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DJ Premier Opens Up About Guru's Death, Solar, Gang Starr Reunion & More

DJ Premier wants the truth to come out. After days of questions surrounding the death of his former Gang Starr partner Guru (who died after a long bout with cancer), the respected producer is setting the record straight. From his thoughts on Guru’s controversial associate Solar and rumors of his old friend’s sexuality to his strained relationship with the man born Keith Elam and the future of Gang Starr, a candid Premier didn't hold anything back. —Keith Murphy


VIBE: Do you feel like your relationship with Guru has been misrepresented by Solar?

DJ Premier: Well, I’ve always held down Guru… His spirit knows this. He used to get upset about so much stuff when we were dealing with the label all the time. We both would be upset. But I would take the calls because when he was upset he would flip [Laughs], where you might not be able to handle him when he’s wilding out. With me, although I had a temper, I was much calmer about it. But I always remember whenever I would tell him, “Yo Guru, don’t worry about it, they are going to take care of it,” he would be happy as fuck. He would be like, “Yo, let’s go out for a drink.” He was the go-out king. That was his routine. He was definitely a celebratory guy. Anyone from our era knows that Guru was in every club and every bar and every spot. He could go all night, all day. And he would never be tired!

When was the last time you spoke to Guru?

It was March 30, 2004. April 1 was the last email I received from him and I just found it in my computer. We were pretty much going at it about him straightening his life up with the drinking and everything… just getting himself together. Because talent wise, drinking or sober, he was always on point in the lab. He could lay down his vocals with no problem and he always wrote his rhymes dope. When he wrote his rhymes on page they were so messy [Laughs]. I used to ask him, “How can you even recite the verses and flow?” He would be in the booth turning the paper upside down while he’s still rhyming and without having to punch in.

Was there ever a time when you felt Gang Starr was going to break up during your successful run in the ‘90s?

Yes. That was with the Moment of Truth album, which was the most emotional album for both of us. I had actually left the group before that album came out. I’ve never really told that story, but even Guru knew although he’s not here to defend that—but I had left the group. We were not getting along over stupid shit so I straight up said, “I’m out of here.” He was going through his gun trial and facing a five-year bid. I have to thank our tour manager who I went to college with and who is a major part of my life to this day. Even with his own problems with Guru, he was like, “Yo man, you need to go back to him. Y'all were meant to be a duo, man.” Then the trial was about to happen and I called Guru and said, “I want to do this.” We made up, everything was cool and I went to his trial everyday with his parents and our Gang Starr lawyer and our criminal lawyer. We were there every day. Guru was so scared that he could have gone to jail for five years, so that’s why that whole time was very emotional. I had just had a major death in my family. I was not really focused. I just remember our lawyer telling us, “If Guru goes to jail, you are going to have to promote the album by yourself.” That entire time was crazy.

How ironic was it that the Moment of Truth ended up becoming your first gold album?

Guru used to always say from every album, “All I want is a gold album…we deserve it; we are as hot as all these platinum artists.” So when we got that one he was the happiest guy in the world. He even designed the gold plaque. I remember we spent almost $10,000 on buying plaques for everybody that we knew deserved one [Laughs]. There was a DJ who taught me how to scratch—I brought him one; I brought my parents, my sisters, all my friends who was hanging with us from day one. That’s real talk. That’s why that album is so special.

What kind of sense did you get of the future of Gang Starr from your conversations with Guru?

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Rep. Maxine Waters meets with CBS Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity, Kim Goodwin, and CBS Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, Christopher Isham, on Capitol Hill. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Waters Office)

Maxine Waters Meets With CBS To Discuss Media Diversity And Inclusion

California Rep. Maxine Waters met with CBS' Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity to discuss the lack of media diversity and inclusion within the media empire.

Their meeting steemed from the network's recent release of their predominately clear  team for the coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Comprised of 4 white producers, 5 white-passing reporters and 3 journalists of color, though the 2020 campaigns reporting staff does not have any black anchors.

It's Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled! https://t.co/0GBCw4mj7s pic.twitter.com/E0rUDAkzf7

— Ben Mitchell (@bfmitchell) January 11, 2019

Waters, like other prominent speakers in the black community, have discussed their reluctance to embrace the staff citing issues with who will tackle the roles that racism will play in elections and the role racism has been playing in the United States. Taking the issues directly to the source, the congresswomen had a discussion with the higher up's to talk redirection.

“The CBS representatives accepted full responsibility and understood the troubling optics-- and subsequent public backlash -- that occurred as a result of the rollout of their 2020 presidential election team. CBS admitted that the initial 2020 campaign team did not reflect the diversity that the company had committed to; assured me that it will not happen again; and revealed that in the coming months they will unveil a more diverse and inclusive slate of African American journalists and journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,"  Waters said in a press statement.

"They also identified key individuals in Washington, D.C. and New York City, NY whom they have brought onto their team to fulfill this mission and ensure their news organization reflects the diversity of the country and the communities who will most certainly be engaged in the 2020 elections."

The 43rd district representative has vowed to hold CBS accountable for their diversity issues and is dedicated to working alongside her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Woman Alleges R. Kelly Sexually Abused Her At 16 In 'Dateline' Interview

Tracy Sampson, a woman who interned with Epic Records at 16, revealed she endured sexual relations with R. Kelly that summer of 1999.

Featured on Dateline NBC's "Accused: The R. Kelly Story," the now 36-year-old appears in her first on-camera interview where she details the relationship that began during her formative years.

Sampson said the singer asked her, "'Can I kiss you?' and I was like, 'No,'" to which he responded, "'Well, give me a hug.' And then, like, when I gave him a hug he just started kissing me."

"I was in love with him," she continued. "I just didn't know what to do. Like, I didn't know if this was normal. I didn't know if this is how adults acted."

Following the incident, Sampson filed a lawsuit against Kelly in 2002. Her suit was settled to the tune of $250,000.

Steven Greenberg, Kelly's current attorney, told NBC that he was not part of the artist's legal team when the alleged abuse took place but maintains that his client is innocent.

According to Greenberg, there is no evidence that proves Kelly, 52, engaged in sexual relations with underage girls "because it didn't happen." However, Surviving R. Kelly calls that statement into question with a six-episode program detailing the sexual and mental abuse endured by some women who met Kelly while underage. Lisa Van Allen, for instance, met the "Sex Me" singer at the age of 17.

NBC's take on the groundbreaking series comes just two weeks after the explosive Lifetime production. The special will air Friday (Jan. 18) at 10 pm EST.

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Princess Nokia Accuses Ariana Grande Of Ripping Off Her Song For '7 Rings'

While some corners of the Internet are rejoicing in Ariana Grande's new trap-influenced single and video for "7 Rings," other members are crying "plagiarism" after Princess Nokia pointed out that the Thank U, Next single sounds suspiciously familiar to her song, "Mine."

"Oh! Oh! Wow!” Nokia says while playing the two songs back-to-back on her Instagram page. “Does that sound familiar to you, because that sounds really familiar to me!"

She later point out that her song "Mine" off of her 2017 project 1992 Deluxe is written for a different demographic that the majority of Grande's fans.

"Oh my god. Ain’t ["Mine"] the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm… sounds about white," Nokia continues. "7 Rings" features an interpolation of The Sound Of Music's "My Favorite Things," and features a flow reminiscent of Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag." However, the similarities between Nokia's "Mine" and Grande's new song are indeed striking, specifically the cadence for the repeated lines ("it's mine, I bought it" for Nokia and "I want it, I got it" for Ari), as well as the flow for the pre-chorus.

Grande hasn't commented on the allegations, however, Twitter users are jumping to Nokia's defense.

"@ArianaGrande when you heard Mine by Princess Nokia did you listen to the words telling you not to appropriate or were just plotting on how else you can capitalize on black culture and grabbed the beat with no credit," one user wrote.

What do you think?

 

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@arianagrande

A post shared by Princess Nokia (@princessnokia) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:30am PST

 

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