DJ Premier Reveals the “Emotional” Process of Producing Gang Starr’s First Single in 16 Years

The legendary beatsmith explained the production of Gang Starr’s first single since Guru’s passing.

In a phone interview on Sway’s Universe, DJ Premier revealed the emotional process of constructing the recently-released Gang Starr single “Family and Loyalty” featuring J. Cole. The track features two posthumous verses from Guru, who passed away in 2010.

HEAR: Listen to Gang Starr’s First Single in 16 Years, “Family and Loyalty” Featuring J. Cole

“I was like ‘who do we get from that generation, that age range that has the younger fans?’ It’s either Drake, Kendrick [Lamar], or Cole,” Premier explained. “I texted it to him and I swear to you, it wasn’t even five minutes, he hit me back and said ‘bro, I’m shivering right now. This is so emotional, Guru sounds like he just wrote this.”

Premier went on to explain that sample clearance — from Larnelle Harris’ 1997 gospel single “He Looked Beyond My Faults“— only cost him $1,000, a relatively low number.

READ: Pete Rock & DJ Premier To Produce Two New De La Soul Albums

“For this one, I was just coming off the Badder Band Tour, and [Guru’s] family gave me some of his ashes at the show in LA…that’s what sparked me,” said Premier. “I cried and stared at the ashes…next thing you know, I was like, ‘I have a spare vocal that I can work with, let me see if I can make it work. I carried the ashes to the studio…I prayed over them with sage and incense.”

Premier hesitated to announce any more Gang Starr tracks but went on to reveal that a video for the single, directed by Fab Five Freddy, is soon to come.

SOURCE: Sway’s Universe

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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