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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Jay-Z - "D'Evils" (1996)

Me and Jay have been friends since 1988. I was labelmates with [Jay-Z's mentor] Jaz-O, so everywhere Jaz-O was, Jay was with him. Jay called me and told me what he wanted [the song] to be. All the scratches I did were his idea. He did the song over the phone to me, told me what it was about, and I just said, "Meet me at the lab and I'll cook up that emotion."

At that point, I was focused on keeping outdoing everybody. I'm all about competition; still am to this day. That's how you should be, but not with any malice. From Mike Will Made It to Boi-1da to Mike Zombie, I'm out to get 'em all and it's that friendly competition that keeps us all on our toes. 

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