DJ Premier: "When it Comes to AZ, Strings and Pianos Were the Way to Go"

DJ Premier: "When it Comes to AZ, Strings and Pianos Were the Way to Go"

Published Mon, November 28, 2022 at 2:19 PM EST

In the latest episode of his series So Wassup? legendary producer DJ Premier breaks down the making of the AZ classic, "The Come Up."

Premier said that he and AZ had always planned on working on a record together following AZ's showing as the only feature on Nas' classic Illmatic, to which Premier famously contributed, and he was happy when they finally were able to link.

"I'm into voices and I'm into vibes of sounds that I think match the artist. When it comes to AZ, I felt like string and pianos were the way to go and I started searching for samples," Preemo explains. "The sounds are contained on these floppy disks. everything you hear on these songs in the era of the 90s was contained on these disks — and then it's inserted into this device called the Akai S950 Sampler."

If you're a producer or just love the technical side of producing, turn up your geek antennas because Premier breaks down his production tools — the SP 1200, the MPC60 II drum machine, and its predecessor, the MPC60. He also explains that he wasn't in town for AZ's video shoot for "The Come Up" so DJ Absolute ended up filling in for him (the scratches are Premier's though).

Check out the full video below.

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