At a time when DJ Premier says radio was beginning to lean towards watered down Hip Hop, the noted producer and fellow Gang Starr member Guru struck back with the now classic Hard To Earn record, “Mass Appeal.”
According to DJ Premier, “Mass Appeal” was one of a handful of records they created with the intentions of going straight to radio. The noted producer spoke further on the record during a recent interview and even commented on having the song planned out in his head well before it was recorded.
“So, when it came to ‘Mass Appeal’ I already heard it in my head. Not the actual sample, but just what it should sound like. I’ve already kind of planned something in my head,” DJ Premier revealed. “We like to do our singles right when it’s due. That’s why it always sounds so fresh when you hear it. And it sounds like it was just made just now. A record like ‘Mass Appeal,’ the reason why we made it is because that’s right when radio started teeter-tottering towards watering down the Hip Hop and we were just really bugged out that it had gotten to that point…It’s like we knew this was gonna be one of our bigger records and it was one of our bigger records that went straight to radio.”
Prior to sharing insight into the creation of “Mass Appeal,” DJ Premier offered details on the Gang Starr logo, a logo that was created by both the late Guru and Big Shug. According to Premier, when it concerned the group’s logo it was an addition they weren’t willing to compromise on.
“The Gang Starr logo has always been an important thing for us, for me, and Guru from day one,” said DJ Premier. “As far as the vision of the Gang Starr logo, it was always a chain and a star, which was created by Guru and Big Shug. And they wanted it to be where the chain is the bond of all the artists and everything and the star is the talent within the chain…He wanted it to be a logo that stood out beyond the one that he drew. Just like Public Enemy’s stood out, EPMD’s logo stood out.”
As one-half of Gang Starr, DJ Premier was responsible for the production of a number of Hip Hop classics from the duo including “Moment Of Truth,” “Above The Clouds,” “Code Of The Streets,” and countless other records.