DJ Premier Responds To HipHopDX Readers, Talks Schooling Guru's Son

Preemo explains why Kanye West and Eminem's albums can't compare to The Left and Roc Marciano's, and reveals what guidance he is providing to young K.C. Elam.

In commemoration of this month’s 20th anniversary of the release of Gang Starr’s stellar sophomore album, Step in the Arena, HipHopDX spoke to DJ Premier on Wednesday (January 12th) for the first in a new DX feature series, “Timeless,” which will revisit time-tested albums with their creators in the depth and detail only DX can.   

For the release Tuesday (January 18th) of the second collection of some of Preme’s previously in-the-vault instrumentals, Beats That Collected Dust, Volume 2, DX additionally discussed with Premier the latest release on his Year Round Records (following December’s YR compilation effort, Get Used To Us).

During his incredibly in-depth Q&A, Preme also explained the origins of his recently un-vaulted Madonna remix, updated the progress K.C. Elam has made so far as a deejay-in-training under Preme’s tutelage (and revealed what other schooling he has provided to Guru’s only son), responded to recent revelations from Scarface about ‘Face’s history with his fellow Texas native during the early days of their careers, revealed if he and Drake have collaborated yet as previously planned, clarified once and forever the correct spelling of his nickname, and lastly, and most notably to the readers of this site, the greatest producer in Hip Hop history responded to “all the haters” at HipHopDX who decried the 2010 edition of his annual list of favorite albums of the year

HipHopDX: This Beats That Collected Dust, Volume 2 that’s droppin’ next week, this is stuff that was gonna be used for [Gang Starr’s] Hard to Earn?  

DJ Premier: No, there’s [only one] track on there called “I Don’t Know” [that was originally created for Hard to Earn]. When I write my discs, when I find samples and I don’t know what to call it, I call ‘em all kind of weird names. And I didn’t know what to call it, so I called it “I Don’t Know” on the disc. So that’s why I just left it as the name of it. And I gave it to Freddie Foxxx ‘cause he said, “Man, let me do a couple of freestyles over them Beats That Collected Dust that you got coming out so I can really throw ‘em out there to coincide with us releasing our Freddie Foxxx/Premier album called The Kolexion.” And I was like, “Alright.” So, I didn’t tell him that was a former Gang Starr track. That was the only one on there that was a Gang Starr track that me and Guru didn’t finish. So when I sent him that, he didn’t even know. And he calls me and goes, “Yo, I just wrote a song called ‘The Gang Starr Bus.’ It’s ill. I want you to check it out.” And when I heard it, I started crying, man. ‘Cause, I remember that time. [And] everything Freddie Foxxx said – even if you weren’t there, you were there. Like, he said it to the T of that bus journey on that tour, when we were on the Moment of Truth tour [and the] Smokin’ Grooves [tour], with Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Busta Rhymes and the Flipmode [Squad]. And Black Eyed Peas weren’t even known yet. They were our opening act. Mya was the first opening act, then there was Black Eyed Peas. They was [doing] ill jazzy dance steps, with a drummer and a bass player. And they were dope! That’s when I was like, “Yo, they’re gonna blow up. One day they’re gonna be huge.” And look at ‘em, they’re huge. And M.O.P. was with us. You know, we had already gone past the stage of being with Group Home and Jeru [The Damaja]. They had grown, and we had outgrown each other… So, that was our traveling party: Headqcourterz, Mike Rome, my man Eion, Vick Black, Freddie Foxx, M.O.P. …Foxx from M.O.P., she was on the tour with us. Laze E. Laze. We went through so much, man. So to go through that, and then to go through hearing the lyrics of what he said, it just took me [back]. And he was also talking about the Rage Against The Machine tour that we did where we opened up for Rage Against The Machine. That’s just a sentimental time for us… He was talking about we made Sara [Honda] cry every day, but she loved us anyway. That was our assistant at my manager’s office. And Phat Gary keeping Guru out of rumors - that’s all real shit, man.

We were always protective of Guru. Even though there’s always been speculation that we just were always beating on each other. Yeah, we fought a lot. But, what groups don’t fight? What groups don’t disagree and have it out with each other? But, it never affected the integrity of our albums. And we never stopped recording. We kept making more and more albums, back-to-back. And during that time – Again, that’s how you know who was down, who was around us. You can’t speak on the Gang Starr history unless you were there. Being with us once or twice can’t add up to the 23 years I been with that guy. So, that record means a lot to me. Freddie Foxxx turned that [track] into a masterpiece.         

DX: You plan on letting loose of the instrumentals for those "Don't Tell Me" remixes you submitted to Madonna? 

DJ Premier: Um…yeah. But I’m just holding on to it ‘til the time is right. I’m very, very picky about [timing]. Like, you can call me slow, you can call me late, but I know when something’s ready. I’m just weird like that. You can get frustrated with me all you want to, but when I know it’s ready, it’s ready.

DX: Can you offer some history a little bit about how that came about that you almost landed work with her?

DJ Premier: I got a call from her office that she wanted me to do a remix for “Don’t Tell Me,” when she put out the Music album… They sent the parts to me. I did two mixes. I did the first one where I pretty much just used all of her elements, including the music, and just took my type of a drum bounce to it. They didn’t accept that one. So then I said, let me just strip the whole thing down and just keep her vocals, and I went ahead and did it and called it the – I called it the “Break Mix” because she’s known for doing all types of remixes. She had worked with 45 King on the “Keep It Together” remix, and that was dope. So I said, you know what? Let me go ahead and just do my own entire remix of it and just [strip] everything else off of it. And I thought that one would be the one, and she said that wasn’t it either, but maybe next time. So…I’ve still held onto that version.    

DX: I wanna touch on a couple more newsworthy items, more recent bits where you’ve been in our HipHopDX news. I wanted to get an update on Guru’s son’s progress as a deejay in training. 

DJ Premier: His first assignment was all – I gave him ten James Brown records to research, and to study, and let me know he knew ‘em. And, he said he did it and he was ready for his next assignment. So this time I took him to Motown [Records] and [gave him] a lot of Jackson 5: “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and “ABC,” “I Want You Back.” Because, I remember when I was a child what I was inspired by. Like, even when I send him the assignments, I type to him, “You know your father really loved these records. And if we were together right now we could sing ‘em at the same time.” I know that’s his father’s upbringing and mine as well. I want him to know the fundamentals of what this whole deejaying thing has turned into. So these records are really precious records that he must know, before he starts scratching and doing all that stage of it. That’ll come later. I just want him to absorb the music and see why I’m choosing [these records], and see what his take is on it. I haven’t even asked him which ones did he like. And I’m sure there’s gonna be certain ones where he’s like, yeah, I like this one better. But I’m still gonna give him a quiz – he’s gonna do an exam where I play the records and he can’t look at the names of ‘em. And I’ma be like, "Alright, what’s the name of that one?" And he’s gonna have to tell me what the name of it is. If I put in “Make It Funky,” he’s gotta know that’s what it is. If I play “Funky Drummer,” he’s gotta know what it is. If I play “Escapism,” he’s gotta know that’s what it is. So, he’s on assignment number two.

I took care of him, made sure he had a good Christmas. We sold some Gang Starr t-shirts on the road. I split half of the proceeds and gave it right to his mother. And she said he had a real good Christmas. And, you know, I’ma make sure that that always sticks and do the right thing, ‘cause that’s what he deserves. Guru’s son deserves the best. So I’ma make sure I’m in his life all the way, 100%. And make sure that he’s never misled by anything. Even when he wants to know the truth about his father, when he’s grown up enough to know it as a man, I’ll tell him the truth about things that went on in the past and stuff like that. I [won’t] mind him knowing [then] ‘cause he’s a man, and a man has to know certain things that are beyond what women need to know… He just needs to have a man in the house. Me and Big Shug are both part of his life. And Big Shug is a father of three, so he knows how to give it to him from that [fatherly perspective]. Even when we went to the BET Hip Hop Awards, we sat him down and schooled him on a lot of things about his father so he hears it from us. Because hearing it from us, it’s not gonna be sugarcoated. But at the same time, it’s all reality. It’s just like when they finally found Guru’s body once that other guy wouldn’t tell everybody where he was, and we found him. Unfortunately he had to see his father in that state, but he got to go to the funeral home and see his father one more time, even though his soul was already gone. And that was important. He needed to see his father, dead or alive. And I’m glad he got to see him, even though he was already passed and he was already at the funeral home.

You gotta live right, man. And I’ve always lived right. I mean, yeah, I’ve done my drinking and drugs, and all of my stuff in the past. Big deal. That’s part of the life experiences and growing up and learning how to think for yourself. And I’ve done that. And that’s the reason why I still continue to be loved by so many people. I’m hated by few, loved by many. So it’s all good. I don’t wanna be loved by everybody anyway.                 

DX: I know one dude that loves you – I know this because I interviewed him not too long ago… Scarface told me something I never knew, that supposedly back when you guys were both in Texas you knew each other in the early days and there coulda been a Scarface/DJ Premier tag team

DJ Premier: Aw man, absolutely. Actually, my emcee Top Ski, who was my emcee when I was in Texas, beat-boxed for Willie D of the Geto Boys in an emcee battle at this club called the Rhinestone Wrangler. That was like The Tunnel back in like ’84. Back in 1984 it was all about the Rhinestone Wrangler. It was right by the Astrodome. And I worked at the record store right across the street. That was where I got even more knowledge of how to rock a party, because the deejay that taught me how to deejay, RP Cola, worked at the Rhinestone Wrangler. So he used to get a lot of records early. And I remember Grandmaster Flash came there [in 1988] and got on the wheels. He was cuttin’ up [Stetsasonic’s] “Go Stetsa Part 2,” and he did this ill thing with the drum roll where he broke it down into four parts before he let it go… And I was just like, “Yo! This is crazy.” And Scarface was DJ Akshun then. He was a deejay. He wasn’t even rappin’ then. So, yeah, it coulda gone down.

DX: Wow. I asked him about that, like if he regretted that, and he said no, Gang Starr was meant to be.

DJ Premier: Yeah. But me and Scarface are good friends. We’re talking about doing some stuff in the future. And, you see I ranked him high on my [Top 25 Albums of 2010] list, for Dopeman Music. That was a good project.

DX: Speaking of future projects, when are we gonna finally get that new NYG’z album?

DJ Premier: That’s what I’m mixing right now. I’m a quarter of the way done with mixing. It’s a really good album. I’m excited about it. It’s [their] first album [where] I produced the entire thing. It’s well put together… Shabeeno was always an emcee; Panchi was not. And to get Panchi to get to the point of knowing how to deliver his rhymes and all that stuff, he’s really come a long way. And he’s staying outta the streets – he was always in the streets hustin’, going to jail all the time and really getting into so much drama. And now he loves doing [music]. He’s like, “All these people be talking about ‘I ain’t no rapper.’” He said, “I’ll wear a shirt everyday that says ‘I am a rapper.’” ‘Cause, that’s what he is… I’m just proud of him, [and] that they sound like a team. I’ve known them for a long time, way before music and all of that even stepped into play, and I’m just happy that we finally [got them to this point]. We’re mixing the album. It will be ready before the summer.      

DX: “Ya Dayz R #’d,” I been listening to that for like four years straight. [Laughs]  

DJ Premier: Yeah. Well I’m [also] about to drop my compilation, Get Used To Us, [on] CD. ‘Cause we only did it digital. We’re just finishing up these last couple of videos. [The CD release is] gonna come with a DVD. Every song on the album is gonna have a video, except for two. [The video for the] “Ya Dayz R #’d Remix,” that came out dope, with Freddie Foxxx and Royce [Da 5’9”], and Lady Of Rage. We went to L.A. and shot her part. We put Gianna Michaels, the porn actress, in it. So when [Rage] says “I got porn star stamina” [you see Gianna]. It’s a good video, man. Bumpy [Knuckles] brought his whole Krupt Mob motorcycle squad out to be in the video. It’s really dope. And [the video] moves; it makes you love the song again.    

DX: I wanna squeeze in a couple more questions, about collaborations that were reported you might be doing. First, did you get it in with Drake yet? I know y’all previously chopped it up about collaborating. 

DJ Premier: Not yet. I told him once I got back after New Year’s I’d start sending him some stuff. So I’ma start getting on top of that.   

DX: And another one that I’m excited about, I hope it can happen: I heard you chopped it up with Freddie Gibbs?  

DJ Premier: Yeah! He was a guest on my [“Live From Headqcourterz” radio] show. I like that guy a lot. So I definitely wanna work with him.  
DX: Yeah, that has to happen.

DJ Premier: Oh, no question.

DX: You familiar with the name Jon Connor from Flint, Michigan? 

DJ Premier: Yeah! I play his record on my show. I been playing “The Message” on my show. 

DX: He’s got another joint called “Epic” that is -  

DJ Premier: Yeah, I play that too: the fast one, the uptempo joint. I’m feeling him. I been up on him already. Big shouts to Sav over at Def Jam. He’s the one that got me “The Message” record, and I started playing it immediately.

DX: My final question is one I been wanting to ask you for 20 years. Primo or Premo – I or E?

DJ Premier: I don’t even know who started calling me Premo to be honest wit’chu. I have no clue. I guess Guru did. He used to call me Premo a lot. Just like I don’t call him Guru; I call him Gu. But yeah, he used to call me Premo. And he’d say it a lot of times in his rhymes. He wouldn’t always say Premier; he’d say Premo. So the people just started calling me that. But they would spell it P-R-I-M-O, which is pr-eye-mo to me. If I spelled Premo I would spell it P-R-E-E-M-O.

DX: I appreciate you finally clarifying that. Now we can get the grammatical, correct – [Laughs]

DJ Premier: [Laughs] No doubt… And shouts to all the haters that were mad at me for my Top 25 list. I love all the haters. 

DX: [Laughs] Why’d you put your shit at #2? Fuck it, put it at #1.

DJ Premier: Well, I thought Ghostface’s [Apollo Kids] album was better than mine. I really did. I’m being honest. I wasn’t being bias at all. And I thought my album was a good body of work. I didn’t put it up there just because I made it, and I deserve to be at the top – which I do deserve to be at the top. But I don’t put myself on a pedestal like that when I compare it to other things that I like. And when I listened to Ghost’s album, which I got two weeks after mine came out, I was really impressed and I was like, “Yo, man, this is it. This is the one. This is my #1 album.” ‘Cause I made that list literally two hours before I went to go do my radio show, and [so], you know, [there are] a couple I wish I could put in a different slot… There’s just one or two albums that I wish I had moved to a higher rank. Like, I thought Roc Marciano's [Marcberg] should be higher… But hey, if I had cut it to 20, [at least] he still made it. Again, it was really just my list of things that I loved to listen to this past year. A lot of people thought, “How can you leave Eminem's [Recovery] and Kanye [West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy] out?” And I was like, I’m not disrespecting them. I love both of them. Kanye’s a good friend of mine. Eminem’s a friend of mine. I just didn’t like their albums better than what I listened to. I didn’t say it was [wack], I just said these [albums] are the ones that I liked this year. I thought Recovery was better than Relapse. There were better songs on there, [but] compared to everything else I chose, it didn’t make the cut. Kanye’s album, I was anticipating that one highly based on what he told me it was gonna be: predominantly a boom-bap album. I think it’s a great album, but compared to The Left's [Gas Mask] and Roc Marc and Ghost and all these other albums, it couldn’t compare. Because, my expectations were very, very high [for] that album.

Some people thought I was [being] mad because [Kanye West] didn’t use my beat. Like, I never been sensitive to that. I been turned down on beats a million times. Jay-Z, he’s turned down many of beats. And I don’t get mad like that. The only time I ever got mad at Jay for not picking a beat was not telling me that he didn’t like [a beat], when he only called me the day before he turned [his album] in to do a beat, back when he did American Gangster. And even that, he and I squashed that, after several hours of not being happy that I wasn’t on the album. And that was the only time I ever took something slightly to heart. [But] after a few hours I was over it. I don’t hold on to stuff and hold [a] grudge over people [turning] down a beat. It’s their record at the end of the day. If they don’t want it, I can’t force them to use it when it’s their album. If it’s my album, then I choose what I choose. But otherwise, yeah, there’s no need to get mad at an artist for not choosing a beat. They don’t want it, they don’t want it. Sometimes it’ll end up in the hands of somebody else and turn into something. “Sing Like Bilal” still became a hit in New York. And it helped Joell Ortiz get more recognition… I don’t trip off of people turning my music down. It’s all good.

I’m not that sensitive. So when people were commenting on the list, which I went to HipHopDX the other day and saw I had over 138 comments on my list. And I was just like, the people that were upset, it was funny what they were upset about. It’s almost like they think that I’m not listening to all these albums. I listened to every one of these albums. ‘Cause I do a radio show every week, so in order for me to do my radio show, and we’re formatted to break underground music, [those albums are] what I’m gonna base [my playlist] on. I know Drake is not underground, but he had a good album. In my opinion, it was a good body of work. I like [Thank Me Later]. I like Rick Ross’ [Teflon Don] album. I thought that was good. And I judge [the quality of albums] on more than just beats and rhymes. [What is the] subject matter? How was it mixed? If you have a bad mix with your album [but] you got some dope beats and rhymes, that’s some points against you because your mix-downs are not clear and crisp. So all of that goes into how I judge a record. These other guys, they ain’t doing all of that. They’re not judging on your mix-downs, your lyrical wordplay, your production, who you have on your album, artwork – I’m even looking at artwork. Like, it’s everything. Even the name of your album – all of that shit. Does [the title] make sense to me? That has a lot to do with it. And then again, the main one, is my expectations of the artist that I am listening to. People have high expectations of me to keep giving ‘em hot shit; I have high expectations of artists to give me hot shit. And when I don’t get it, I’m disappointed, but I know they’ll bring another album next time [and until then] I’ll play their old stuff. If you are of the era of when it was really, really great, and making solid albums [was commonplace], then my expectations of you are even more higher ‘cause you know how to make albums. Not everybody knows how to make albums. They know how to make songs, but not everybody knows how to make albums.                 

Stay tuned to HipHopDX for next week’s presentation of Timeless: DJ Premier Revisits Step in the Arena.

Purchase Music by DJ Premier

Purchase Music by Gang Starr


  • wooooh

    damn preem... u now makin music with this wack ass german cat bushido???

  • Rick

    I love how all the true hip hop heads back preemo up as if he was our homie. Anyone talks trash about him tand that person will get mobbed hahaha..goes to show how much love dude has from us.

  • Tidomann

    One thing I'm cryin' about tho is "those beats that collected dust". Prremo sould have just str8 up given it to some cats like Foxx, NYGz, Poet for some raw compilation(s) or give 'em to Nas, Royce for a tight collab album. Oh please Preemo hook up with Face mann, we need that. Let shit like that happen, we tired of this Radio bullshit from these faggots

  • Tidomann

    ...'with their creators in the depth'. R u gon' feature the rappaz talking us through on DX with this 'Timeless' thing ya about to do, if so, I wonder who gon' feature for 'Pac, Biggie, Big L, Pun coz undeniably they albums (all of them) are what u call "time-tested". On this Preemo shit, it don't matter what y'all hataz think man, the cat is real & legendary. Aside with Auto-tune & Pop-rap fools hatin & talkin' shit...go ahead & cop mo' Kanye so he can go quadriple platinum, that ain't raw Rap to me. Those albums Preemo named are of his opinion & are a true meaning of what is Boom Bap Rap. I got ma own 25 like everybody else, and still Kanye won't make it in my own with his so-called boom bap on that faggot-ass bitch album. Rae shouldn't have jumped on that wack-ass track with fake bitches like Kanye & Cudi. "Gorgeous" some faggot-ass name for a track that should have featured Young Money or Soulja Boy, or some shit. Don't hate Eminem but fuck his music, don't even have one single album from him except features. Fuck niggaz be cryin' "what about Relapse, what about, Recovery, Dark Fantasy?" Listen to that shit "fantasy", some homo, child's play shit. Does it fit into Rap music, NO! Like Preemo would say "It's straight up bullshit". Enough about busta-niggaz in Rap music...shout-out to DJ Premier on that Freddie Gibbs dap & for talking a future collaboration, hope that makes in time for Baby-Faced Killa. Fuck other comments, they irrelevant, PERIOD! DJ Premier, Gangstarr 4 Life, Guru R.I.P


    DJ's are like Pimps or Prostitutes which if you have not figured out yet are the same

  • bballslim42

    Rick Ross and Drake over Eminem and Kanye?? His opinion is as credible as a 15 year old kid.


      no one gives a fuck about what you say, my lists different from his but everyones opinion counts still Preem's THE G.O.A.T

  • Anonymous

    the left was slept on like a mutha whole album was ill

  • Aaron Rodgers

    I'm glad that fat ass sucks balls. AARON RODGERS WILL KILL HIM!

  • jake

    Primo is an ALL TIME GOAT hip hop producer (hands down top 2-5, in my top 3 for sure), but if he wants to rep REAL/ILL hip hop where is KNO'S DEATH IS CERTAIN for Ill production (solid lyrics), and DIABOLIC LIAR AND A THIEF FOR ILL AS FUCK LYRICS (solid underground type beats from Engineer)...Obviously his top 25 had some hot albums on it, but these 2 i mentioned NEEDED TO BE IN HIS TOP 25 (were in my top 5 along w/ Roots, Celph/Buck, Distant Relatives), and if you're gonna have Drake/Rick Ross then you gotta have Em/Kanye...Again main point of the post was for those first 2 GREAT albums though

  • Jason Smith

    seems like people who like underground material and recognize Preem more for his underground stuff think that he is supposed to share their sensibilities about what's hot or not. preem produced a whole LP for pop princess Christina Aguilera, y'all. he's not stuck in backpack mode. his ears are tuned to a wider spectrum of sound. if you don't agree, that's cool but he picked who the f**k he was feeling. deal with it.

  • G

    I thought these guys are supposed to be supportin real music...... because the last time I cheked nobody could compare to Big Boi or Nas or TI. But Drake nd Fatass Rozay. Holy shit does this guy even listen to lyrics, or is he just listening to beats. Either way Thank me later sucked. And so did Teflon Don. Real rap isnt about being "fancy" or "blowin money fast" and driving a maybach. He may make good beats but I've lost respect for him as a real hip hop guy. ANYTHING by Nas should be in the top 5. Its just ridiculous, and disgusting to us real hip hop fans.

  • G

    I already know he has a terrible taste in music becuase he put that fatass rick ross on his list, his album was GARBAGE, terrible lyrics with decent beats. smh- Kanye def did better than that trash.

    • Pat Neeland

      You do realize that those were the 25 albums that HE liked, not the 25 albums EVERYBODY should like, right? Before you hate on him for choosing shit you happen to hate, why not find/figure out why he chose what he did first, yeah?

  • KicKinKNowledge

    No doubt Premo's list wasn't at all what we expected, but I guess he rated the albums on a hip hop producers scale. I would understand why MBDTF wouldnt be at the top of his list, but it still deserves a spot regardless of his expectations. . .

  • DMAX

    "Not everyone knows how to make albums,they know how to make songs but not albums" some preemo wisdom right there

  • Anonymous

    To each their own, everybody is entitled to their opinion My opinion being that Primo's list was pathetic, lol

  • RoboChicken

    Just because you make a list of a bunch of Underground Hip Hop albums dont mean you know shit about Hip Hop

  • Lenny

    So Kanye's album is not as good as Thank Me Later or Teflon Don? Thank you DJ Premier for that knowledge, I know I can count on a "Real Hip Hop Legend" to tell the truth!!! This was all sarcasm, by the way

  • GHP

    Premo is a true hiphop lengend. One of the greatest producers of all time..along with pete rock, rza, and dre.

  • Kenneth Thomas

    It was still a whack list...

  • Ed0n

    Now it makes sense to me why Recovery and Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't make to Premo's list. Thanks.

  • Sky

    I just don't get how Distant Relatives didn't make the list. Excellent album, title, beats, lyrics and mix

  • uplo


  • nahh


  • DL Dub

    Ross was number 8, my bad

  • DL Dub

    Well Mr. Martin sir I've read your response to hip hop dx, and please allow me to rebutt. I am not one of those haters. I respect your opinion but I gotta say, something is flawed. You had Rick Ross as what 10 on your list, over Bun B, Fat Joe, even The Roots... I gotta say it's something wrong with that. I understand, no one expects much from Rick Ross, and for him to come up with his best album is cool... for Rick Ross. A good album from Rick Ross is more like an above mediocre album in general consensus. No one expected SHIT from Fat Joe, and he put out an album that I spent 3 straight months listening to in between Tech N9ne's K.O.D and Gates Mixed plate, as well as Raekwons ultra classic OB4CL2. For some reason everyone sleeps on Bun and yet he put out another solid album. And so on and so forth. But for Ross to make it that high on your list, and Kanye to not even make it either? I can't agree. I see how it could be different from what he told you to expect, but you can't say it's not one of the top 10 of the year. I love Eminem, he's my number 2 guy right now, but i'll agree he's not in top spot contention with recovery, however I would say Kanye deserves a spot up there way more than Ross does. I could barely even tell the difference between the back to back Lugerfest of BMF and MC Hammer. 2 songs that sound exactly alike on am 11 song album. Horrible stats.

    • DL Dub

      It wasn't his lyrics that were great. It was his features' lyrics on 10 out of 11 tracks that were great. That sounds like he was saved by better artists. The only "artist" he outshined was Gucci Mane. What a feat.... To me you lose points when you NEED features to cast a shadow on the fact that your talent is small. It was a wack album, by a wack artist saved by good production and better features. A top 25 list it should not make. I'm just stating my opinion that I disagree with his opinion.

    • Sam

      First of all, it's his opinion, second of all, Ross had a great album. At least half of the songs on it were great, productionwise and lyrically. Tears of Joy, I'm not a star, Free Mason, Maybach Music III, Live Fast Die Young, MC Hammer, BMF and Aston Martin Music would be some of the best songs on ANY album released 2010.

  • junMaf*ckn

    Best Question Ever: E or I ? Its P - R - E - E - M - O ! ! ! Thats gon be in a Hip Hop History book someday word to my moms. One of the realest interviews ever done. And thats only part 1... THAT SHIT HE SAID BOUT KANYE ALBUM IS SO REAL!!! Thank you Paul W Arnold.

  • derryck

    Would have LOVED for him to explain Ice Cube's I am the West. I am a HUGE Cube fan and that was prob the worst album in any genre of music last year.

    • Bowski

      I agree. Cube's album was easily one of the wackest albums last year. I haven't met anyone yet that has disagreed with that. I also agree w/Preemo on the album titles and even artist's names, album artwork playing a role in his decision, (I pick albums to buy mostly on those factors too especially when I'm not famiiar w/the artists). But even by that standard Cube's album, "I am the West" the title is corny. Like seriously are we still trying to invoke east/west feelings in 2010? There's another dude that has a song/album about to drop called "The West Has Something To Say" like WTF yo? That's so played out and corny and I feel dudes need to move on for real. I would've loved to hear Preem's motivation behind that. Cube needs to just stick to making movies, leave rap alone bro. Not all old-school rappers still got it today. Dudes that attempt frail comebacks like Cube did makes the true hip hop heads/fans of old-school hip hop skeptical of purchasing the albums of the decent/nice rappers trying to make their comebacks......

  • KillaPat

    Hey since we're all entitled to our opinions, I gotta say I've lost a little bit of respect for Premo. The Kanye album was universally given almost perfect or perfect scores, and it doesn't make his top 25? But the Rick Ross album does?? I'm thinkin Premo doesn't have as great an ear for music as people think. Just sayin...

    • KillaPat

      If all you can say is "its his fucken (sp) opinion so shut the fuck up" then don't even bother responding. And that Kanye album is one of the best albums of the year, any genre, from my perspective and the perspective of many different legitimate critics who's entire job is critiquing and reviewing music. And that's not even in his top 25? Sounds like Premo had his feelings hurt by not being included on it, no matter what he says. It's just a stupid opinionated list, we all have them, so it's not like it's a big deal or anything, but from MY perspective, I can't ever respect Premo's ear for music as much as I used to anymore. Plus, how can the Ghostface album, as good as it is, be the number one album of the ENTIRE year, when it is as short as it is and was released as almost an afterthought. Yes, Illmatic was short and is one of the greatest albums of all-time, but Apollo Kids is nowhere near Illmatic.

    • ASEE

      Dude that shit got nothing to do with it. I listened to that Kanye album and it didn't make my top 30 records of the year. It's alright, but I wasn't feeling it. Who cares? Your point is that, since all these zines loved the album, Premo gotta throw it in his top albums of the year list? Think for yourself.

    • Casey Bell

      he prolly just expected Kanye to put out a different sounding album. with all the hype going around MBDTF, Premo may have been hoping for a game changing Boom Bap album. instead, he Kanye a finely crafted piece of music... but far from boom bap.

    • Anonymous

      its his fucken opinion, so shut the fuck up.

  • BIGJAZZ 24 track mix, with the deep ass kick


    Preemo was right tho. Scarface Dopeman Music was that shit. But I will say this...with some of Preemo beats as of late (imo)it depends on who spittin' on em. Like alot of other producer beats, ie: Fab on "Breath" always thought somebody else coulda bought some heat to that track....

  • problemz/problema

    Can't be mad at Preem...We all have our tastes and he's earned the right to be selective..

  • Mr Flamboyant

    I agree with what he said regarding the Kanye album. It's a dope record. True that. But how Kanye said initially that this was gonna be a traditional boom bap album to the stadium hip hop joint was kinda disappointing. Personally, I like Apollo Kids and Marcberg better; Marcberg being a true classic of a gem. I don't understand how cats turn down a Preemo beat truthfully. It's disrespectful in a sense. I don't understand how Nas doesn't give us that LP with him. It's not like cats are saying "You're only tight cause of Preem's beats" or anything stupid; it's cause the chemistry and outcome is epic. I don't know, man. I do know that Preem is a gatdamn legend; top 5 dead or alive; and continues to crank out mad classics yearly. If we get a Scarface/Preem LP, then I'll slap a 105 people in the face for no reason. RIP Guru.

    • kalluminati

      Or maybe those Preemo beats didn't make the album because the artist didn't feel he did the beat justice?? Maybe the beats were crazy its jus the rapper couldn't match the beat with lyrics of the same intensity or quality?... what ya'll think? get back

    • Anonymous

      theres also a huge expectation when you spit over a prem beat, that it sort of overshines your rapping. it makes complete sense jay-zs egotistic ass didnt want great production, because he wants to be the 1 shining.

    • Anonymous

      "I don't understand how cats turn down a Preemo beat truthfully. It's disrespectful in a sense." Is it such a crime that just maybe he thought the beat wasn't good enough for the album, or maybe the type of beat just wasn't fitting for the album. Are you saying he should just put it on the album to just not be disrespectful? All of that is just irrelevant, the music is the most important thing.

    • Anonymous

      hahahaha ,,,yeah a face & preem joint would be nice.

  • RM

    FUCK YOU PREEMO!!!!! Because of you, I'm addicted to Hip hop!!! I've spent hundreds & hundreds of dollars on this beautiful drug....Thank you!

  • spliffnotes

    yeah it sounds fishy as hell when drake makes the list. but the logic he gives, it has a point. For example, in response to Slum Village not making the cut, if he even considered Villa Manifesto for his list it probably wouldn't have gone in seeing as how most of us expected a real reunion album with the actual remaining members of SV--Although I'll admit I definitely bumped that album it wouldn't make my list. I had the same expectations that Premo had for Dark Twisted Fantasy so I guess I can see his logic in excluding it, but I think what Kanye delivered this year was very satisfiying in terms of arrangements and mixing.

  • Jeff S H Lee

    Preemo is the fucking truth. Best producer hands down. I actually love preemo's end year top 20 or 25 because he doesn't have a list of just mainstream garbage but everything meainstream, underground in-between. And that's how i listen to my music. Everything not just one or the other. So when ignorant people are saying "weezy the best" "no one fucks with gucci" and they don't know who the fuck Kool G. Rap is or Diamond District...I don't pay them no mind. They can have all the candy ass rap they want. PREEMO IF YOU READ THIS GET JAY ELECTRONICA AND MF DOOM ON A SONG BIG HOMIE! MAD RESPECT! R.I.P. GURU!

  • Rick

    Thats crazy, I went to both of those tours he mentioned. I remember Mya wearing a skin tight blue outfit. She walked to the center stage and bent over BAM!!!!!! That was the Smoking Groves tour before the Cypress-Smokeout took over. ..I remember Canibus came out hold a lion on a leash..That shit was CRAZY!!....

  • Anonymous

    Preemo is a really cool dude, if he thinks X album is better than Y, that's his opinion. Fuck you that says the list is wack, make your own god damn list and mastubate to that if you want. At least shut the fuck up.

  • poolboy

    premo i was rockin that full clip double album in 01' like crazy son.. still love it and the whole gangstarr catalog

  • khordkutta

    i remember being @ that smoking grooves tour in san diego. shit was amped, only hiphop concert that i wentto that was better was okay player tour. Mya was wack though, i recall her and pras (doing ghetto supastar) getting booed off stage

    • Herm

      I remember Smoking Grooves tour in '98 I was outside Mr.O's club and talked to Guru for about 15 minutes about the "Moment Of Truth" album and just talking about the state of Hip Hop(hint Master P circa '98) at that time ...classic moment and epic conversation with Guru RIP GURU

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      you sound like a bitch flamboyant AOTY was dope Slum Village had only one weak spot n that was not enough El and CANIBUS WOULD EAT YOUR TOP 25 LIST IN ITS ENTIRITY

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Album of the Year should be named Disappointing Album of the Year. Tronic Summer > Popular Demand > Album of the Year And I'm pro Black Milk (nh). And don't place that Slum Village debacle anywhere ever again. You need to get your head blown off in all this snow outside. LOL at Canibus.

  • bluerazor

    shout out to preemo, the list was a definite street one and authentic. No matter how mad and upset these mainstreem niggaz want get

  • flopiflopa

    I'm down wit ur list preemo!

  • Ddot DOuble

    Real talk. A lot of albums that got good reviews this year were just straight up not fun to listen to. I'm not gonna mention any names, but an album isn't great cuz everyone says it is. Its great cuz it somehow keeps making its way back into your cd deck. Much love Preem!


    Just say it preem, you thought rick ross and drake's albums were better than kanye eminem and lloyd banks'. preem is the greatest, no disputing that, but there is something def fishy about his list. or maybe his opinion just sux. who knows?

    • Anonymous

      i think your opinion is the dumbest shit i have ever heard in my fucken life. i personally think rick ross had a really solidly produced album, while lloyd banks had a quite plain album. i respect his opinion and i think it makes perfect sense, so stfu.

    • The Known Anonymous Nigga

      Maybe you are a jackass. Naw... no maybe about it. Jackass.

  • Charles ExSavior

    I hear you Primo. Nowadays you gotta voice your opinion with a disclaimer and shit to avoid the hate. Keep doing you and good luck with the label. Peace and God bless.

Most Popular News

Most Discussed News