Days later, DJ Premier’s performance in Nashville remains as a blur. The one word best describes the fast-paced, kinetic energy the rap legend conveys when he sets up shop in the DJ booth with a single focus: to rock crowd.
In another life, Premo may have very well been a middle school gym instructor. For over two hours, he yelled, implored and commanded the crowd to enjoy what was happening live at Mai. Seizure-inducing lights and Prem’s fast movement between hit after hit made so the only things showgoers could do was throw their hands in the air, shimmy their hips or maybe slow down to a simple head nod but there was no stopping.
Standing there wasn’t an option as the producer played all his familiar hits, which lead to many a “oh shit” moment. It’s hard to capture in words but stop for a minute and imagine a run of records that included three to five songs from Nas, followed by hits from Biggie’s catalog then toss in a few Group Home tracks – including interludes even – before shifting into a wicked moment of Premier leading the crowd in a combination tribute to his DITC compadre Big L and longtime group partner Guru (see: the “Big L, Guru” chant segment in the second video). At a certain point, my mind drifted away from the hundreds people and shifted to remembering when I first heard Nas’ “Represent” or how KRS’ Boom-Bap album was the soundtrack of my summer when I was eighteen. And each and every one, like 80% of the songs played Friday night, was a product from the mind and hands of Premier.
Included are a few shaky clips filmed from close range and hand-picked photos, most purposely blurry because they absolutely match the night’s vibe. Hey, if you want immaculate quality then you should’ve been there or make it a point to catch Prem if he descends on a club within a two-hour range. Well worth it. Shoutouts to the The Boom Bap team for bringing him to the 615.