A Nas and DJ Premier album has long been at the top of many rap fans’ wish list, and while it remains to be seen if the sought-after project will ever happen, the pair do have something up their sleeve.
On Thursday (July 7), Premo teased a new collaboration with the legendary Queensbridge MC via a short video posted on social media. The 11-second clip shows the producer’s gold Illmatic plaque hanging at his studio before panning across to the door to “Control Room B.” All the while, a snippet of a brand new Nas and DJ Premier track plays in the background.
“7/15 @Nas,” Premo wrote in the caption of his post, signaling a July 15 release date for their cryptic collaboration.
7/15 @Nas pic.twitter.com/sC3Z0L3dPH
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) July 7, 2022
Needless to say, the announcement sent the rap world into a frenzy. “Let’s goooooo,” Statik Selektah wrote in the comments section of the Gang Starr general’s Instagram post, while DJ Scratch added, “Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Pharoahe Monch, De La Soul’s Posdnuos, Hi-Tek, DJ Evil Dee, J Rocc and others also shared their excitement in emoji form.
One of the most formidable partnerships in Hip Hop, Nas and DJ Premier first joined forces on Nas’ landmark 1994 debut Illmatic, establishing their chemistry on “N.Y. State of Mind,” “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park)” and “Represent.”
The duo extended their hot streak with follow-up efforts like “I Gave You Power,” “Nas Is Like” and “2nd Childhood” before Premo’s presence began to wane on Nas’ albums. (Nas’ beat selection frustrated 9th Wonder so much he remixed his 2002 LP God’s Son.)
After just a handful of collaborations over the next decade — including “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)” with Kanye West, Rakim and KRS-One — the Nas-DJ Premier tandem was revived last year on the “Wave Gods,” from Nas and Hit-Boy’s Magic album, although Premo’s contribution was limited to just scratches.
The rap legends have long teased a joint album, with Premo telling Hard Knock TV in 2011 he and Nas have “spoken about it.” During a VladTV interview four years later, he revealed Nas wanted to see out his contract with Def Jam and release the project independently — however, he’s dropped three albums on Mass Appeal Records since departing Def Jam and there’s still no sign of a Premo project in sight.
In any case, DJ Premier counts Nas among his favorite artists to work with — and fans will get to enjoy their first full-fledged collaboration in 10 years come next week.
“It’s always fun to work with him because we’ve got a formula and a vibe that already works, so it’s not difficult,” Premo told Hard Knock TV. “It’s like seeing a long lost cousin.”