Respect due to Complex and the legend Easy Mo Bee, but to me, DJ Premier was the Best Producer Alive in 1994. Sure, Mo Bee did his thing on joints like “Flava In Ya Ear,” “Warning” and “The What”—not to mention the rest of his work on Project: Funk da World and Ready To Die. Writer Oliver Wang’s argument about the powerful impact and fullness of Mo Bee’s production is spot-on.
But, Preemo put out two fully-produced classic albums (Hard To Earn and The Sun Rises In The East) and laced up one-third of Illmatic. And let’s not forget joints like Biggie’s “Unbelievable,” Group Home’s “Supastar,” and Gang Starr’s b-side banger “The ? Remainz.” From the perfectly chopped-and-looped samples to the unique drum patterns to the scissor-hand scratches, and the ability to produce full, timeless bodies of work from start to finish for different MCs, DJ Premier came more than correct in ’94. How he didn’t even get an honorable mention on the Complex list blows my mind (in fact, he got kinda dissed in the write-up). To be honest, it was probably the best year of his entire career.
Okay enough ranting—just peep the playlist for proof.