At the outset of 2015, DJ Premier made a huge announcement. The iconic producer, DJ, and one half of Gang Starr had formed a new five-piece band. “When we put the band together, the key to any relationship is that you vibe together in a way that you can make magic happen,” explains Premier. “That’s what happened with me and Guru, that’s what must continue with anybody I connect with.”
In 2015, Premier & The BADDER Band; Brady Watt (Bass), Lenny “The Ox” Reece (Drums), Takuya Kuroda (Horns/Keys), and Mark Williams (Trombone/Keys) hit Japan for a national tour and premiered their first studio track and video with Rolling Stone.
With DJ Premier behind the turntables, mixer, and laptop, the band jammed out grooves, ranging from more obscure Preemo productions (Ill Bill, Skyzoo & Torae) to rarely performed relics (Jeru The Damaja, Lord Finesse), to hip-hop influencers (Curtis Mayfield). Now, that same energy, chemistry, and historic extension of DJ Premier’s career will be on full display for 18-new cities.
The five-piece band improvises, often providing some nuances that varies sets from night to night. Having the band not only affords Premier the ability to honor cult-championed songs, but he showcases the musicality of Rap. “My addiction is turntables, drum machines, guitars, amps, and a lot of speakers,” Preem admits. “I have fun doing a whole bunch of different styles with the band, because they fall into place so well, with everything that we’ve brought into the picture, no matter what it is.”
Gang Starr is a backbone of the show. Honoring his longtime partner Guru, DJ Premier continues to wave the flag. “I miss that dude so much, and we have a long and undeniable track record,” says Premier. The new tour and expanded tour dates will enable Premier and The BADDER Band to play deeper cuts from the legendary duo, including the poignant Hard To Earn gem “Mostly The Voice.” While the fan favorites and hits are woven in, the sets allow deeper consideration. “I get to do rare Gang Starr records, not just ‘Mass Appeal,’ and it works.”
Approaching 30 years crafting hip-hop’s soundtrack, DJ Premier is invigorated through his band-mates. “I have to still preserve the sound of the city. Especially coming from Texas, that was my goal to gain acceptance in New York City, and I did that before money or tours.”
A quarter century since his debut album, one of hip-hop’s unanimously heralded “nice guys” remains as fierce as ever with his craft. With his expansive listening tastes, Preemo has been a critical bridge in Rap’s generation gap. He curates and provides the yearly BET Awards Cyphers, which have included Premier supporters ranging from Eminem and Kendrick Lamar to Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Mob and he also oversees and curates the music for the wildly successful NBA2K video game. In addition, Premier currently directs the score and serves as executive music producer for VH1’s original hip-hop series, The Breaks, which received rave reviews and tremendous ratings.
In addition to ongoing rumors of a potential full album with Nas and his own blockbuster debut album Preemo will be deeply active in upcoming projects from some of his closest associates and longtime collaborators; including Compton O.G. MC Eiht (Premier produced 4 tracks and executive produced Eiht’s forthcoming Which Way Iz West) and is also finalizing the debut project, Flow Riiot, from the latest addition to his roster—Torii Wolf—and the second installment for his collaborative group effort with Royce Da 5’9” (otherwise known as PRhyme).
DJ Premier and The BADDER Band will depart for a 16-city tour starting May 31st in Victoria, BC and concluding June 23rd in Philadelphia. “This tour with the The BADDER Band is a different approach to what my live DJ set brings to the stage” Premier exclaims. “It brings my fans a new outlook into a lot of songs that are not usually performed and it is a fun new ride witnessing how I blend turntable skill with live instruments; by adding a drummer, bass player, trumpet and trombone to the stage. You’ll never forget what a great high energy show you saw after the curtain closes. We get busy!”
DJ Premier & The BADDER Band Tour Dates:
May.31 – Wed – Victoria, BC- Distrik Nightclub
June.1 – Thur – Vancouver, BC- Venue
June.2 – Fri – Seattle, WA- Nuemos
June.3 – Sat – Portland, OR- Star Theater
June.7 – Wed- Sacramento, CA- Harlow’s
June.8 – Thur – San Francisco, CA- The Regency Ballroom
June.9 – Fri – Solana Beach, CA- Belly Up
June.10 – Sat – Los Angeles, CA- El Rey Theater
June.11 – Sun – Costa Mesa, CA- Constellation Room
June.14 – Wed – Denver, CO- Bluebird
June.15 – Thur – Kansas City, MO- Riot Room
June.16 -Fri – St. Louis, MO- Ready Room
June.17- Sat- Chicago, IL- Concord
June.18- Sun- Detroit, MI- Magic Stick
June.21- Wed- Montreal, Quebec- Astral
June.22- Thur- Boston, MA- Brighton Music Hall
June.23- Fri- Philadelphia, PA- Coda