Back in the mid 90’s when it was law for an east coast rapper to get a DJ Premier beat, Chris Martin ended up working with several artists who did not get along. In 1996 Jeru The Damaja released his sophomore album Wrath of the Math, which featured “Ya Playin’ Yaself” and “One Day.” Both DJ Premier produced songs featured jabs at Bad Boy, either blatant or perceived.
When Premier came in to work on “Kick In The Door” for Biggie’s Life After Death, he told XXL what happened in the studio.
“I was blown away by the first verse. Second verse, when he said, ‘Son, I’m surprised you run with them,’ I stopped the tape. I was like, ‘That’s how you feel?’ He goes, ‘I told you I had to get back at your man.’ Just on some real nigga shit, I said, ‘Go on and say what you have to say. I’m going to let that one go.’ Puff was there. I told Puff, ‘You and Jeru had your talk already.’ Big interrupted and goes, ‘Preme that wasn’t a talk, that was an argument. Nothing got solved.’ I was like, ‘That has nothing to do with you.’ He goes, ‘C’mon man, Versace suit.’ I said in front of all of them, ‘Anyone has a problem with Jeru then you have a problem with me, so move on me. Beat me up. I don’t want to get beat up but if that’s what I got to do to show you how loyal I am to my team and that we’re not dissing ya’ll. You’re making a big mistake if you do it.’ I’ll never forget Puff. He was there at Daddy’s House like, ‘Yeah, we’re coming after Jeru the Damaja too!'”
Premier rewound a couple years to the infamous ’95 Source Awards when Suge fired shots at Diddy while accepting an award. “I’ll tell you an ill story. The day after Suge did that at the Source Awards was a New Music Seminar convention. [People thought] that Suge needs to watch him himself because he’ll get jumped in New York. No. We were at a panel with Buckwild and a couple other brothers. Then Big walked in. At the time, [Death Row] wanted Lady of Rage to work with me, I was like, I can’t do it until I get back from my tour. Rage and I were friends for a long time. But Suge’s brother was like, ‘If you can’t do it now, you can’t do it at all.’ We did the songs and they didn’t accept them.”
“Me, Big and Buckwild are kicking it, laughing, chopping it up,” Premier continued telling XXL. “All of a sudden, we hear someone go, ‘You.’ We look and it’s Suge Knight. We were all leaning against the wall. I go, ‘Me?’ He goes, ‘You.’ He comes over and goes, ‘Yo man, I didn’t really like those songs you did for Rage.’ I was like, ‘Yo, I didn’t want to do the songs but your staff told me I had to. I didn’t have time to do it but that’s my homie and I want to be on her album.’ He goes, ‘Don’t worry about [it]. When can yo do some new beats?’ I go, ‘Couple of weeks.’ He goes, ‘Well, Dogg Pound is coming out first so you got another month.’ He was talking very civilized. I gave him a hug. Big walks up to Suge and says, ‘Ayo, I want to get in touch with Dre to do a couple of songs on my new album Life After Death.’ Suge just looks at him and goes, ‘Yeah, aight.’ And walks off.