If you’re a hip-hop head, have about an hour or so, and really want to read up on some of the genre’s classic tracks, then you have come to the right place. DJ Premier, who is hands down one of the best producers of all time, recently sat down with the folks over at Complex to tell the story behind 38 of his records. He starts off with the remix of Gang Starr’s “Manifest” in 1989, moves through to “N.Y State of Mind” for Nas in 1994, and goes up to last year’s “Let Em Know” for Bun B. There’s a lot to be learned here and in case you just wanted to know more about, well, the above Gang Starr cut, “Mass Appeal,” you can read the following:
“It was recorded as a joke. We just wanted to make fun of the radio on what it sounded like to get airplay. That’s why I made the background melody real simplistic. I was making fun of the radio, but I’m going to make a funky version of making fun of it. Everything’s a vision, and your brain has to be that intense to be able to capture that. What the radio played, when it came to hip-hop, it sounded too watered down. That was making fun of it, but that record did real good for us. We shot the video in Riis beach out in Far Rockaway, but don’t mention that video, man. It was cold, too cold.”
Read the entire list at Complex.