Tag Archives: dj premier

Music

Luda gets curatorial on Theater of the Mind

The New York Times ran an interesting article a couple of days ago assessing Ludacris’ decision to enlist DJ Premier for his newest album, Theater of the Mind.  Check out the opening couple of paragraphs:

In a video on the YouTube channel of Ludacris’s label, Disturbing tha Peace, he watches as DJ Premier, the primary architect of 1990s East Coast rap formalism, picks out a line from an old Ludacris song, “Stand Up,” and cues up his turntable. Casually the D.J. begins cutting the vocals immaculately into smaller and smaller bits while Ludacris reclines in a chair, pleased with the view.

So distant is the moment when artful D.J.ing was an essential part of hip-hop culture that watching DJ Premier is a little like regarding an exhibit at a folk-art museum — a hip-hop Colonial Williamsburg.

Consider Ludacris an enthusiastic re-enactor, then, and also the rare Southern rapper who considers working with DJ Premier — or time traveling, as it were — a feather in his cap. Accordingly, the smile on his face Tuesday night as he brought Premier onstage at the Highline Ballroom was wide and irrepressibly sincere. Premier produced “MVP,” a no-frills track from Ludacris’s sixth album, “Theater of the Mind” (D.T.P./Def Jam), for which this show was a release party.

Below is the video referred to in the first line:

I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole album, and to be honest, I’ve never been the biggest Luda fan, but if he’s showin’ love to cats like Primo and LL Cool J then I’m down fo’ sho’.  

Bonus!

Mosey on over to From Da Bricks to hear two tracks from Theater: “MVP” and “I Do It For Hip-Hop” feat. Jay-Z and Nas.  

I’ve linked to both of them below, but Bricks is definitely a blog worth reading so I recommend you have a look.

Ludacris – MVP (Theater of the Mind, 2008)

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Ludacris – I Do It For Hip-Hop feat. Jay-Z and Nas (Theater of the Mind, 2008)

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Music

Primo Releases New Material: “Beats that Collected Dust”

Earlier this month, DJ Premier released an album of unused beats called, appropriately, “Beats that Collected Dust.”  Available via a variety of sources (and illegally here), the album is really a testament to Primo’s greatness; after all, how many other producers could seriously consider releasing an album of beats that, for whatever reason, were deemed not dope enough for release?

The problem with Primo, though, is that his beats are repetitive.  Where other producers of similar stature (think Madlib, Dilla, Shadow, RJD2) layer numerous samples atop one another to create complexity and nuance, Primo digs for that single head-nodding loop: that one snippet of a record – often located where you least expect it – that, when accompanied by drums, sounds like it was made to be sampled.

Maybe this stems from his roots in the old school.  Or maybe Primo knows that a simple yet well-constructed boom-bap beat remains the best way for any emcee to showcase their skills on the mic.  Unfortunately, it also means that listening to Primo beats without an emcee can get repetitive.  Three straight minutes of the same loop, no matter how dope it is, can get tedious.

Still, for any fan of Primo’s, or good hip-hop in general, this album is definitely worth a listen.

Check out two of Collected Dust’s tracks below, then visit your favourite online record store and buy it!

DJ Premier – B-Line (Beats that Collected Dust, 2008)

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DJ Premier – Original Represent (Beats that Collected Dust, 2008)

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Music

Smirnoff Vodka makes underground hip hop

Smirnoff Vodka has launched a new website called the Smirnoff Signature Mix Series. It pairs some pretty sick emcees with various amazing producers to produce what could be seen as some sellout tracks. They’re remixes for the modern day of some old classics. And each one comes with a drink recipe, so check it out here.

At the site you can download the tracks and watch some pretty awesome studio footage of them being recorded, so I highly suggest it. But, for your auditory pleasure, I’ve gone ahead and streamed the tracks for you. So check them out below.

Common with Just Blaze – The Light ’08

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KRS-One with DJ Premier – Criminal Minded ’08

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Q-Tip with Cool and Dre – Midnight

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