Christopher “DJ Premier” Martin was born on March 21, 1966, in Houston, Texas. He moved to Brooklyn in 1988 and met Guru, who’d already started the group Gang Starr. The timing was right for DJ Premier because Guru was looking for another partner since Mike Dee went back to Boston. DJ Premier and Guru signed with Wild Pitch Records and released their debut album, No More Mr. Nice Guy. They released their last album in 2003. DJ Premier continued working in rap music, including remixing a Maroon 5 song. Additionally, he’s done multiple collaborations with several different artists, including Dr. Dre. These are ten things you didn’t know about DJ Premier.
1. Ridding bad energy
Recently, DJ premier returned to the studio to work on recordings using his deceased recording partner’s tracks. During the production of One of the Best Yet, he burned sage to honor Guru’s memory. Additionally, he kept his ashes in the recording studio. He also had a picture of the deceased musician sitting on the control board. He’d smudge the photo during the recording and ask Guru’s spirit to keep negativity away from the project. According to Billboard, One of The Best Yet is a tribute album to Gang Starr. However, DJ Premier doesn’t want to look at it as the last album.
2. Importance of family
Even though Guru is gone. DJ Premier is still close to the family. When he had his knee replacement, it was Guru’s son who visited him first. It wasn’t something he’d asked them, but the bond between DJ Premier and Guru was so strong it spilled over into the family that Guru left behind.
3. Top Secret
He had a tough time keeping the new project a secret. However, some of the guest appearances happened because the secret slipped out. According to Hip Hop DX, he was so excited about the project that DJ Premier said, “Yo, I got to tell you something a few times.” Once word was out, many singers wanted in on the project even if the parts available were something much different from other music they typically do.
4. Looking up
His father was his hero and also an inspiration. He taught him to remain strong in the middle of all situations and move forward regardless of the obstacles. Even though he passed away during the recording of DJ Premier’s latest album, he channeled his father’s strength to finish it. Additionally, it helped him return to the days when he was working with Guru ad Gang Star.
5. Keeping promises
He kept his promise to the late singer and stayed in touch with Guru’s family. After his passing, DJ premier created a company called Gang Starr Enterprises, where he works alongside Guru’s family, including his sister Trish and his older brother Jay. Everything they do is split down the middle, and they work together to honor Guru’s memory. Part of the sales has helped put Guru’s son through private school.
According to XXL, DJ Premier and Puff Daddy had an issue with each other. When DJ Premier recorded Playin’ Yaself, Puffy Daddy thought he was making fun of him, so he used his influence and got Hot 97 to not play the song. The song wasn’t about Puff Daddy at all. It was a song about hip hop and the changing face of the genre. After everything happened, the two talked on the phone, and Puff Daddy was adamant that his name should no longer be used on DJ Premier Records.
DJ Premier has also had several issues with Jay-Z. When First Family 4 Life was released, he wanted Jay-Z on the video but was told he would charge the label a quarter of a million dollars to do it, so they had to forget the idea. A second thing happened when Jay Z assured him he would do another video then backed out at the very last mine. As the story goes, his assistant never gave him the songs, and that incident was let go as a misunderstanding.
8. Keeping Busy
Right now, he has a lot of different projects going on. He’s finding NYG’z album. Additionally, he’s doing Pete Rock vs. Premier, a project where each artist does six songs but doesn’t let the other know what songs they are doing. One of the most critical projects for him right now is the Gangstar DVD. He’s sharing some of the footage with Guru’s son. DJ Premier secured his rights to the material by speaking to his son, but the project collaborates between the two.
One of DJ premier’s goals is to write music for movies. Additionally, he wants to create two different TV shows. The first is an animated cartoon similar to South Park but centered around his life and everyone who’s influenced it. One of the characters he’s already created is named Lady of Rage. Additionally, his friend Shug would be a character. He wants a tongue-in-cheek tribute to all those who have been with him from the start. He already knows the only stations this would work on would either be Adult Swim or Comedy Central.
10. Varied tastes
He has a very diverse taste in music. He loves heavy metal, especially Metallica, as well as Jefferson Starship and acid rock. Sometimes he listens to Billy Idol while working out and has seen Devo in concert. During an interview with Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, he talked about some of the musical projects he wanted to do that are incredibly different from his typical style. He wants to do some pop records with Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber. He’s already worked with Aguilera once on the song Ain’t No Other Man and won Grammy. DJ Premier added, “that’s proof that we can do stuff like that, and it can still pop off, but it doesn’t affect my hip hop. I always keep my hip hip gutta, and that will never be changed.