I feel it's time to get back on my hip-hop tip. Today, I wanted to discuss the greatest beats by one of the greatest producers of all time: DJ Premier. There are so many dope beats by him, I made it a top 20, but still the chances are your favourite is not on this list. I put some links there to some tracks...some are mp3s I uploaded, others are youtube links. I also tried to keep it only one beat per artist just so we can see dude's variety. Let's get this shit cracking...
20. Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man
Don't hate...if this were a beat for a rapper you'd say it's one of Premo's best. Christina comes nice on this anyway. This is just another notch in his belt: Premo can make hits. I even liked that beat he did for Limp Bizkit with Method Man - "N 2 Gether Now" you can't front that shit is ill!
19. Termanology - Watch How it Go Down
Love this shit. Termanology GOES TO WORK on this. Just keeps rapping for the whole track: and the soundscape Premo provides is fucking sick. I love it at the end how he scratches in Jay-Z's "Shit is wicked on these mean streets" from Premo's own "D'Evils". It's a great final touch on a dope track.
18. Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn Dodgers
That bell that comes in after the mad jazz band sample is insane. Chubb Rock is too.
17. Royce Da 5'9 - Hip Hop
Nice strings in here...and then some cool little bell riff. This track is appropriately named cos this beat is straight up hip-hop.
16. Buckshot LeFonque - Music Evolution
Mad jazz shit.
15. Rawkotics - Hard Core Hip-Hop
Some rare older shit...nonetheless take a listen: that is a mad beat.
14. Common - 6th Sense
Premo provides Common with a type of beat you rarely hear Common spit over. That more straight up hip-hop, less soulful cut. And it sounds great. Common + Premo would be a great partnership I reckon. Although they'll probably never collab again...after all Common already "found the new Premo" (Kanye).
13. Mos Def - Mathematics
It's an ill bassline on this one. Premo has some fun here, with an ill breakdown before Mos' second verse. The hook he scratches out is also sick: "Mighty Mos Def" / Fat Joe: "It's simple mathematics" Lady of Rage: "(check it out)" / Ghostface: "I revolve around science" / Ghostbusters sample: "What are we talking about here?" and then Erykah Badu sample "Do Your Math" leading into the breakdown.
12. The Lox - Recognize
Straight up banger.
11. Gangstarr - Above the Clouds
My fav Gangstarr beat. Inspectah Deck rips this up too. I think "Moment of Truth" was Premo's best production with Gangstarr...every beat on there is solid as fuck.
10. Biggie - Ten Crack Commandments
This has Premo all over it. The way he chops shit up, you can easily tell its dude: especially on this joint. This beat here seems impossible to play without nodding your head.
9. Dilated Peoples - Clockwork
Unlike Ten Crack Commandments, this one isn't as obvious Premo. I dunno it just sounds a bit different to his usual style, with just a phat clean bassline being pumped out rather than a dusty old piano sample or whatever. The hit at the end of each loop, is vintage Premo though. However, it is an insane beat, really gets me going. And the intro and outro to the track are awesome too.
8. Capone N Noreaga - Invincible
That's some ill up-tempo shit. Does exactly what a good hip-hop beat should do...create a platform for MCs to reach their full potential. It would be hard to spit anything on this and sound wack.
7. Blaq Poet - Voices
This is not as well known as some of these other joints. Check the link then if you haven't heard it. This is one bad record. Dark. Haunting. Fucking sick...just take a listen.
6. Nas - N.Y. State of Mind
So yeah he is handy with the MPC, chopping shit up. We all know that. But this track showcases just how important your drums are. This track is all about the drums...some of the best I've ever heard on a hip-hop track. Big, dirty, hard hitting joints. This track is pivotal in setting up the album - one that is regarded by many as the greatest hip-hop album ever made. I think it is therefore safe to say it achieved its goal.
5. Fat Joe - The Shit Is Real (Remix)
This is another one of them positive sounding Premo beats with a mad nostalgic type melody looped over his trademark head-nodding drums.
4. Jeru the Damaja - Come Clean
Premo has a distinctive sound, yet still manages to be one of the most creative cats out there. And it's all about the sample: any sound can be flipped and chopped up into a mad beat. Here it is water drops. But I just love the drums on this one. They contrast with the sample perfectly creating an awesome head-nodding rythmn that Jeru rips up. I also give a shout out here to the joint "Supastar" by another Gangstarr affiliate Group Home which is mad, but I haven't found room for on this list.
3. Jaz O and the Immobiliare - Love Is Gone
This is one slept on beat. He uses this mad electronic sounding sample and then incorporates some breath noise sample in there as well, with some guitar stabs. The result is a track that you can just play over and over, cos its so pleasing to the ears. Jaz O fills the track nicely, don't really know who that other cat is though.
2. Jay-Z - D'Evils/Bring It On
I'll give props to two instrumentals here, both from the classic Reasonable Doubt album. D'Evils is some crazy shit. Premo don't give a shit about no west coast/east coast beef shit...he samples Snoop and layers this mad piano riff over the top, setting an incredible mood on the track. Jay-Z absolutely murders the track, spitting some of greatest verses ever spat. Bring it On features a beautiful melancholy orchestral progression. Once Premo gets an ill sample, you know the track is gonna be dope, cos he's always gonna bring those drums.
1. J-Live - The Best Part
This is number one for me. Again, it all comes down to an ill sample. Here we have a mad pan flute type sound. Add some banging drums, an orchestra fill and some incredible scratching in the hook and you have an absolute classic.