The Alchemist has revealed one of his earliest interactions with DJ Premier was when he sold the legendary producer weed in New York.
During a conversation with Closed Sessions, the Alfredo producer recalled a surreal moment he had when he smoked a blunt with Premier, adding that when Tony Touch reconnected the two producers a few years later, Premier remembered exactly who Alchemist was partially because of the strength of his kush.
Co-host Alexander Fruchter said he had heard a rumor that Premier’s friends would demand he call up Al specifically for his bud.
“Yeah, yeah, it was a bad reputation,” Al admitted. “I didn’t wanna be known for that. I was from L.A. We smoked pretty well always…Back then when you were from L.A. it was kinda special and I was posted up in New York, allegedly.”
Alchemist went on to say Premier showed him nothing but love, and even hyped him up to a young JAY-Z.
“At that time being around him I felt anointed,” Alchemist said. “I remember he was working with JAY-Z and I would be there and he’d be like, ‘Yeah this is Al he got beats, yeah he’s dope you gotta check him out.’ I didn’t even have fire yet, but I always felt like that was the height of confidence…that meant a lot to me.”
See the Premier talk beginning around the 8-minute mark below:
Elsewhere in the interview, Al spoke about his own personal evolution as a tastemaker and said now that he’s established he’s found himself scouting out underground artists to help design his vinyl and album covers.
“A lot of the art that I use for the vinyl and shit I’ll just go hunting. If it’s on Instagram or through people that I know. I’ll go look and just find people through different hashtags and shit. Most of the people are from different countries. I really don’t care. What I care about is how many followers they got. If they got crazy followers and they’re already popping I’m cool. I don’t wanna fuck with them, they’re good already.”
He continued: “I try to find the ones that are lower and have dope art. Because it’s not about numbers, nowadays everything is about numbers but there is a lot of talented people who may not have that shot because of [their numbers].”
Premier also has fond memories of his early days with Al. In a 2016 interview with Ambrosia For Heads, the New York DJ reflected back on an old photo taken of him, D’Angelo, Alchemist and the late J. Dilla at New York’s Electric Lady Studios.
“Questlove was just finishing up doing drums to ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel?)’ — the one where [D’Angelo] was naked in the video,” DJ Premier said. “He was there. Raphael Saadiq had just left. And J. Dilla was there at the session.”
He continued: “Al was in the loop with the Dilla stage, so he could lamp with us and smoke for a lil’ bit. We just hung out. I knew him for a long time as well. So we were just buggin’ out and smokin’ and whatnot. I forgot the guy who took the picture.”