DJ Premier — one-half of the pioneering hip-hop duo Gang Starr — is preparing an album of unreleased material from the group as well as a live DVD, he told XXL magazine. Premier and his partner in the group, Guru, who died in April, had had a rocky relationship in the years leading up to his death, and the discovery of new material came as a surprise to fans and critics.
After Guru died, statements released by his then-partner Solar and allegedly written by Guru harshly criticized Premier; several people close to Guru, including his sister, have said that the letter was fake. It read, in part:
I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ.
But after Guru’s death, Premier claimed that Gang Starr had never disbanded. “If Guru really wanted to super-dead it he would have said, ‘Yo, I want out.’ And I still would have tried to convince him to stay,” he told Vibe at the time.
Premier said he has “at least five songs” with Guru in his possession, and that people in Europe — he wasn’t more specific — are providing him with vocal tracks from Guru for him to remix.
“There are guys in Europe who say that they have seven or eight,” he said. “It’s songs he did with them and they never finished it and they said I can have them.
“I listened to them and I’ll make them shits sound like we were together,” he continued. “Well, we will be together because spiritually, he’s with me for the rest of my life.”
Premier also talked about the video footage he’s culling from “thousands of hours” of footage for a DVD that will accompany the album. “I have footage from the very first show we ever performed [in 1989],” he said. “It was Ice-T, Queen Latifah and Monie Love.”