Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In Deep Concentration

No time for a gigantic original post today, so here's an interesting excerpt from a 2004 interview with DJ Premier I ran across while working on a book for Wax Poetics:
Andrew Mason: How important is it when you’re making hip-hop music to be well rounded in the culture?

DJ Premier:
To me, it’s very important. That’s why I keep it funky like I always do. I don’t care if people criticize and say my stuff sounds similar to this or this, it don’t bother me none. I’m a true DJ and I know a good record when I hear it. Everybody doesn’t have the ear for this. I have an ear that’s beyond most human beings’ ears when it comes to music. My library, all hip-hop put aside, what I listen to at the crib, you can’t front on it. I play nothing but raw shit. I like rock music, all that. AC/DC, Rush, Pat Benetar, Joan Jett, Simple Minds, Yes, Led Zeppelin, the Cars, I know my shit! Blue Oyster Cult, I can go any direction!

I used to be one of the only people in my high school who would wear the punk rock gear, with the double belts, the boots and all that! I wasn’t afraid of that at all. At that time, that was the rebel style. That went into hip-hop culture too, because I remember how Flash and them was dressed, with the leather and spikes and all. That punk rock and New Wave era was dope. You can’t even compare it to the “punk” that’s out now, you gotta know about groups like Fad Gadget, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus, old Depeche Mode, the Smiths. Morrissey is gay and I understood his lyrics for what they were saying, but at the same time I liked his music. It was dope and you can’t front on it. I respected him with an open mind. Most people who are homophobic have some problems that way anyway, so I wasn’t really afraid of it. They’re just human beings and that’s their preference. But I was into the Smiths, I was into Souxsie and the Banshees, Devo, the B-52s, Talk Talk, I went to all those concerts. As a matter of fact, I found my memory book from high school and I got mad concert tickets of all kinds of shows I went to. I’ve been to see AC/DC millions of times, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Genesis, all that.
And here are some of my favorite Premier-produced tracks:
Jeru the Damaja Invasion MP3
Krumbsnatcha Gettin' Closer to God MP3
Chubb Rock, OC, and Jeru Crooklyn MP3
Notorious BIG Machine Gun Funk (unreleased Remix) MP3

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