DJ Premier kicks it old school.
DJ Premier is undoubtedly one of the formative pillars when it comes to the history of the New York hip-hop scene. His work as part of Gang Starr, Royce Da 5'9", as well as working with many other legends in the business, has solidified him as one of the towering figures of the genre. Naturally, it was a special moment earlier this morning (August 21st) when the video of his Tiny Desk Concert for NPR surfaced online. He brought the old school vibe back into the present and got those in attendance super hyped along the way.
Spinning some classic records from his two aforementioned groups, along with the likes of Nas and KRS-One, Premier was also accompanied by a live band made up of a bassist, a drummer and a small brass section. He also used some acapella samples and other cool inserts to make the transitions flow seamlessly, as well as add some flavor to his band's instrumental stylings. The concert is short, so there was no way that the set and the song choices therein encompass the breadth of his work, which spans across more than three decades in the game. However, as NPR described it, "the set list rested on the undeniable footprint of Preemo's classics, but this was more than just another DJ mix." That might be the understatement of the year.
Born Christopher Martin, the man behind the turntables was actually born in Houston, Texas, before moving to Brooklyn when he was a teenager. He produced all of Gang Starr's songs and has worked with a multitude of hip-hop greats, including Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, The Game, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Kanye West and even members of the current hit parade, including Joey Bada$$. Watching the short set is a reminder of his technical skills as a DJ, juggling those vinyl records with ease, as well as his ear for what songs will definitely ignite a crowd. I mean, his credits are so varied and so impressive, it's a songbook that qualifies as an embarrassment of riches.
Check out the full video from NPR below.