With Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock’s collaborative LP Monumental dropping on June 28th, DJ Premier reflects on his relationship with and respect for each act. Reminiscing on when he first heard Pete Rock, Primo admits that Rock’s production style made him step his game up. 

“My opinion of Pete Rock is an overpowering level of respect,” he said.  “He inspired me to want to step my game up and be nicer, because I always believed in myself but when somebody else is right there on your heels coming with it with a whole different style – and Pete brought that, and still brings that – I was like, I ain’t gonna let this dude pass me.”

He also paid his respects to Smif-N-Wessun, branding them as “one of the best duos to come out.” “Dah Shinin’ was one of the most unique and well-produced albums ever done. I love Da Beatminerz production and I also loved how the music complemented Tek and Steele’s style of rap, and on top of that, they just always made and chose the right records single-wise, and just the way they sequenced the albums – I studied all of that stuff. They had the full package.”

As for his favorite album and song by Smif-N-Wessun, Primo went with the classic. “Hands down, Dah Shinin’. ‘Bucktown’ is an automatic shoo-in, but I used to love ‘P.N.C.’ Partners in crime. That was my joint. I know it was mellow and laidback, but what they talked about was just how I’ll ride for you, you ride for me. We’ll never betray each other. And I’m all about loyalty. I’ve been loyal to people who were shitty to me and I still stayed loyal because that’s how you’re supposed to be.”

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