DJ Premier: My Life in 15 Songs

Gang Starr co-founder and producer behind Nas, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. classics recalls early days, lawsuits and working with Limp Bizkit

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Crooklyn Dodgers '95, "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" (1995)

Spike [Lee] is the reason we got a major label deal. When the "Manifest" remix was out, Spike saw our video and how Guru looked like Malcolm X. He picked up our album with the song "Jazz Music" on it and he was working on the Mo' Better Blues movie and soundtrack and said, "I'd love for y'all to do a record that's dedicated to this movie but you have to go more in-depth. You left out a lot of key names." He gave us a poem that named all these different jazz artists and that became "Jazz Thing" [from the film's soundtrack]. That's when Chrysalis reached out and said they wanted to sign us.

We did "Crooklyn Dodgers" for his film Clockers. With Clockers, I could relate to everything in there. The drug dealing, drug use, griminess, every-man-for-himself, cops-rolling-on-us mentality. When I found that [Young Holt Trio] sample, the emotion of it sounded exactly like the sadness of how the hood can be sometimes. The hood can also have the shiny and good through all the struggle, but after seeing the movie, I said, "This is exactly what it should be." 

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