Watch As DJ Premier Recalls The Making Of Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal”

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 5.47.06 PMGang Starr dropped “Mass Appeal” in 1994, few (if any) tracks to that date could match its combination of DJ Premier‘s smoothly aggressive production and Guru‘s gymnastic, intellectual rhyming approach. The song has gone on to become one of the duo’s most recognizable songs and still sets a bar for artists looking to blend heaviness, listenability and thought provocation.

But what, exactly, is the story behind its creation? That question and so many more are answered by Premier himself in a new extended video interview produced by Complex as a part of their Magnum Opus series. With additional comments from familiar faces including Jadakiss, Stretch Armstrong, Lil Dap, Chairman Mao, and Phat Gary, the 17 minute video teaches us a great many things: that Kool DJ Red Alert helped break “Words I Manifest,” that Guru’s brilliant intellect made it sometimes difficult for him to connect to his street-repping colleagues, that Guru was the one pushing for platinum plaques and sold out shows, that Gang Starr’s song titles got written before even a single beat was constructed by Premier and that both artists’ status as migrants made them, in a way, even truer bastions of New York City hip-hop. Watch the entire “behind the scenes” video below–it’s guaranteed to enhance your appreciation of a classic.

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