In an interview with Pitchfork, the legendary producer and Gang Starr member remembered meeting an up-and-coming Scott, who is the son of one of Preemo’s friends from his hometown of Houston.
“He was trying to get me to sign him at a time when the music he was making just wasn’t in my lane. He came to my parents’ house and sat with me, back when Nokia flip phones were a thing,” Premier recalled.
Even as a youngster, Premier could see that Travis had potential and thought he would be a good fit for Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint, who he eventually signed publishing and production deals with in 2012.
“He was sneaking pictures and his aunt is telling him to stop taking pictures,” he continued. “I was like, ‘You know what? Kanye might be into what you’re doing right now.’ I called to co-sign him, like ‘Yo, he’s got something.’ Next thing you know, he’s signing with Ye.”
The DJ Premier-Travis Scott connection runs even deeper. During an appearance on the Rap Radar Podcast in 2017, the veteran beatmaker revealed that Travis’ father and uncle taught him how to play the drums and bass when he was growing up in Texas.
“Travis Scott’s dad was one of my OGs when I was a kid in Texas,” he said. “Obviously, Travis was nonexistent yet because his father wasn’t even married back then. His father put me on, you know, I used to ride minibikes and I was into motorcycles real heavy and dirt bikes. His father taught me how to ride. Shout to Jacques, and shout to his brother Travis.”
He added: “They were the first to have everything in my neighborhood. Jack and Travis was always playing drums and bass in the house, and they taught me how to play drums and bass. Travis taught me bass and Jacques taught me drums.”
With over three decades in the game, DJ Premier is still going strong. Back in July, he released Hip Hop 50: Vol. 1, the first installment in a 10-EP collection aimed to celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary.
Featuring his signature boom bap production and record scratching, the five-song project boasted appearances from heavy hitters such as Nas, Lil Wayne, Joey Bada$$, Run The Jewels, Slick Rick, Remy Ma and Rapsody.
On his latest album King’s Disease 3 that dropped last month, Nas hinted that a joint album with Premier may yet happen after years of speculation.
“Doesn’t matter this is sheer relief, I feel the breeze this is / Superhero material, rap star status / Premier album still might happen,” he rapped on “30.”