A very special happy birthday goes out to hip-hop legend DJ Premier, born Christopher Edward Martin. He's who you think of when someone says "boom bap" and his work with Guru as Gang Starr is seminal 1990's rap. DJ Premier turns 52 years old today.

Surprisingly enough, Premier's not even from New York and neither is Guru, although the general public began to associate them with the Rotten Apple in the 1990s. Primo was born in Houston, while Guru was born in Boston. Premier went by Waxmaster C at the time and sent Guru a beat tape. The MC liked it, and together they released "Words I Manifest" as the group's first single. Their debut album No More Nr. Nice Guy followed in 1989 and the rest is history.

They were pioneers of rap in the 1990s at a time when the East Coast was riding high. Premier was especially praised for his simple, pure production technique. It would go on to influence every producer born in New York after him and shaped the sound of rap on the East Coast for over 20 years.

Guru's voice, meanwhile, was another unique part of the equation. His monotone delivery actually fit Premier's straightforward beats, making them an unlikely success. Premier was particularly popular because he was well known for producing other popular records, such as Jay-Z's "A Million and One Questions," D'Angelo's "Devil's Pie," Mos Def's "Mathematics" and more. But together the chemistry that Guru and Primo had was untouchable. Unfortunately, Guru was snatched from us, but Premier has still been forging ahead with his neck-snapping beats. More recently, Premier has teamed up with Miguel, The LOX, MC Eiht and more. His current focus is his group with Detroit spitter Royce Da 5'9, Phryme.

Happy Birthday to the legend!

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