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DJ Premier Takes Us Into Dr. Dre’s Studio

Here's how these two rap icons united.

After working on Dr. Dre's newly released Compton album, legendary hip-hop producer DJ Premier spoke with MTV News about what it's like to go into The Good Doctor's laboratory.

That's right. Preem -- who's released iconic music with Jay Z, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. and as a member of Gang Starr -- contributed to Compton track "Animals." And fans have been waiting for these two legends to link up for ages. Well, we finally have a Dre-Preemo collaboration.

So, on Friday (Aug. 7), MTV News spoke with Premier about what it was like to enter the studio with another hip-hop hero. Here's a look at what we learned from our talk with the rap icon.

  • Premier First Saw Dre Perform 30 Years Ago

    “I seen Dre perform at my school back in 1985. He came with the World Class Wreckin’ Cru. I even told Dre, ‘You came to my school when I was a freshmen. And you were cutting up "AL-Naafiysh” by Hashim.’ He goes, ‘Yo, that’s crazy you said that. Watch the [“Straight Outta Compton”] movie. That’s what I’m cuttin’ up in the movie.’”

  • The Two Formally Met In 1989
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    "I met him back in 1989 at the Gang Starr album release party for No More Mr. Nice Guy. We were already poppin' and our album had just come out, but we weren't platinum and gold and N.W.A was already making noise. To see them walking in was like, ‘Oh, sh-t. N.W.A is at a Gang Starr party? That was a pretty big deal.”

  • Their 'Animals' Collab Was Inspired By Unrest In Baltimore

    "When the Freddie Gray thing happened in Baltimore, [singer/songwriter] Anderson [Paak] hit me up and said, 'You see this sh-t going on in Baltimore with these riots? It's crazy. I just wrote to that beat. Maybe we could leak it out to the streets so we can show our support against the bullsh-t brutality going on.

    "He sent it to me and it was called 'F.S.U. (F--k Sh-t Up).' It already had all of his hook and vocals down, which you hear on the Compton album. He was like, 'Yo, I got a meeting with Dre next week.' He met with Dre and [showed him the song]. When he played it, [Dre] was like, 'Let me call Premier and let him know I want to be on this.'"

  • Premier And Dre Share Similarities
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    "We are very similar in regards to our process. That’s what I was looking for from the gate. I was like, ‘I wonder how close we are with how we do our thing.’ And he’s very meticulous about the way it’s recorded, the arrangement and the speed of the engineer. [He’ll say] ‘Hurry up. Hurry up. Hurry up. Bring it back. Bring it back. Let’s go back to that part.’ Very rush-y, and I’m the same way.

    "When you’re recording something, you’re in a certain vibe. It’s almost like having sex. When you’re about to get that nut, you don’t want nothing to take you out your zone to make you cum. You know what I’m saying? I’m sure everybody’s had that experience with a girl, when she’s about to cum and you stop. She’s like, ‘Oh my God. Why’d you stop? I was just getting ready to orgasm.’ Same thing. It’s the same process when you’re recording.

    "It’s that effect of being in that moment and getting it right, but just getting it right right now. There’s nothing that can get in the way of that moment. It’s the same thing when I’m laying scratches. It’s the same way when I’m cutting vocals. It was way too similar to how I do it."

  • The Good Doctor Gave Preemo Huge Props
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    "He’s a master of what he does. He also gave me respect for what I’ve done. He was like, ‘Yo, man, the thing that always bugged me out about you was that you do everything. You do the scratches. You do the beats. You do the instrumentation and your credits speak for themselves.’ And he paid attention to what I’d done."

  • Dr. Dre Uses Some Vintage Studio Equipment
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    "He still uses analog equipment. Everybody uses a mouse pad and a computer screen. He’s not doing that. He’s still on the boards, turning EQs and all that stuff. He’s not using the plug-ins in ProTools. He’s using the board. I’m like, ‘Yo, you’re still using that?’ I’m looking at what he’s doing because I go back to that world.

    "These are things we know from the ‘80s and ‘90s era that don’t even exist anymore, and he still utilizes that type of equipment. That’s when you know he’s on a different level from most producers, as I am as well. We have that mutual respect because we can speak that language. Most kids these days can’t speak the language me and Dre speak."

  • You Need To Rap In Front Of Dre
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    "The microphone is right there at the control board. You gotta do it in front of [Dre]. So, whoever has to rap has to really deliver it because Dre is standing right there. You can’t go in the booth, turn the lights down and hide. You gotta do it right there where he can look you dead in the eye."

  • And Yep, Dre's Studio Is Filled With Beats Headphones
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    "A whole bunch of Beats by Dre headphones consume the room. Ain’t no other headphones. It’s funny because I was getting ready to lay my scratches and I pulled out some Audio Technica headphones that a guy gave me at a show because my headphones broke.

    "So, I pulled them out and I looked around the room with all these Beats headphones all over the place. They were around like ants. Everywhere you looked, there was Beats headphones everywhere… I looked and I was like, ‘Let me put these away.’ I got up and got these Beats headphones."

There's a piece of rap history there. You can listen to Dr. Dre, Anderson Paak and Premier's "Animals" on Compton now.