In an interview with Examiner.com, DJ Premier talks about the collaborative album he is planning with another New York legend, Pete Rock. He also confirms that he plans to put out unreleased Gangstarr songs with his former partner, the late Guru, and talks about a Gangstarr Foundation album. The Gangstarr Foundation is a collective of late 80’s and 90’s rappers including Big Shug, Afu-ra, Jeru the Damaja, Group Home and close affiliates such as Freddie Foxxx and M.O.P.
Firstly about ‘Pete Rock vs. Premier’. We already knew most of this information but the two legendary producers are planning a battle-type album with each producer crafting six songs with any rapper(s) they wish to work with. They plan on keeping their tracks and guests a secret from each other.
Premier states that they both already started working on it and he has one song done already. After releasing his compilation album, ‘Get Used To Us’, on December 7th, he plans to take a break and then go full throttle with ‘Pete Rock vs. Premier’.
When asked about releasing unheard Gangstarr songs, DJ Premier clarifies the situation and says:
“Absolutely, absolutely we will. I have the rights to Gangstarr along with Guru’s son so everything is gravy. I’m working with them and I’ll be dropping DVD’s of behind the scenes stuff from 1989 to 2010. Nobody has that footage but me and nobody has the music but me. I have people contributing tracks of Guru’s vocals that I didn’t have and I also have stuff on lock. We’re going to do a Gangstarr Foundation album and a couple of other things but the DVD’s are definitely going to be popping. I have hundreds of hours of footage that no one else has so you will be seeing that.”
The news surrounding releasing unheard Gangstarr material comes as a pleasant surprise for fans because with the debacle surrounding Guru’s death, we were under the impression that Solar had rights to all Gangstarr material.
In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap. Guru passed away last April after slipping into a coma. A video surfaced on Youtube that week with Guru’s nephew, Justin, stating that Guru’s friend, business partner and “super producer” Solar is up to some shady business. When Guru was sent to the hospital, Solar not only failed to notify Guru’s family of the news for two weeks but also denied them access to see him. After Guru’s death a couple of weeks later, Justin posted another two heartfelt videos confirming that Solar and his wife forged signatures on his health care proxy document, posing as Guru’s brother and sister, and denied anyone access to him.
It may sound like a conspiracy theory but it gets worse. After his death, Brownman, a lead trumpeter in Guru’s Jazzmatazz group from 2006-2010 revealed furthermore the extent of control and domination that Solar had over Guru during the late years of his life. It’s a rather long interview but if you are interested, I’d recommend reading it as the manipulation that Brownman describes of Solar is shocking and chilling.
Looks to be a big year for the hip hop pioneer and I am so glad that Solar has no control over the Gangstarr name. While I’m always skeptical about news I hear on the internet, this guy is definitely up to no good and didn’t seem to be looking out for his so called friend’s interests. At least with the rights in Premo’s possession, we know it’s in good hands.