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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D'Angelo, "Devil's Pie" (1998)

Canibus rejected the beat and ... the attitude made me a little more funny [than usual] to the point where I gave him the advance back. He called me and said he wanted to do a record called "Nigganometry" with a mean, driving bassline. When I found that [imitates bass line], I was like, "Canibus gonna kill this." He said [affects menacing tone] "Yo, I don't think you really gettin' to understand where my vision is." That's the part that made me go, "Oh word?" I'm not a sensitive guy, but if I'm spoken to a certain way, then my fists start to ball up. I gave the money back with a letter saying, "Hey, it didn't work out. Thank you so much, MCA [Records]." I'd rather Canibus have the money back in his budget. I remember clear as day how he said it, though.

D'Angelo called me out of the blue soon after and said, "Can I hear it? I'm in the studio. Come over right now." I was a couple blocks away, slid over there and boom. He just said, "Wooooooooo. I'm about to kill this. Let me write something to this."

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