The Game is ‘ova .. Primo and Hova


Friend or Foe
Bring It On (feat. Big Jaz and Sauce Money)
from Reasonable Doubt (1996, Roc-A-Fella)

A Million And One Questions / Rhyme No More
from In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997, Roc-A-Fella)

So Ghetto
from Vol. 3… Life And Times Of S. Carter (1999, Roc-A-Fella)

Hate him or Love him, The guy is still in the game, in one way or another. He’s been around since about 86-87… old skool bboys and tape collectors might remember him from “HP Gets Busy” by High Potent… He was also down with Original Flavor (hey yo Jay, Can I get open? you know it!)… On a quick side note, Another member from Original Flavor who also has some history was Ski, Who was also known as MC Will-Ski of The Bizzie Boyz, then went on to become a prolific producer and did some of his best work on most of Jay-Z’s albums, like Dead Presidents… Let us rewind the tape about a decade and all you backpackers will realize that his brand of rap was actually underground hiphop. I dont have the slightest idea how Jay hooked up with Primo on the production but lets say, who cares. The results were some sonic gems where he blends lush soundwalls and sample driven melodies with that thump primo punches on his beats over Jay-Z’s thoughtful delivery.

In 1996, Primo laced several tracks on Reasonable Doubt and we aint mad. On D’Evils, The jigga man speaks about the darkside of the everyday life in the projects… It gets kinda deep with its references to God and religion. Friend Or Foe is one of those tracks that DJ’s love cuz of the amount of diss material you can flip. He just speaks his mind about the game via rhyme for under 2 minutes. I remember DJ Dummy from Brooklyn dissin’ every DJ at the 1998 US DMC Finals with this record. Even one of the judges (DJ Noize) couldn’t be saved from gettin’ dissed with the “now calm your boys,
cause i’m findin it a little hard to concentrate with all the noise..” line.

Jay provides his insight with Bring It On, but his guests Sauce Money (who used to be everyones favorite rapper) and Big Jaz takeover the track with ease… Gun toting metaphors and wordplay do the trick. Doesnt really matter as long as you get the point across in lamens terms. The beat alone takes the cake but its a power combination of rhymers and producer, plus you cant go bad with the hook, taken from Fat Joe verse from D&D Project’s “1,2 Check it”…

“Bring it on if you think you can hang
And if not then let me do my thang”

The following year, Jay drops In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, where you start seeing him separate himself from the game and more into the mainstream. Thankfully when you got Primo on the boards for A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More, he keeps it bboy and true to the streets. Jay swaggers like a confident pimp with a laid back delivery about certain aspects in the game. Midway thru the track, Primo switches up the beat and tempo and you get a dope beat rockin’ with Jay-Z setting the score on why he runs shit. If it wasnt for him, “ni**az still be dying for whores”… Fast forward to 1999, Jay-Z has broken thru to worldwide stardom with #1 hits all over… Seems the more popular he got, the less Primo tracks youd see. So Ghetto does the trick with clever lines like…

“Yo.. career crook, nobody rap Brooklyn like me
Jigga-Man, Volume 3, I’m back lookin like me
Stop the presses, baby girls, drop your dresses
B-K lick a shot for Big Pop’ in heaven
Ever since I came through, niggaz got the impression
everything I drop, out of the question, stop the guessin..”

Primo does it once again with trademark production values and his “skratch-hooks” which have become a staple of hiphop. I hope you enjoy these tracks. It’s good to step back and see how things have progressed in this business known as HipHop.


  1. you can’t go wrong with Prem and Hov. And how did we wind up on the same template? lol

  2. Oh snap, my bad… I wa slooking for something different. Looks like imma have to switch up.

  3. Nice retrospective on two of rap’s greatest. The original vision of The Black Album had Premier in the line-up…as well as his boy Ski.

  4. Yah, I didnt get that far. Just surprised me the other day, some kid I ran into (probably 17-18) was like yea, Jay-Z is the best new artist… Huh?

    • Anonymous
    • December 13th, 2005

    “The original vision of The Black Album had Premier in the line-up…as well as his boy Ski.”

    What happened?

  5. I think that Jay always has his ear to the street, even though he is considered (or is) mainstream. Either way, I ain’t mad at that.

    In saying that, Reasonable Doubt was his best album, in my opinion.

    And yes, Premier may be one of a handful of producers to keep his style solid in spite of the artists he is working with.

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