,” man. It’s almost like—

Setting the tone.

Yeah. We back again and still rap supreme, man. All that just sets it all up. So to me I feel like with karma, it was meant to be.

Did you do the Nas track in-person?

Yeah. We did the first verse here. For the second verse, he was out on tour in Europe and he cut the vocal in. I forgot what country he was in, but he stopped at the studio, and got on the phone. I said, “Yo, please match the energy of the first verse.” Because I’m used to being with the artist to oversee the session. So with him not being there, I’m just like, “Please make sure you put your time into matching the energy so it sounds like they were the same day.” Then he sent it back and he literally matched the same exact attitude.

“I still have appreciation from day one, all the way to where it’s going now, which is why I refuse to put my style away, because it don’t have a death date.”

You mentioned you’re working on new material with Nas. Would you like to elaborate on that?

I mean, people have been talking about it for so long. It’s been almost 20 years of just talking about it. So to come back and just to do the one for Hip-Hop 50, he was like, “Yo, what else you got?” We just started making stuff and he’d be like, “Yo, turn the mic on. Let me just lay down what I’m hearing.” And he started writing it down and would just lay it down. So we just did a couple demos, but he let me know that he’s still in the pocket with delivering what we’ve been wanting, especially when the two of us get together. With the “Break Beat” joint, he had already said, “I want to do a classic breakbeat joint, one of the classic ones from back in the day and we was in the park jams.” So “Theme from the Planets” was one of the popular breaks, besides “Impeach The President” and “God Made Me Funky” and stuff like that. That’s one of my favorite ones on the Ultimate Breaks and Beats that Lenny and Breakbeat Lou do. So once we did that one, just to see what it would sound like, that’s when he was like, “Yo, that should be the one to go with saluting the history of hip-hop. And let’s save the other ones for later.”

I’ve got to ask, is there a possibility of a project with you and Nas down the line?

We’ll see. I can’t confirm but let’s hope. Keep hope alive, like Jesse Jackson would say.

How many of the songs on the EP will have videos?

I don’t know, but we’re shooting “Remy Rap” Monday. So there’s one in the can. They’re doing it up here [in New York]. But I’m down to do all five, if they’re with it. I’m all in.

Were you involved in the creative process of the EP’s artwork?

No. But my mother’s an art teacher. God bless her soul. I come from art. So once I saw that, and this is the first draft of it, I was like, “Yo, that’s it.” I didn’t even have to second guess.

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You’ve collaborated with Logic, Joey, ASAP Ferg, a lot of younger artists. How intentional is it for you to collaborate with them to try to bridge that generational gap?

It’s a big deal. Me and Roddy Ricch worked on some stuff, but it didn’t materialize. He never put vocals down. But me, him, and ASAP Rocky [were] in the studio together working on some stuff. And then obviously with ASAP having the baby, he paused on the music for a minute. But we were all in the studio together. Me, him, and Roddy Ricch man. We had a good time hanging and working on some stuff, but just no vocals got laid down. And I like DaBaby a lot. I’d like to do something with him. I like Lil Baby as well. There’s people that I would definitely fuck with in that world.

Have you reached out to Lil Baby? 

I reached out to him and to Doja Cat. They were all like, “Right now, we’re not recording.” And stuff like that or we have a different schedule. But I did reach out to all of them.

In your Drink Champs interview, you referenced “old timer’s music.” When you were doing your thing in the ’90s, did you have the foresight to realize that one day the market would exist where there would be 40 and 50-year-old consumers that you’d be able to tour and make music for without having to pander to the youth?

Yes and no. Because I was on the same, “Man, [in my] 40s [I’m] not going to be doing all this stuff.” A lot of people said that. “I’m not going to be doing rap in my 40s.” Now I’m 56 and I’m still excited to cook up another banger. And I love DJing. I love touring. I love every aspect of what it takes to be in the entertainment world. From scoring movies, to scoring TV shows, to making a soundtrack, to whatever. And whatever fans we had in the ’90s have grown with us. So why not serve them and keep serving them, being that they were supporting us back then? I mean, they’re pretty much in our age bracket, so let’s keep making stuff for them as well. If the younger generation comes to the table and wants to be a part of it, we always welcome them, too. But I think about my audience, that it’s still always there. When I go to my shows, it gets younger in the crowd but a lot of them are singing every word because they know our history.

Fans who grew up with you who might feel a certain way about the newer acts and the newer music. Do you feel like there’s a pathway for them to accept that it’s just not for them, even if they don’t like the newer sound? It doesn’t mean that it’s not hip-hop or that it’s not valid.

Yeah. For me, I never could turn my back on the newer generation, because we were there before. And when we were there, there were older rappers and stuff saying, “Oh, all you motherfuckers aren’t dope like us.” Or, “All you motherfuckers don’t respect the old school.” So now we are the older dudes, but not every artist is that way. I’m not. I value the preservation of the culture to keep living. So you’ve got to have the younger ones in, too. It’s just, they’ve got to understand and respect the history of it, because when it’s a culture, history cannot be removed. It’s just like rewriting the Bible—you don’t want to rewrite the Bible. You want to write the actual factual of what really did happen. And I know that history because I respected the people that came before me and opened the doors for us.

“We’re working on that now. A Gang Starr documentary.”

What are some of the most exciting new things you see in the game artistically?

The equipment has changed. I started off in the vinyl world and the CD and cassette world. Now you have the Serato, and you have all these new turntables that are not even vinyl. They’re just little wheels that you spin. So the technology’s changed a lot, and the sound of the music’s changed a lot. Like I said, the only thing that’s different is the appreciation. I still have appreciation from day one, all the way to where it’s going now, which is why I refuse to put my style away, because it don’t have a death date. It is going to live forever because of the fact that even when I’m long gone, the music’s still available.

Cole’s a good example. When he did the Gang Starr record with us for Family and Loyalty in 2019, he was the one saying, “Yo, you should drop my single first because that’ll make my audience want to check Gang Starr.” And next thing you know, they’re liking our albums and then picking up on that type of stuff, and now they’re adding that to their discography of stuff that they like, which they weren’t even up on because they were too young. At the end of the day, I just make sure I pay attention and keep up. I don’t turn my back on what’s out there now. And I have an 11-year-old son. He likes Roddy Rich. He likes Juice World. He likes Kid Laroi. He likes all that stuff. They all love “Right Foot Creep,” even though that’s a violent song, but they don’t know because they’re kids.

He is another reason why I’m up on things, because that’s what he’s into at 11, where I’m into all the grownups stuff. But in my generation when I was coming up, we liked what our parents were listening to. We loved Curtis Mayfield, The Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips. We did like that. We weren’t like, “Oh, that’s for my mom so we don’t listen to that.” We liked the same thing they liked. They weren’t into rap. That was more when I was a teenager. But prior to that, everything my parents were bumping, we were fans of. We didn’t have rap when I was a kid. So I understand what built it. And the fact that I know we built it, there’s no way I’ll ever turn my back on [it]. We’ve got the purest form. That’s what I do—I do the purest form. It’s like country music. Country music now sounds almost like pop but back in my day, everything had that honky tonk swing, just that old down south, put on your boots and go to the rodeo type country. Outlaw country.

That’s what they called it. I liked that straight outlaw shit. Same thing with hip-hop—you got the gangster shit, you got pop shit, you got conscious shit. You got all these different categories, and it is just a wider menu now. In our era, it was only a few menus. Now there’s 30 of them. Pick what you want. It’s like going to a restaurant. You like to go to Italian, I want to go to get some sushi. Still hip-hop.

When you hear your influence on newer songs, like chopping techniques or the scratches on the hook, how do you experience that? Does it feel rewarding or does it feel like biting?

It’s more rewarding now. In my younger age, if it sounded too much like what I created or added on to, then I’d be like, “Oh, that motherfucker’s biting my shit.” But if it’s bitten and done well, then I applaud it. It’s almost like you know when it’s a bite and when it’s not. I was talking to my manager, and he’ll go, “That’s not biting?” I’m like, “No, that’s not a bite.” He’s like, “Yeah. But it—.” I’m like, “Dude, it’s not a bite.” Because when it is, I don’t even have to second guess. It’s like, that’s a bite. Because that’s our era. When we came up, if you bit, we were in fights over that. Not over cursing your girl out or pushing you out the way at the club… Over a bite, you had a fight. You should have been there, man. It was rowdy during our era. Over biting. Over biting a style.

Yeah, I see that. Where an artist from that generation comes out and accuses someone of biting, people from the newer generation will say, “Oh, is it that serious?” And I’m like, “You all don’t understand where they’re coming from. That was a cardinal sin.”

That’s going on. T-Pain was popular, and everybody started using AutoTune. Now everybody uses AutoTune. And it is biting. But everybody wants to ride a wave of what’s going to make you successful, especially when it’s happened with three, four, five other artists. You’re like yo, I’ve got to fucking do the same thing. So you’re going to start getting your AutoTune, now you turn it up so much, it almost sounds like you’re crying [mimics high-pitched crooning]. Certain people are good at it, certain people are not. And the ones that are not do their best to sound like the ones that are good at it. And that’s what diminishes the longevity of the culture, when you’re not just thinking about how you can sound different from everybody out there.

With me, I was blessed to have Guru. He had that voice that no one had. And on top of that, we knew how to make records. We knew how to make albums. And we come from the album world. Now everything’s playlists and you might just pull two songs off the album and never listen to it again. Whereas for us, I want a body of work that I can listen to top to bottom and enjoy an album. That’s always my mental approach every time. It remains that.

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How do you feel about the trend of artists redoing a song from the 90s or 2000s and putting their own spin on it, but sometimes seeming like they’re just leaning on the nostalgic factor? How would you feel if people start doing that with Gang Starr or —

Snoop did “Lodi Dodi.” You don’t fuck with “La Di Da Di,” with Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, but Snoop did a dope version on Doggystyle. That’s not a bite, it’s paying homage. But he did a great homage. If somebody else did it, you’d be like, what the fuck are you doing? But Snoop did a G-Funk type version of paying tribute to one of his favorite artists [and] favorite songs.

You have your So Wassup show on YouTube. How did that come together? And what’s your aim with that?

We would just be unboxing a lot of stuff from when we moved here back in 2015. And when we were unboxing, I was like, “Oh man, get all my discs.” It said discs on the box, but once we opened it, I was like, “Oh wow, look, the Mass Appeal. Oh shit, there goes DWYCK.” There goes this and this. We shot it in our live room with a little background that didn’t look good. And I didn’t like the way I was sitting in the chair and it just didn’t look right. [So we scrapped it and tried again multiple times] until I was comfortable with doing the next one and the next one. Then we were like, let’s go ahead and do a series. 

We usually do three to four at a time and I’ll just tell the editor which one I want to work on and I’ll send him pictures for certain things he might bring up. We’ll edit it together and then when it’s good to go, we load it up, and they launch on Tuesdays. I’ve got so many discs, and some people are like, “Oh, why don’t you do this one?” We’ve got to find them because I have so many boxes. The ones I’ve been doing are just the ones I found, because shit, I have over 1,000 discs. There’s that many boxes to go through.

Have you ever thought about a documentary or a book?

We’re working on that now. A Gang Starr documentary. We’re digitizing all of our videotapes because I have over a hundred tapes. So we’re digitizing everything and we’re working on the documentary. It’s going to be a minute. It’s a lot to do. Dumping all these tapes in real-time. But we got a nice chunk to get it going, so we’re doing that right now.

Were you filming, or was somebody on your team filming?

I’m a huge videographer. A lot of it I filmed. Then once we had the tour and me and Guru were going out, some of my guys filmed it. We’ve got old footage from 1990. No, actually 1989. Real crazy shit you’re going to see.

I saw you listed your top five producers in I think 2011 for HipHopDX.

It changes. Top five is hard to do. I have more than five.

Yeah, It’s hard for me to do it with producers or rappers. I don’t even like that question, but I was going to ask, what producers would you see coming into contention to add to your list? Back then, it was James Brown, Marley Marl, Rick Rubin, Mantronix, and Dr. Dre.

You’ve got to add The Bomb Squad, Nottz. Larry Smith. Havoc, Easy Mo Bee. I like Hit-Boy, I like Boi-1da, I like Mike Will. I like some of Mustard’s stuff.

Where do you stand on the term “underground rap”?

“Underground” for me is just breaking some new shit that sounds like the way we used to listen to mix shows. Without the mix show, we wouldn’t know no records. Red Alert show on Saturday nights, Chuck Chillout on Friday, Marley Marl, Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack on Friday nights and Saturday nights, the Hank Love & DNA Show, The World Famous Supreme Team and Awesome Two. All those shows, if you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t be knowing what’s the next hot record. I still do that in 2022. I just make sure it sounds like the purest form, beats, rhymes, and scratching. And if it sounds something like that, it’s getting played. And I do a radio show that caters to that. DJ Eclipse still does, Statik Selektah still does it. The Sway & Tech on The Wake Up Show with DJ Revolution. There’s a lot of us that are doing it.

Shout to The Beat Junkies, the Skratch Piklz. There’s so many people that are still doing it and sticking to this way, and won’t do it any other way but this way. The newer stuff, we really don’t need to play. If it’s the drill or trap sound, we don’t need to play it because it’s dominating radio. We play the ones that’s really on the under. That’s how Griselda blew up. We blew up Griselda. All of them—West, Benny, Conway. We blew them up. All of us breaking it, and just slowly, now they’re a big household name. They’re signed by Eminem. That’s not happening if you’re not doing something right. And your audience is there to support you, and there’s no complaints. So I do the same thing to this very day.

How do you feel about sample snitching?

I don’t like it still. You all know we get sample claims and there’s still a secret science to it. Like I said, “Backstrokin’,” the one I used for the “Remy Rap,” that’s a very big, popular, well-known club record from the 70s and 80s. So I’m not going to skip and not clear that when I sample it. Because I took a hit and made a grimy record out of it. I usually don’t do that. I usually take samples and no one knows where it’s from, where it makes you go, “Where’d he get that?” That’s what’s fun to me, and that’s part of the science of digging into crates. Shout to Diamond D and Showbiz for even creating that name. It’s a science, it’s an art. If you don’t get it, it’ll just sound like oh, you just taking a record. No, it goes beyond that because these machines and all this stuff that we got were to help us double copy what we wanted to do to make things repeat on time and they weren’t even really made for what we did. We’re very unique. As hip-hop and underground and Black folks, we are very unique at finding a way to make something out of nothing. And that’s where hip-hop was. It took something out of nothing. And then, like Grandmaster Caz from The Cold Crush said, “Hip-hop didn’t invent anything. Hip-hop reinvented everything.” That’s what it did. We reinvent.

Beyond the EP, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

Put out a lot of material that I’ve been sitting on for the last five years. Everything’s coming out. So from this point to the end of the year, to the top of next year, I’m just constantly dropping music. Which I always do. I never really take long breaks.

Do you feel like your work rate intensified over the pandemic? 

No. I mean, if you look at my track record, I’m always recording. It’s not even to outdo everybody else, I just love recording. I love it. We’re working on PRhyme 3 right now, me and Royce. So that’s occupying my time. I’m dropping a new NYG’z album, who’s my long-time people’s out of our crew that was originally signed to Guru, and they never got to complete an album with him. He asked me to please make sure that still happens. And I said I got him. And they’re homies of ours anyway, Panche and Shabino. And Panche’s a co-host on my radio show Live from HeadQCourterz with Tha Chill and Kreepy Clown. 

We’re reissuing the Bumpy Knuckles and Premier KoleXXXion album. And we’re about to put out five brand new bonus songs, but we own the master now. So now we re-uploaded it to all platforms. A lot of people are like, “What happened to it?” But it was owned by another company at the time, along with us. And now they let go of it and let us have it. So now that’s under our terms and we’re putting that out.

Bigg Shug and I are going to do an album that’s all Premier produced. Same thing with NYGz—it’s all Premier produced. Teflon from M.O.P. is dropping a project called Two Sides To Every Story. It’s going to be on Coalmine Records. I’m doing half, which is why it’s called Two Sides To Every Story. And he has a producer in California named Jazi Moto. So half is going to be her five songs. M.O.P. is on it, Benny the Butcher’s on it, and the rest is just Tef going for his. He’s got two M.O.P records. One produced by me on the Premier side, one produced by her on the Jazi Moto side. And then we got Benny.

Word. Is there anything else that I didn’t ask that you want to mention about the project or anything you’ve got going on?

No, just Friday, July 15. Get ready for it. And I’m sure we’ll do more than one video, but “Remy Rap” is one of my favorites, and to bring some dope females that can spit to show you all how to rhyme. It’s a good time, and it’s summertime. So that’s going to be even better.

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