So Wassup? Sample Like DJ Premier (Sample Breakdowns & Collections)


So Wassup? Sample Like DJ Premier (Sample Breakdowns & Collections)

DJ Premier's unparalleled video series 'So Wassup?' is a goldmine of sampling know-how, anecdotes, and first-hand studio insights. To celebrate the greatness of Preemo, we break down some of his greatest non-Gang Starr productions.




April 14, 2022

D’Angelo - Devil’s Pie (Samples: Teddy Pendergrass, Pierre Henry & Method Man)

Rapper Canibus must feel regret when he hears D'Angelo's “Devil’s Pie” on the radio: DJ Premier told Mass Appeal that originally, he shared the first beat sketch for what would later become "Devil's Pie" with Canibus while working on an album together. But Canibus wasn’t feeling it. Shortly after that studio session, Preemo got a call from D’Angelo, who asked if he could hear what he was working on. He instantly fell in love with the Teddy Pendergrass bassline, and brought DJ Premier into the Devil’s Pie recording sessions together with drummer—and Tracklib supporter—Questlove, J Dilla, and a 21-year-old The Alchemist. The rest is history.

Mos Def - Mathematics (Samples: The Fatback Band & various vocals)

“Mathematics” off Mos Def’s monumental Black On Both Sides album features Preemo’s trademark chorus scratches. Watch the Sample Breakdown to see how DJ Premier pitched down a riff by The Fatback Band’s Johnny King, and gets busy with vocal cuts by Erykah Badu, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Big C, Art Seigner, and Mos Def himself on Rawkus classic "Body Rock" with Q-Tip and Tha Alkoholiks’ Tash.

Nas - Nas Is Like (Samples: John V. Rydgren & Nas vocals)

Classical records can be hit-or-miss when it comes to sampling, but by needle-dropping the harps and strings off 1966's "What Child Is This?" by John V. Rydgren and Bob R. Way, DJ Premier surely hit a homerun. Combined with old Nas vocals off Illmatic and It Was Written, DJ Premier produced another classic.

Christina Aguilera - Ain’t No Other Man (Samples: The Moon People & The Soul Seven)

With her album Back To Basics, Christina Aguilera wanted to pay “homage and utmost respect to some of the greatest musicians and artists of all time. The voices that paved the way for mine." Inspired by Gang Starr’s “Jazz Thing” from 1990, she enlisted DJ Premier for the "gritty and old" sound she was after. Horn stabs, funk breaks—the whole nine yards.

A Collection to Sample like DJ Premier


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