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The phrase of someone having a trademark style gets thrown around too lightly these days. Well, not for DJ Premier, it ain’t. You would recognize a Premo beat in a second, and so does any other rap fan and their mother. His truly original approach of stripped down arrangements with sharply cut jazz loops over hardcore drums and scratches did not only shape but become the template for East Coast hip hop’s state of the art for more than a decade. Originally hailing from Houston, Texas, young Christopher Edward Martin re-named himself Waxmaster C and followed the call of hip hop’s birthplace, NYC. A few weighty encounters later, he was known as DJ Premier and one half of newly-formed group Gang Starr alongside Brooklyn MC Guru. Over the course of 15 years, Gang Starr churned out six classic albums and countless memorable hit singles, side projects and guest appearances. Besides his work with Guru, Premo proved himself as a proper talent scout, endorsing the careers of Big L, Nas, Jay-Z, Jeru The Damaja, Group Home and Mos Def, to name but a few. More recently, his own imprint Year Round Records became home to new talent like Termanalogy and Blaq Poet or West Coast vet MC Eiht. A story well worth listening to, ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for DJ P-P-P-Premier!

Via CI.

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