DJ Premier: “I Gave 50 Cent A Bangin’ Beat But He Turned It Down”


Last night at New York City’s 92 Street Y, Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg sat down with legendary producer DJ Premier for what was said to be the first installment of his Noisemakers series of one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest names in hip-hop. During the discussion Primo spoke about many of his infamous collaborations, and those that were never able to materialize.

When asked what rappers he’d like to have worked with that haven’t yet manifested, Premier said “Definitely Busta,” before adding, “50 too. I gave 50 a bangin’ beat, [but] he turned it down. It was dope, though.”

The rap vet didn’t dwell on that as he explained what it was like to work with The Nototious B.I.G. “Biggie called me in a frantic panic on the phone and was like, Yo, I got one more song I need for my album and I’m done; I gotta get a song from you.” That conversation soon turned into “Unbelievable,” off of Big’s debut, Ready to Die, which Primo “thought was a little too nice for the way his voice sounded,” but Big Poppa “just walked in the booth and laid it—no paper, no nothin’.”

When the possibility of a full-length album was brought up, he acknowledged that the wheels are in motion, but it may be difficult to get everyone he wants on the release. “I talked about starting it a couple weeks ago, because a lot of artists [want to help]—like Kanye, [after] I scratched on his album, he was like, ‘Yo, I’ll give you one for free whenever you need me.’ And I know that the bigger people get, it’s harder to get ‘em. Even Jay-Z is hard to get now, and we were around each other for years, but it’s hard to even get at him. I’m just trying to swap with everybody.”

The perfectionist that he is, Primo knows the situation needs to be right. “It’s gotta be like my Chronic,” he continued. “Just like the way Dre came out with Chronic and just shitted on everybody, mine’s gotta be the same way.”

Whether or not a DJ Premier album is in the immediate future, more music is certainly on the way. “I’m back to almost a beat every two days,” he assured. “The money’s always secondary. That’s the reason why I think I still get work. Even in desperate times, I still gotta make the record bang.” – Adam Fleishcher

Check out XXL‘s Scratch Blog for more on last night’s event.

  • ee-city

    damn i know he just didnt scrap the beat he offered to 50, i wonder who he ended up giving it to

  • A

    Primo’s the best that ever produced a hip-hop beat!

    • TheRefriedMexican

      2ND BEST! (DR. DRE #1)

  • http://xxlmag.com Ben

    Thats why 50 confuses me how you turn down a Premiere beat? Royce Da 5’9 stays slaughtering fat premo beats.

    • TonyStackz

      WHATS SO CONFUSING BOUT FIVE-O DUDE’S JUST
      WACK PLAIN AND SIMPLE WHATS SO HARD TO FIGURE
      OUT HE JUST AIN’T GOT GOOD TASTE WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING MUSIC & PUTING OUT SINGLES
      HE’D RATHER GET A “CANDY SHOP,JUST A LIL BIT”
      LAME SOUNDING BEAT AND PUT IT OUT AS A SINGLE
      INSTEAD OF A JEWEL FROM PRIMO A DELIVER A CLASSIC LOL SHIT HE CAN BARELY DO ANY JUSTICE TO A DR. DRE BEAT LET ALONE A DJ PREMIER JOINT !!!

  • g-unit killa

    man just like 50 he skips over greatness with his hoe ass

  • g-unit killa

    man I seen g-unot in a beauty supply store in detroit and he was with ginuwine…I was like is that…and this nigga crooned”same ol g” then I was like nigga don’t you owe my Kuzin ray ray 20 dollas …I then preceded to smaCK the snot out of em…then I seen g-unot hide in one of the aisles then the Korean owner started yellin and I was like shut the hell up or you next….I found g-unot in the aisle then I sprayed tcb in his eyes and threw a bottle of just for me at em….then i stomped and made him say krip down…then I grabbed ginuwine and told him to pay ray ray what he owed then I grabbed an obama for president shirt without payin and left

  • ONE

    HOW DO YOU TURN DOWN THE LEGEND…I’LL NEVER FIGURE THIS OUT

  • Nino

    Premier is the best hiphop producer ever, Dre is overrated.

    • kenny

      primo isnt even on my top 10 list . ny dudes are just really gassed on this notion that primo holds the official hiphop sound . fuck that . i never ever was into dude. yea yall gonna say i dont know hiphop . but primo is just a drum programmer thats it . 10 producers in hiphop that are better than primo? in no paricualr order

      dre – flipped the game anytime he came out . doesnt matter if haters say he borrowed sounds . bullshit wont even go into lenghts about why i think hes prolly the most influencial figure in 21st century pop music . thatll be like saying i give a shit who doesnt know this .

      dj quik – a better musician than dre .

      hi tek – watch out for duke hes learning from the watcher dre . hes gonna be better than pete rock some day

      pete rock – this guy birthed 9th wonder , hi tek . should be the epitome of new york hiphop

      alchemist – dude changes his style and is just way more versatlie than primo . problem with primo ? he uses the same fucking drumkit

      just blaze – jayz primo

      kanye west – i dont think theres anything special about kanye either. he just created a buzz from morphing his drums like dre but not as good . and he jsut sampled alot like the hitmen from bad boy . so he combined east and west . still even he is artistically better than primo .the only time he didnt over kill samples he used royalty free samples lmao for his 808 shit .lmao

      j dilla – the most original and creative hip hop producer ever. the most slept on hiphop producer ever . even more musically gifted than dj quik . fuck hiphop hes a soulquarian . when primo does an album like like water for chocolate or vodoo ill cop defo without previewing . and nah illmatic doesnt cut it . but im sure thats many peoples cup of tea. but even primo said dre shat of everything . doggystyle shat on illmatic sonically … not lyrically so dont overhype illmatic . the source has already . even nas will tell u his illest work is stillmatic ..black zombies .

      large proffesor is as good as primo if not better .

      the bomb squad – they really started g funk . they changed the whole sampling game forever and made producers remember that hiphop was originally about sampling fuck also . which is way more groovier than using james brown and jazz samples .

      the problem with hiphop fans is u really view this shit as a little subgenre . and newyork cats escpecially want to claim to to be theirs . its typical tho . the reality is hiphop is actually an afrocaribean culture . and kool herc wasnt the first to do it . he was the first to popularise it in america yea . same goes for breaking ( capoira ) that shit was done in discos before people started doing it on the streets of ny. nothing is original just the packaging .
      primo should learn how to package shit using different material instead of using thesame cardboard boxes .. try tetrapack .

      • que

        wtf premo gave birth to pete rock and alchemist. it is not about a newyork sound premo is from boston anyway know what you are talkin about beore you start sayin shit cause you sound ignorant as fuck. DJ quick are u serious. Don’t get me started on dre, he is one of the great one’s but he can’t fuc with premo, he has alot of help over there beleive me, scott storch for example he did alot the shit you thught dre did, like 2pac said dre gets alot of credit forshit he ain’t do. whe yo se premo’s name next to a bat best beleiv he did it hisself.

        • kenny

          marley marl birthed pete rock and preemo .. he was pretty much in his own lane homie . and preemo is from houston . know ur shit about ur hero before stanning blindly. peterock expanded marley marls style . if u hear some of marley marls beats and some of preemos beats they sound exactly thesame.

        • John Cauner

          To Que, actually Premier is from Prairie View, Texas just outside of Houston. Guru is from Boston.

      • TheRefriedMexican

        TO KENNY:
        YOU SAY PRIMO IS “JUST A DRUM PROGRAMMER THATS IT” PLEASE DON’T CONFUSE A LEGENDARY PROUCER WHO HAPPENS TO EMPHASIZE THE DRUMS TO JUST A “DRUM PROGRAMMER” LISTEN TO THESE 4 SONGS AGAIN IT WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND
        1) “ALL 4 THA CASH” NOTE THE KEYBOARD MELODY IN THE BACKGROUND. DOPE
        2) “WORK” LISTEN TO THE MESHING OF THE PIANO AND THE HORNS IN THE BACKGROUND. INCREDIBLE BEAT
        3) “N 2 GETHER” THE STRINGS NOT THE DRUMS MAKE THIS SONG GO
        4) “10 CRACK COMMANDMENTS” THE REASON PRIMO IS LOVED. A SMALL EXAMPLE OF HIS TURNTABLE ABILITIES

  • venemez

    JUST BLAZE if my fav. producer…

  • Curtis75Black

    I’ll like to hear his 1st. length cd. I’ll also love to see DJ Scratch come out with one also. Premier can definitely bring out some real music.

  • Phil

    Man, I remember Primo talking about his album for years now, lol…it’s ALL GOOD, tho, I am patient as hell! He called it “A Man Of Few Words” and had songs with Jill Scott, for example. But my man was never satisfied and put them away! I’ll get that album whenever he drops it, period. And whoever mentioned DJ Scratch is right on the money! Scratch’s work is SICK and whole album of his shit would be like OD’ing on Hip-Hop, man. Imagine his lineup: Black Thought, Buss, SV, Royce, Joell, B.O.B….

  • Avenger XL

    This is one of my problems with hip-hop. Primo is one of the greatest who ever did it on the beats this dude molded a whole cost with his sound and all he wants to do is do what the Chronic did. Now I know he is a fan first and the Chronic molded a whole cost but why is this the only genre of music that over studies stuff like this. It makes the Genre kinda stale even when the material is good. Secondly I feel you reaching out to some of the major cat’s for this album but also you could be a real talent scout in this ish and work with some indies or midlevel cats. Make it a real themed Album. I know what ever primo does it is going to be 10 times doper than what is hot today but damn can a brother get a little change in the genre that isn’t anounced like the Auto-Tune shit or the hipster ish.

  • PRODIGAL SON

    Fifty might be rich, but he stays loosing on his musical career… comeon, you made your money, go back and lay down some street shit from the heart, go back to Trackmasters, take some shit from Premiere, Dre and Em, don’t clutter that with filler tracks… BISD is gonna be shit, I don’t think it will have any suprises, especially the “meh” of GET UP, good but not great, fif seems to do this a lot with hot producers… takes a lackluster beat as opposed to the banging one, Come & Go from Dre? That shit was left over…

  • G- UNOT KILLA

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Blood Nation. I pledge my heart and soul to the flag-N-to all my brothers and sisters in the UBN “UBL” or any other nation a part of the Bloods. I pledge to represent the flag to the death of me. No one or nothing will be allowed to come before my almighty Blood Nation. I give my life as well as take one for my UBN “UBL”. With this oath, I pledge my life to the UBN “UBL” and all its sets. R.I.P. O.G. TYE.
    WHAT THAT RED BE LIKE?

  • King B

    Premier=Just Blaze

  • fredMS

    it makes a lot of sense for 50 to turn a beet down. preemo charges like 200 grand a beat. thats y 50 stay winning

    • Big Family

      That’s a fabrication dude. You really think Termanology has 200K lying around? NYG’z?

      Royce, even with ghost writing doesn’t have that type of cake. 50 is good at getting cats on the come up cheap, which was the Jay-Z formula after Vol 1.

      I think 50 is prolly savvy enough to know the enormity of doing a track with dude who’s worked with virtually every heavyweight in the game.

  • Vicious Seiger

    Premo remains Legendary.

  • TCUK

    g-unit killa you suck ass…I be waiting on G-UNOT KILLA’s comments

  • Snakeyez

    Man could you imagine Premier doing a Chronic 2001?! It has the potential to surpass that album just because he has worked with almost all the best in the game! I’d definitely cop without hearing one song!

  • D-Block

    best producer alive

  • dabeachboi

    The bangers that dre has made has sold well over 30 milli, between, em, 50, NWA, the Game, All of G unit, and himself. primo doesn’t have half the credentials. doesnt mean he’s not fire, but doesnt put out half the quality bangers dre puts out. if u have a dre beat ur album is goin to go platinum, dont know if i could say the same about primo. not hatin.

    • Kev

      you seem to be saying that Dre is a better producer because his records sold more than Premo`s. To me it`s Dre who does not have the half of Premier repertoire. What has Dre produced the last 5 years??? With all the Gangstarr albums, the Jeru the Damaja album, Group Home, Biggie Collabs and beats for Jay-Z, Royce, Nas, Rakim, CNN. M.O.P , Jadakiss,Fat Joe, Common, The LOx….. and on and on…….
      Why you you think Dre is better???
      PREEMO by far the best producer of ALL TIME!!!
      By the way, Dre`s 1996 album Dre presents THE AFTERMATH was wack as Hell and his participation on the Firm album was mediocre at best.
      Can you name some wack Preemo beats???
      Just my opinion.

  • Curtis75Black

    The problem with Premo (Not Primo ya’ll lol) is that he has never been an exclusive producer for anyone other than his Gangstarr material (Correct me if I’m wrong !) Rocking tracks here and there for artist of high caliber isn’t enough. He needs a new school protege emcee and I’ll like him to change up the style a little – show some diversity and shock niggas when they learn it’s a Premo beat especially if it’s Bangin’ !!

    • KEV

      You need to step your rap game up. Preemo fully produced the first two Jeru the Damaja Lps and the Group home Living Proof album.
      3 HIP HOP CLASSICS DUMB ASS!!!!!!!
      Preemo, The GOAT!!!!!!!!

  • brand-new

    he needs 2 work with nas more, nas is like was hot as fuck

  • Curtis75Black

    Kev,
    Goodlookin’ out on the correction. Damn, How can I forget about Jeru and I owned both of those Classics.

    • Kev

      It`s all good Fam.
      Peace!!!

  • A-WEST

    G-UNIT KILLA U SUCK DUDE, GIVE IT UP, G-UNOT GOT THIS SHIT ON LOCK! I HATE MUTHAFUCKAZ LIKE U THAT TRY TO STEAL SUMBODY SHINE, HE DID IT FIRST, DONT COPY , BE ORIGINAL, GO DO DAT SHIT ON ANOTHA SITE U BITCH ASS DUDE, G-UNOT SHOW EM HOW TO DO IT RITE !

  • oskamadison

    There may be producers who sold more records, got more awards, got more spins, stared bigger record labels, have bigger teams of musicians on their payrolls but beat for beat DJ Premier is the best producer that ever did it. Just on sheer volume, dudes can’t touch him. I made an 8 disc box set of my favorite Premo joints and forgot mad joints while I was making it. One of the things that make him so dope is he doesn’t go chasing the A-listers. Big budget, no budget, fuck it, if you’re dope, Preme will lace you. Hell, even if you’re not dope, he’ll hit you. Everything real, “Livin’ Proof”, one of the most celebrated albums in his catalog, is an undisputed classic-and it ain’t got a damn thing to do with the rhymes. Don’t call it a comeback. Preme never left, cats that ought to know better just stopped fucking with him (ie, Jay, Nas, etc.) If you want an OFFICIAL hip-hop album, at least one stop to HeadQcourters is required. Ask Ludacris.

  • kenny

    primo isnt even on my top 10 list . ny dudes are just really gassed on this notion that primo holds the official hiphop sound . fuck that . i never ever was into dude. yea yall gonna say i dont know hiphop . but primo is just a drum programmer thats it . 10 producers in hiphop that are better than primo? in no paricualr order

    dre – flipped the game anytime he came out . doesnt matter if haters say he borrowed sounds . bullshit wont even go into lenghts about why i think hes prolly the most influencial figure in 21st century pop music . thatll be like saying i give a shit who doesnt know this .

    dj quik – a better musician than dre .

    hi tek – watch out for duke hes learning from the watcher dre . hes gonna be better than pete rock some day

    pete rock – this guy birthed 9th wonder , hi tek . should be the epitome of new york hiphop

    alchemist – dude changes his style and is just way more versatlie than primo . problem with primo ? he uses the same fucking drumkit

    just blaze – jayz primo

    kanye west – i dont think theres anything special about kanye either. he just created a buzz from morphing his drums like dre but not as good . and he jsut sampled alot like the hitmen from bad boy . so he combined east and west . still even he is artistically better than primo .the only time he didnt over kill samples he used royalty free samples lmao for his 808 shit .lmao

    j dilla – the most original and creative hip hop producer ever. the most slept on hiphop producer ever . even more musically gifted than dj quik . fuck hiphop hes a soulquarian . when primo does an album like like water for chocolate or vodoo ill cop defo without previewing . and nah illmatic doesnt cut it . but im sure thats many peoples cup of tea. but even primo said dre shat of everything . doggystyle shat on illmatic sonically … not lyrically so dont overhype illmatic . the source has already . even nas will tell u his illest work is stillmatic ..black zombies .

    large proffesor is as good as primo if not better .

    the bomb squad – they really started g funk . they changed the whole sampling game forever and made producers remember that hiphop was originally about sampling fuck also . which is way more groovier than using james brown and jazz samples .

    the problem with hiphop fans is u really view this shit as a little subgenre . and newyork cats escpecially want to claim to to be theirs . its typical tho . the reality is hiphop is actually an afrocaribean culture . and kool herc wasnt the first to do it . he was the first to popularise it in america yea . same goes for breaking ( capoira ) that shit was done in discos before people started doing it on the streets of ny. nothing is original just the packaging .
    primo should learn how to package shit using different material instead of using thesame cardboard boxes .. try tetrapack .

  • QUE ROLLO

    GUK. Where u @ nigga? holla!

    • Retard

      Wait. You….? Who the f### are you that we should care about your opinion? You’re rolling out criticisms about the best producers ever and you act like it’s gospel. Get the f### outta here.

      The fact you criticised Preem about using the same drum kit just shows how uneducated you are about music. By this logic you’re also criticisng every drummer in every rock band, metal band, jazz, soul, blues in every genre for using the same drum kit.

      It’s the same thing. Preem uses the same MPC he’s had for years, so what. What’s the difference for a guitarist using the same guitar, or a drummer using the same drum kit he loves/prefers? Or a pianist using the same piano?

      Fact is, Preem laces any sample with the same MPC – drum kit and he can still make it a classic. How many so called producers use different drums, samples yet they can’t come slose to Premo. Preem’s been making classics for years with the same MPC, what does that tell you?

      Funny thing is, i’ve replied to your post 5 years after you posted this BS and guess who’s been releasing the dopest beats over the last 5-6 years? That’s right, Premo.

      And you’re overrating some of the producers on your list. DJ Quik? Doper than Preem? F### outta here. Bomb Squad? You’re retarded.

      • Retard

        My post was in response to kenny.

  • balaramesh

    @ kenny,

    i respect your opinion, but you obviously lack the respect for a lyrical street banger. if you listen to this interview premo said “fiddy turned him down cause he couldn’t go commericial with his beats.” nevertheless, all of the people you picked were dope.

  • BGZ

    Primo have technically worked with Bus on Ante Up (remix).

  • TheRefriedMexican

    50 CUNT LIKES THOSE MADE FOR RADIO BEATS. PRIMO ESPECIALIZES IN THOSE MADE FOR THE STREET BEATS.
    ++++++
    +++++
    ++++
    +++
    ++
    +

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  • MasterMind

    i fuckin love premo shit i hope i work wit him one day he’s one of my favorite producer along wit easy mo bee ,pete rock, dre, lord finess,diamond d id really love to work wit him

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  • ram29

    Yall niggaz are stupid bout Dre..the reason he doesnt create some of the sound himself is cuz he already has the fukn beat in his head. Hes like a composer and recreates samples instead of just borrowing them liike everyone else. If dre dnt create the beats then interscope wouldnt need
    him and pay him..Niggaz love questioning Dre’s abilities thn nut on themselves when he comes wit it. Even hip hop critics who’ve listened to thousands of hip hop songs, who know more about the genre than most of you, revere Dre.. Stop fukn Hating

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  • http://www.iTunes.com/ProducerMedina Producer Medina

    Yo, Primo is sick.. I met him in NY with teddy riley at a Dynamic Producer Conference back when I was Grinden on da Beats.. inspired me to step up my game so I went indie and did my own thang.. .. Props to Dre hes probably the dopest producer alive..

    Producer Medina

    http://www.iTunes.com/100BanginBeats (airing on MTV since 2008-Current)

    *NEW http://www.iTunes.com/ProducerMedina (50 More Bangin Beats)

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