DJ Premier Reveals That He Sequenced Nas’ ‘Illmatic’

Source: YouTube

No wonder the sequencing on Illmatic is so good.

A part of what makes Nas‘ Illmatic such a classic album is its sequencing. Throughout the years, the sequencing credit has been given to Sony Records and Columbia Records, but it turns out that DJ Premier was the one behind the role all the time.

Speaking to Anderson .Paak on “.Paak House Radio,” Preemo discussed how he came to sequence the album.

“I’m all about sequencing,” Premier said via DJ Booth. “I’ve sequenced every Gang Starr [album], every Jeru [the Damaja album]…I sequenced Illmatic for Nas. He wanted to use the same mastering that I was using, so he was like, ‘Yo, sequence it for me.’ So, I sequenced Illmatic.”

As DJ Booth also notes, in 2014 two separate stories were written about Illmatic: one by FACT and another from MTV. The former wrote that the album was sequenced by Sony Records while the latter said the staff at Columbia Records was in charge of sequencing.

Preemo had also made this reveal earlier this year when he talked about the 20th anniversary Gang Starr‘s Moment of Truth with Wax Poetics.

Last year, Premier talked about how D’Angelo‘s “Devil’s Pie” came to be, revealing that the track was originally meant for Canibus.

“I was leaving [the studio] and my phone just happened to ring,” Premier said in a video interview with Mass Appeal. “Just, on the humble, it was D. He was like ‘Yo, what you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m just leaving the studio with Canibus. We were working on something but the track didn’t work out.’ He goes, ‘Can I hear it?’ I said, ‘Yeah. It’s just a bass line, though, not a lot of stuff happening.’ I went over there, played it, and he just starts going, ‘Yo! I want this.'”

From there, Premo recalled how J Dilla, a very young Alchemist, Questlove, and D’Angelo’s trainer were all present during the session. D’Angelo also told Premo about the video treatment for what would ultimately become “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”

“He’s like ‘Yo I’m about to do a video next week but I’mma be naked and it’s not gonna even have a title. It’s gonna be called ‘Untitled,'” Premier says. “…Next thing you know that was a hit and ‘Devil’s Pie’ took off. It did well and I got a Grammy for that.”

H/T: DJ Booth

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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