DJ Premier Reveals What Lil Uzi Vert DM’d Him After Refusing To Rap Over His Beat


In 2016, Lil Uzi Vert refused to freestyle over DJ Premier‘s “Mass Appeal” instrumental while he was on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning. This occurred when SoundCloud rappers were on the rise and initiating a massive shift in hip hop. People tried to frame Uzi’s decision as emblematic of what’s wrong with ‘this generation’ that fails to pay homage to its predecessors. 

Rather than allowing this incident to incite more friction between old-heads and the new school, DJ Premier and Uzi chopped it up behind the scenes to clarify that it was all love. Premier detailed this interaction while being interviewed by Genius about the new Gang Starr album that he produced. “He doesn’t have to rhyme to anything I do. It’s all love,” Premier said. “[Uzi] DMs me and he goes, ‘Yo, big bro. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to rap over ‘Mass Appeal.’ It wasn’t that ‘Mass Appeal’ is whack or whatever. That just wasn’t the style of beat I wanted to rhyme over.‘ He said, ‘If it had been ‘Full Clip’ instrumental, I would’ve been with it.‘”

In the Genius interview, Premier also explained how J. Cole ended up on Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty”. The legendary producer had also reached out to Drake and Kendrick Lamar to hop on the beat, but Cole was the only one whose schedule allowed him to send in a verse at the time. Cole was initially asked to contribute to  “So Many Rappers”, but he thought he had already covered the topic of one hit wonders in the past, so Premier sent him “Family and Loyalty” instead.