March 21, 1966 – DJ Premier is undoubtedly one of the most talented turntablists/producers to ever do it. Born Christopher Edward Martin in Houston, Texas, Preemo and his family soon settled in Prairie View where he attended Prairie View A&M University. In fact, he was still technically a college student when “Words I Manifest” — the first Gang Starr single — was released in 1989.
Armed with an ironclad work ethic, Preemo eventually relocated to Brooklyn and steadily rose to prominence as one half of the legendary Hip Hop duo. Along with the late Guru, Preemo pumped out six official studio albums under the Gang Starr moniker, including 1994’s Hard To Earn and 1998’s Moment Of Truth.
In 2017, the 52-year-old Hip Hop vet teamed up with MC Eiht for the Compton’s Most Wanted OG’s Which Way Iz West album and last year, he reunited with Royce Da 5’9 for PRhyme 2.
Most recently, De La Soul’s Maseo confirmed with HipHopDX Premier and Pete Rock are working on two new albums with the group — a follow-up to 2016’s And The Anonymous Nobody and a third installment of the Art Official Intelligence series.
Simply put, Preemo stays working.
Due to his deep knowledge of all kinds of music, Preemo’s innate ability to meld funk, soul and jazz into Hip Hop magic has always been his forte. He’ll also sample an artist’s old music to create a new track for the same artist.
As a result, he’s laid the groundwork for many to follow in his footsteps. In a 2017 interview with RAPstation, Statik Selektah spoke about his admiration for the beat magician.
“People always ask me if I like DJing or producing more, but the best thing is DJing while I’m playing a song I produced, so doing my radio show is perfect for that,” he said. “The whole reason I started DJIng is I heard DJ Premier playing songs he produced in 1995 on Hot 97.
“I was like, ‘Yo this dude is scratching the records he just produced that ain’t even out yet.’ I was like, ‘This is what I want to do’ and I literally followed that path.”
As Preemo continues to lead the way, HipHopDX wishes him a very happy birthday. You know his steez.