The Legendary DJ Premier: Exploring His Greatest Hits


DJ Premier, also known as Christopher Edward Martin and one half of Gang Starr, has undeniably shaped the history of hip-hop. His unique beats and signature scratching have left an indelible mark on countless classic albums. Premier’s collaborations with legendary artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, and Biggie Smalls have helped define the iconic sound of East Coast rap. In this article, we’ll take an immersive journey into DJ Premier’s discography and showcase some of his finest songs.

Unveiling the Masterpieces

  1. “NY State of Mind” – Nas

    Widely hailed as one of the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time, “NY State of Mind” captivates listeners with its haunting piano loop, perfectly complementing Nas’s vivid portrayal of life in the New York City projects. The opening lines, “I don’t know how to start this / I’m the illest rapper to hold a cordless,” have become iconic in their own right.

  2. “Mass Appeal” – Gang Starr

    Gang Starr

    “Mass Appeal” stands as Gang Starr’s most recognizable song. Premier’s catchy horn sample and Guru’s smooth flow create a magnetic combination that resonates with hip-hop fans worldwide. The song’s chorus, “Gang Starr has got to be the sure shot,” has become a mantra for enthusiasts.

  3. “Unbelievable” – The Notorious B.I.G.

    Premier’s production on The Notorious B.I.G.’s classic album “Ready to Die” birthed several masterpieces, and “Unbelievable” shines brightly among them. The choppy guitar sample and hard-hitting drums synergize perfectly with Biggie’s larger-than-life persona.

  4. “Boom” – Royce da 5’9″

    “Boom” epitomizes Premier’s talent for crafting beats that harmoniously combine hardness and soulfulness. The track’s driving bassline and captivating vocal sample make it a standout piece on Royce da 5’9″‘s debut album.

  5. “Ten Crack Commandments” – The Notorious B.I.G.

    “Ten Crack Commandments” showcases Biggie’s storytelling prowess, breaking down the rules of the drug game over a hypnotic Premier beat. The song’s opening lines – “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine / It’s the ten crack commandments, what?” – are instantly recognizable.

  6. “Come Clean” – Jeru the Damaja

    “Come Clean” exemplifies Premier’s minimalist production style. The song’s sparse beat, anchored by a hard-hitting drum loop and haunting vocal sample, allows Jeru’s impactful lyrics to shine.

  7. “The Militia” – Gang Starr

    “The Militia” showcases Premier’s intricate production work, with layers of horns and strings seamlessly blending with a driving drumbeat. The guest verses from Freddie Foxxx and Big Shug amplify the song’s intensity and urgency.

  8. “Kick in the Door” – The Notorious B.I.G.

    “Kick in the Door” stands as one of Biggie’s most aggressive tracks, and Premier’s production matches his intensity at every turn. The song’s ominous piano loop and hard-hitting drums provide the perfect backdrop for Biggie’s unforgettable lines, such as “Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns.”

  9. “Full Clip” – Gang Starr

    “Full Clip” serves as the lead single from Gang Starr’s final album, “Moment of Truth.” Premier’s hard-hitting drums and catchy vocal sample instantly render it a classic, while Guru’s verses showcase his lyrical prowess.

  10. “Above the Clouds” – Gang Starr feat. Inspectah Deck

    Premier’s collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck delivers a standout track from Gang Starr’s “Moment of Truth” album. The atmospheric production, characterized by haunting strings and a soulful vocal sample, beautifully complements Deck’s introspective lyrics.

  11. “One Love” – Nas

    Premier’s production on “One Love” masterfully captures the melancholic mood of Nas’s lyrics. The somber piano loop and hard-hitting drums provide a fitting backdrop for Nas’s vivid portrayal of life in the Queensbridge projects.

  12. “Ex to the Next Girl” – Gang Starr

    “Ex to the Next Girl” represents one of Gang Starr’s most accessible tracks. Premier’s catchy guitar riff and Guru’s smooth flow make it a memorable piece. The chorus, featuring a sample of a young girl singing “Ex-girl to the next girl,” is bound to get stuck in your head.

  13. “Code of the Streets” – Gang Starr

    “Code of the Streets” asserts itself as a standout track from Gang Starr’s classic album “Hard to Earn.” Premier’s masterful production, highlighted by a driving bassline and a haunting vocal sample, creates a palpable sense of tension and urgency.

  14. “N.Y. State of Mind Pt. II” – Nas

    The sequel to Nas’s classic “NY State of Mind” delivers the same powerful impact. Premier’s production once again provides the perfect backdrop for Nas’s evocative lyrics. The song’s eerie piano loop and hard-hitting drums infuse a sense of unease and tension.

  15. “Moment of Truth” – Gang Starr

    We cannot discuss DJ Premier’s best songs without mentioning the title track from Gang Starr’s final album. “Moment of Truth” showcases Premier’s intricate production work, weaving layers of horns, strings, and vocal samples together to create a rich, textured sound. Guru’s lyrics, reflecting on his own mortality and legacy, serve as a fitting swan song for one of hip-hop’s greatest groups.


DJ Premier’s influence on hip-hop is immeasurable. His innovative production style, which expertly blends jazz samples with hard-hitting drums, has become synonymous with the golden era of East Coast rap. While this list is far from exhaustive, it provides a glimpse into the vast and diverse discography of DJ Premier. So, go ahead, dive in, and let the undisputed beats of a legend sweep you away.