In a last-minute decision, DJ Premier chose to change the first single as a favor to J. Cole.
DJ Premier joined Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning on Friday (November 1st) to discuss the new Gang Starr album One of the Best Yet. Premier told the story behind the first single “Family and Loyalty,” featuring J. Cole. Apparently, Premier and the label were planning for “Bad Name” to be the lead single. Right before they began the marketing push, however, Cole intervened.
“He made the rules,” Premier told Ebro, “‘Bad Name’ was supposed to be the jump-off because that sounds like traditional Gang Starr. I already had my plan out…right when we were all ready to pull the trigger on ‘Bad Name,’ my phone lights up and it’s Cole.”
Cole told Premier that he planned to go on hiatus soon, and that “Family and Loyalty” would be his last feature before he shut things down.
Premier reluctantly agreed and shifted his focus towards plans for the video shoot. “We already had our video plans for ‘Bad Name,'” he said. “I wasn’t ready for a director to do this one, so I was like ‘who can do it who really already understands [Gang Starr]?’ That’s when I called Fab Five Freddy.”
In the interview, Premier also explained his friendly rivalry with RZA over the years and his proximity to dozens of New York music legends upon moving from Houston in the ’90s.
Check out the interview below.