There have been a million and one producer and MC combinations over the years, but none are quite like JAY-Z and DJ Premier. The Marcy legend and Gang Starr icon have produced nothing but fire over their brief stint of collaboration, first exploring their chemistry in 1996 for ‘Reasonable Doubt’ (“D’Evils,” “Friend or Foe,” “Bring it On”) and again for Hov’s sophomore LP, ‘In My Lifetime,’ Vol. 1. That album’s multi-part opening, “Intro/A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More,” is a favoriteâ€”a song that Premier broke down in the latest installment of MASS APPEAL’s new series, “Off The Record.”
“When we did the original ‘A Million and One’ and ‘Rhyme No More,’ he did the whole rap over the phone,” Premier remembers of the track, which made its debut on ‘Vol. 1’ nearly 20 years ago, on Nov. 4, 1997. “He said, ‘When the rhyme comes on, I want you to drop a whole new different beat.’ Jay is always descriptive of what he wants before the track is even made.”
Premier goes deep on JAY-Z’s epic intro “A Million and One Questions” (and its obscure remix), recalling days of cooking up in D&D Studios with Da Beatminerz, Boot Camp Clik and Jigga, rolling dice and playing pool between laying down tracks.