DJ Premier  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
DJ Premier discography

Christopher Edward Martin (born March 21, 1966), better known as DJ Premier (and affectionately Premo/Primo/Preem by his fans, fellow musicians and critics) is a prominent American hip hop producer and DJ, and the instrumental half of the duo Gang Starr, together with MC Guru on the lyrical side. Originally from Houston, he has lived in Brooklyn, New York virtually his entire professional career.


DJ Premier's style of production epitomizes the New York sound of his earlier peers. He is known for sampling jazz, funk, and soul artists, as well as sampling an artist's past work when creating a new track for that same artist. In addition, his encyclopedic memory of hip-hop lyrics allows him to distinctively speak with his hands by scratching in lyrics from several different songs to construct new phrases. Premier's beats are known for his oft-imitated combinations of short vocal samples, often from multiple artists, to create a chorus. For example, in the chorus of Mos Def's "Mathematics," Premier cuts the following in quick succession:

"The Mighty Mos Def" (from Mos Def's "Body Rock"),
"It's simple mathematics" (Fat Joe from Big Pun's "John Blaze"),
"Check it out" (Lady of Rage from Snoop Dogg's "For All My Niggaz & Bitches"),
"I revolve around science" (from Ghostface Killah's verse on Raekwon's "Criminology"),
"What are we talking about here" (from the movie Ghostbusters Said by William Atherton's Character),
"Do your math" (from Erykah Badu's "On & On"), and
"One, two, three, four" (from James Brown's "Funky Drummer")

Note, however, that Premier has experimented extensively with atonal samples that are not confined to soul, jazz, and funk. For example, he sampled chopped up seminal electro-acoustic music from the 1960s on the track “Mental Stamina” by Jeru the Damaja.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "DJ Premier" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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