DJ Premier Recalls Making Jeru The Damaja's "The Sun Rises In The East"

DJ Premier recalls producing Jeru The Damaja's "The Sun Rises In The East" and says he knew "Come Clean" would be a hit.

Brooklyn, New York native Jeru The Damaja's The Sun Rises In The East turned 20 on Saturday (May 24).

XXL recently talked with the album's producer, DJ Premier, as he recalled some of the memories in making the project. When asked about working with Jeru, Premo said Jeru The Damaja was the perfect rapper to work with at the time.

“I’d always wanted to have a dope Brooklyn artist that could rhyme, and Jeru could really spit,” Premier said. “He was a smart rapper who didn’t just talk about himself, but also what was going on where he came from.”

When recalling perhaps Jeru The Damaja's biggest hit from the album, "Come Clean," Premier said he knew the song was going to be big. 

“Jeru came over and we recorded ‘Come Clean’ in one day,” he recalled. “I knew it was hot, but I didn’t know it was going to take off like it did, but we were happy with it.”

Finally, DJ Premier revealed Gang Starr's Guru was the one who introduced Jeru The Damaja to the Gang Starr crew.

“Guru was the person that introduced Jeru to the Gang Starr crew, along with the future Group Home dudes Lil’ Dap and Melachi the Nutcracker,” Primo said. “It was his vision that we have our own hot crew in the same way as the Juice Crew, Boogie Down Productions and the Wu-Tang. At the time, Jeru was the most ready, so we picked him to be first. He had a dope voice, and the day after we cut ['Come Clean'], Hot 97 was playing it on the radio.”

Jeru The Damaja's The Sun Rises In The East was the rapper's first album and was released on May 24, 1994. It climbed to number 5 on the Hip Hop and R&B charts.

RELATED: Jeru The Damaja Talks Upcoming Solo Album, International Compilation


  • Anonymous

    " he made some dope shit back in the day when the radio actually played dope music, ya playin ya self" Shut the fuck up you sensitive little ho.

    • Lol

      What was sensitive about that comment u the sensitive one all pissed off cuz u never made it at rap so u gota hate on other people and how much money they make while u live at home with ur moms and work a miniumum wage dead end job bitch

  • Denali

    That was a classic album! Challenge the Damaja, and you'll be histo - ry Mortal Kombat fatality, the original don't sing no R&B Nasty MC deity Chop off domes with the poems that come out of my pin-eal Gland, as I expand, you know who I am

  • Anonymous

    The Sun Rises in the East (1994) Wrath of the Math (1996) Essential for every hip hop fan.

  • theo huxtable

    jerry the manager is dope, one of the best to work with preem. 1st lp is a classic and 2nd is very solid as well.

  • Anonymous

    "If he does 25 shows a year he's probably making 200 grand a year. Now that's some good money" You honestly think this old dude is clearing 200k/year? lol And Camp Lo are billionaires.

    • Word

      Who honestly cares how much money he makes u fuckin loser its all about the music, he made some dope shit back in the day when the radio actually played dope music, ya playin ya self

  • Anonymous

    Two hit wonder then nada.

  • Anonymous

    Who are Jeru and Premier. Never heard of them. Are they old school like ice cube

  • Anonymous

    Another old ass bum talking about another old ass bum. Come on son? Jeru had one dope album and that aint a classic.

    • Anonymous

      "Jeru had one dope album and that aint a classic." Hahahahah you're a complete fool. His first two albums are essential classics

    • vince

      youre a fool. premier is a God in this culture. jeru put out two classics. listen to 'speak ya clout' 'me or the papes' and 'im the man' and learn something you little dick bastard

  • Anonymous

    I wore the shit out of this in my tape deck. Top 10 album of 1994, the best year in hip hop history.

  • Anonymous

    Saw Jeru the Damaja delivering chinese food in Manhattan in a bike real talk (not a motorbike, a BIKE)

    • Anonymous

      Yeah he was delivering chinese food but that was like 6 years ago I heard he got back to doing shows

    • Haha

      U lil kids r so ridiculous in one breath u say no one wants to hear these old heads rap then in the next one ur bashing them for having a regular job outside of rap, well which is it? U dont want them to rap but u dont want them to work so i guess ud rather they be on food stamps like ur whole broke lazy ass family

    • Anonymous

      At least he had a job. I doubt Ill Al Scratch is doing much more than smoking and waiting for the first of the month.

    • Anonymous

      I just saw him in a concert in Poland. Apparently he tours Europe a lot. Probably making good money. He seems to tour all the time. If he does 25 shows a year he's probably making 200 grand a year. Now that's some good money. That's more then I make. And probably more then you make.

    • Anonymous

      thats sad man...

  • bOi

    lol at this no name producer. He looks old

  • my balls sweat

    Come Clean is a good song for Rick ross too listen too!! Fake ass burger king mother fucker.

  • wgjbjk

    one of my fav albums of all time.. Too bad Jeru couldnt get it together without Preemo

  • JohnnyO

    Still waiting on that Gang Starr Foundation album Premo. Get Group home, jeru, and Big Shug to make an album and throw stax and afu on a few joint too. The people been waiting for 20 years. That's what Guru wanted

    • Anonymous

      word! come on with that album! Im tired of these dress and leggins wearing ass dumb young niggas. They'll have these confused ass niggas wearing lipstick and eye shadow next. Stupid mutha fuckas gettin suckered into membership with the booty pirates!

    • Cage

      ^^ No they don't. You young fags wanna bang that through the system

    • Bobyahed2dis

      aint nobody whants to hear a bunch of old and grumpy 50 year old rappers who get the early morning special at dennys. they want some Drake and YOung Thug bangin through the system.

  • dazeone

    Wow by coincidence I was banging this in my Ipod Saturday. Im halfway around the world in Kuwait. I still got my original 12 inch and the whole LP in the crib. Ya playing yourself and D Original was that heat too...I hadn't played it in years.

    • Hell yea

      Ya playin urself is proly the best hip hop video ever. Hiphopdx needs to put that on throwback thursday let all these lil fools know what time it is

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