Who doesn’t love the beat for “Above The Clouds”? If you don’t you a chooch, an ass, a donkey. Premier freaks that sample like he was born to do it and really the formula is very simple but no one else could pull it off. “Wild like rock stars who smash guitars”. In a way this mixtape concept is very simple yet no one else has pulled if off. DJ A-Smooth stays with classic music on mixtapes. There have been some Premier instrumental mixtapes but that’s about it. Now it’s time to truly appreciate not only the Premier beats but the way the MCs added to that classic sound.
You can listen to “NY State of Mind” a hundred thousand times but it never loses it’s edge. You have to wonder why Nas doesn’t go back to a Premo beat these days? Big L on “The Enemy” is as close to that NY State of Mind as you will come. “Knots in my socks, cops thing I’m selling rocks”. Jeru was the man back in ’93 and let be the first to say it was all due to Premo’s beats. “One Day” is so basic Jeru couldn’t fuck it up, I forgot about that Puffy line in there too, cats shittin’ on Puff from wayyyy back. Biggie and Premo always had great chemistry. “Unbelievable” is my favorite cut off “Ready To Die”. Biggie sound so comfortable on that beat he’s damn near asleep. “Chicken heads be fucking in my bathroom clucking”. Honestly Group Home got out shined by Premo’s production. No offense to them but can you remember a line from “Living Proof”? Probably not but you damn sure know that beat. That’s greatness on the production tip for your ass. “Represent” is my favorite cut off Illmatic. I just dig the energy on this, Nas actually sounds free on this, nothing calculated just raw rhyming. Either that or just mad naive from the record industry. That might sound corny but it’s true…listen to the track again. “Code of the Streets” has the illest drums. Perfect backdrop for Guru’s monotone flow too.
A-Smooth is finding his balance on the mixtapes. I hear more mixing, couple spin backs…shit was working and the timing was there. I think that’s what the people want to hear more so than straight cutting shit up, especially with these classic tracks. You know there’s going to be a part two. Premo has too much material. Shit there might even be a part 3.