DJ Premier Recalls The First Show Gang Starr Ever Did (Video)

Nearly 30 years into his recording career, DJ Premier actively tours across the globe. The iconic Gang Starr producer performs regular DJ sets, shows with PRhyme, jams with his band, and playing with other artists. Currently overseas with his artist Torii Wolf, Premier recalled the first time he took the stage with his most beloved group.

In June of 1989, Gang Starr released its debut album, No More Mr. Nice Guy on Wild Pitch Records. Premier had joined Guru’s group in the year leading to up to the album, and assumed duties as a DJ and a producer. As both mixes of “Words I Manifest” grew popular, the dynamic duo had not yet performed as a group.

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Speaking with the British GQ, Preemo details his on stage breakthrough at the 6:00 mark, “The first show we ever did…our record was already a hit on the radio before we ever performed it as Gang Starr, me and Guru. We went to a convention called the New Music Seminar, which was very popular in the ’90s era. When we got on stage, it was instant [crowd reaction]. It was Gang Starr, [and] it was A Tribe Called Quest; we had never met them. They were [promoting People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm]. Queen Latifah brought Monie Love on for the first time ever. So we finally got to see Monie Love do her debut [performance] of ‘Ladies First,’ and she destroyed it, and made everybody go crazy. Ice-T was the headliner. It was just packed to the bone, a venue almost this size.”

For Premier and Guru, the moment was a milestone and an affirmation. “To get that reaction, and that’s what we dreamed of in our hopes to be [successful], I got to witness that early, which is why I don’t take this for granted. I don’t jeopardize my sound or my style. There’s people still buyin’ my stuff, so I make it for them…I have no excuse to not maintain a really prosperous and successful career.” This month, Premier released a video single with Miguel.

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Preemo is presently working with Guru’s son and family members on a Gang Starr DVD. The group last released The Ownerz in June of 2003. That album, a Top 20 on the charts, featured Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and others.