If the ongoing influx of producer battles has taught us anything, it’s that Dr. Dre is the final boss of this particular game. Formidable in every department, with a catalog that even the most esteemed producer would tremble at the mere sight off. Decades of material laced for a variety of different artists, from Death Row to Aftermath and beyond. And while the Doc has yet to participate in any of the producer match-ups, DJ Premier was originally hoping to take him on before landing on RZA, as he revealed to Sway Calloway.
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“I really didn’t even wanna do the battle,” admits Primo. “I told them I’ll do it if Dre does it. If Dre does it with me I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’m not doing it.” When Swizz suggested Pete Rock, Premier declined on the basis that he and Rock go head to head during their live set all the time. Luckily, Swizz came through and suggested The RZA, and the challenge was enough to entice Primo into breaking his Dre-only rule. “He was only the only one I could think of that I’d be down to battle, otherwise I wouldn’t want to do it at all.”
Though Dre was ultimately not in the cards, Primo was more than happy to go up against the RZA. In fact, on the day the battle was set to go down, he admits to actually feeling nervous. To be fair, the man’s phone was blowing up with setlist suggestions, with Primo laughing that several actors and famous comedians were quick to offer their suggestions. “I’m like yo, this is starting to get me out of my zone,” laughs Primo. “It was starting to get me nervous…I just didn’t want to let anything sway me from how I know I would attack based on whatever RZA throwing at me.”