Last month, underground super-group La Coka Nostra dropped its critically acclaimed sophomore effort Masters of the Dark Arts with the DJ Premier-produced single “Mind Your Business.” Now, in a recent interview with OC Weekly, LCN’s Boston representative Slaine talks about his relationship with the famed Gang Starr producer.
The Beantown veteran recalled that the first time he actually met Premo was at an album signing in Boston for Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the two actually got together in the studio for Special Teamz’s “Main Event.” At first, Slaine thought Premo didn’t like his style, but a chance encounter in London proved otherwise when Premo praised Slaine to the legendary Melle Mel.
“He’s probably the only person I feel pressure working with as a producer. I’m less relaxed working with Premier than anyone else because he’s literally my favorite producer,” he admitted. “Back in 1997, it may have even been 1998, I stood in line when [Gang Starr’s] Moment of Truth came out, and I wanted to get my LP signed at the Tower Records. It was one of favorite groups, Gang Starr. Guru was from Boston, so he was a big influence on me. So Premier was just my favorite producer…I stood in line, and it was a long line, and I got to the front and wished him well with the record. And I told him, ‘I’m gonna work with you one day man.’ He was like, ‘Oh, you think you got it like that, man? We’ll see. We’ll see.’ So, fast forward six years, 2004. I was working with a group I’m in called Special Teamz, with Edo. G, and we bumped into Premier in the studio…so we go in there and he asks Edo, ‘Who’s the young guy in the center?’ And [Edo’s] like, ‘That’s Slaine.’ And he goes into the studio for about two hours while we sat there, and I was like, ‘I don’t think he likes me, Ed.’ And he’s like, no, it’s fine. And another hour goes by, and he’s like, ‘I don’t think he likes you.'”
He continued on, “We recorded a track, and it was the first single we put out, called ‘Main Event’…I’m in London and Premier is DJing at this club and we go over to check it out. We went backstage and Premier and Melle Mel come walkin’ out. And Premier’s like, ‘Oh shit! What up!’ And he starts spitting the verse from my song. He starts spittin’ the verse with the Boston accent, and I guess he likes it. He’s like, ‘Oh man, come here, I want to introduce you to this new artist I’m workin’ with.’ And then he introduces me to Melle Mel. And I was just blown away. And me and Premier have been friends ever since that, even though this is the first time I’ve worked with him since then.”