Written by Amanda Bassa.
In the second part of Primo’s interview with TheWellVersed, he opens up on a Jay-Z/DJ Premier album, working with Eminem and GZA, who laid down one of the dopest verses he ever heard, Pete Rock Vs. Premier and continuing Gang Starr’s legacy.
DJ Premier: I’ll give you a funny story. Jay-Z reached out to me when he was going to do The Black Album — this was years before he put it out because he postponed it, ended up working on other stuff, and then he came out with the album and decided to retire. Way prior to that he called me and said he was going to do an album and that he wanted me to do the whole thing. But he said, “I know how busy you are, Premo, but I want you to not have anything to do with anybody for the whole time we make this album. I need like a two week window, and we just do it.” And I understood where he was coming from, because he knows it had to be that deep of a situation to get it to be right and to call it The Black Album. Prince already made The Black Album. If you’re going to make one, it better be top notch. There’s a lot that goes along with that. So to approach me about that? That’s the same way I look at the Cold Crush, Fantastic, Kool Moe D, all that. LL and I have tried two or three times to work on stuff. He’s somebody you gotta sit down with and really focus on because he deserves that type of attention. And I’m proud to give him that type of attention.
TWV: Speaking of people you’ve been working with, there are a couple rumored collaborations I’ve heard about. For instance Eminem…
DJ Premier: Me and Eminem spoke about a year ago when he did the ciphers with BET and we finally got to kick it face to face. We had a good conversation. There’s a uniqueness about certain artists, so with him? I have to put certain things aside to work with him, and I gotta be realistic with what my schedule already allows me to have going on. I knew if I was going to work on Eminem tracks, I can’t be working on anything else. Strictly Eminem. That’s how much I want to give him the illest, what-the-fuck-is-that type shit, where everybody is like “yo, did you hear the Eminem and Premier shit?!” I know it will be great. But he’s still alive, I’m still alive, and hopefully I will keep breathing, and in that time frame we’ll get around to that.