The creative landscape is changing. Technologies like Pro Tools, the iPod, and peer-to-peer networks have become mainstream in the digital age, creating a wild frontier of sorts in music. Independent artists can reach mass audiences once forbidden to them. These technologies are fostering the rise of “semiotic democracy”—where more and more people are no longer passive consumers of mass media, but active participants in creating culture. Cops vs Lawyers, Issue 3

السبت، أيلول 10، 2005

DJ Premier: That Motherfucker!



Interview by Thomas Hynes and Mike Conway
Flick by Matthew Reamer

At 5pm., Mike and I finished a couple drinks and set out to Mighty to see if we could meet the legendary DJ Premier. We were just gonna run up on the club and ask him a few questions. It would only take a minute…. Instead we waited ten hours. When finally, at 3am, as the freshly-rocked crowd started milling home, we got our interview with one of hip-hop’s original super-producers and a true innovator...

SHOUT: Can we ask you a few questions?
PRIMO: Better make it quick.

Hynes: With a proper kit costing upwards of $1,000, has deejaying gotten too expensive for young kids to get into?
No, because, what we do is a professional thing, so the equipment is gonna cost us some money. But that just means that the quality of the product is gonna enhance the deejay doing his thing.

Conway: You have one of the tightest tattoos I’ve ever seen on your forearm. When did you decide to get that?
Reputation? When I was on tour with Rage Against the Machine, their tattoo artist had done two tattoos for me, already. His name is Gary Cosmo. It’s a dedication to my relatives that were involved in my getting into music. And I put my mama on my other forearm. I was reading this book, The 48 Rules of Power on the plane when we were going back home from the Rage Against the Machine tour. It was their last show at the Staples Center. Ice T came on stage, M.O.P., Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, Fred Durst and everything. Everybody was hanging out and it was just crazy that night.

Hynes: What are you listening to right now?
Jill Scott’s new album. I’m listening to The Game. The Game shit is hot, that’s a real solid album. I’m listening to R.A. the Rugged Man. I’m listening to Nas, Street’s Disciple. And I’m listening to the Van Hunt, too.

With all respect to Public Enemy and Apocalypse 91, do you think Flavor Flav has lost his mind?
(Laughter) That’s the thing, Flavor Flav has always been bugged out like that. You know, I watch the shit just to see what’s next and how they treat him and all that. But Flavor’s not a dumb dude. That dude know a lot. He’s a very intelligent dude.

You’ve been at this for over 15 years, and you’ve seen hip-hop come a long way in becoming assimilated into our culture. Do you think we’ll ever see the days of a 50 Cent lunch box or a Nate Dogg Xmas album?
You mean like Sccoby Doo and all that shit? That’s very possible. Shit, I think I’m gonna start one of those.

Tapes, 8-tracks, cds have come and gone, even cds are about to become obsolete. Why has vinyl endured?
It’s the foundation of our format. Before any cds, before 8-tracks, there was always vinyl. There was 78s and all that, and 10” records and 7” records. And again, this format stretches out even longer, you know. When they cut vinyl out of rock and roll albums and country albums, hip-hop albums were still putting vinyl out. So that means, you still go to a record store and they got a 12” rack. It’s meant to be.

If there were a deejay you could battle, who would it be?
But I’m not a battle deejay. I’m a rhythm deejay. I’m good with rhythmic scratches. I can do a couple little things. But I ain’t on the level of Jazzy Jeff and Aladdin and DJ Scratch from EPMD and Roc Raida and all of them. Them dudes are sick. I would sit there and be like, what the fuck are y’all doin?” I’m still open like that. But with the rhythms, I’m that motherfucker. With the scratch hooks, I’m that motherfucker. Making beats, I’m that motherfucker.

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