Premier also discussed how Q-Tip and Jeru the Damaja’s features came together.
In a new interview with Complex, DJ Premier discussed how the new Gang Starr album, One of the Best Yet, came about. In regards to its features, Premier revealed J. Cole wasn’t the first rapper considered to appear on the album’s first single, “Family and Loyalty.”
“I was like, ‘This needs a guest. Who do I get?’ My manager’s bringing up Drake, because I had just done ‘Sandra’s Rose.’ I reached out to Drake. 40 told me he was getting ready to do the Scorpion tour, so it was going to be really hectic unless I could wait until after the tour was over. I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t want to wait that long,'” Premiere said. “So I thought about Kendrick Lamar. I reached out to them, they said the same thing—he’s really starting this new album and in that zone, so doing anything outside that right now might be a little hectic.”
“Then I texted J. Cole and said, ‘Hey man, I want to send you something. It’s a secret Gang Starr album,'” the producer continued. ‘I texted him the song, and he hit me back within five minutes and said, ‘Bro, I got the chills right now.’ He said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to be on this. I just need a little time to have some family stuff. I’m about to have another child.’ He kept his word. After his second son was born, he sent me the vocals over.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Premier also talked about how Q-Tip’s feature on the song “Hit Man” came to be.
“Q-Tip just had throat surgery. I was like, ‘I bet you can’t do a verse. How about you just do a hook?’ He said, ‘Hey man, let me hear the song,'” Premier said. “When he heard it, he was like, ‘You know what? It sounds so grimey, my throat may sound dope with it raspy like this.'”