“Produced by DJ Premier.”
From Gang Starr, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Common, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Cee-Lo Green, Mac Miller, Joey Bada$$, Ludacris, The Game & his most recent vehicle; PRhyme; over the course of twenty-five trendsetting years, those four words have become synonymous with the cornerstone of Hip-Hop’s sound.
However, “Preemo” as he’s affectionately known, has always been a conduit for artists of all genres to attach their lyrics to his complex rhythm of the streets--D’Angelo, Macy Gray, Janet Jackson, Maroon 5, Miguel, Neneh Cherry, Lion Babe, Yuna, Anderson .Paak, & Christina Aguilera (which his work won a Grammy for) to name just a few.
While Premier has previously collaborated with iconic female artists, in none of the aforementioned examples has the iconic producer/DJ entirely produced one of their projects.
Enter Torii Wolf, a singer/songwriter/musician from Wantagh, New York, who traded coasts–bouncing around West Coast cities and enhanced herself artistically; shunning categories, confinement, and convention. Torii also just happens to be the first female artist to have her entire project (the forthcoming album entitled Flow Riiot) produced by Preemo.
Torii has such a weird, wicked style,” Premier offers. “It’s just very left field—reminiscent of a Bjork or something like that. She is so unique and versatile; she writes, sings and is an accomplished guitarist and drummer. But image-wise, there is no comparison. Subject-wise, Torii is in a whole different place.”
The versatility Premier hints at is evident on Torii Wolf’s first single, the aptly-titled, “1st,” a war-torn and wistful ode to unrequited love and commitment that ultimately leaves more questions than answers, as she ponders “what does it take to keep you from running away.” Digging into his past catalog, Premier reshuffles the deck on a Rakka Iriscience vocal sample from his “Good As Gone” production from Dilated Peoples Directors Of Photography album to create another spellbinding scratch-chorus “I’ve seen the last come first, I’ve seen the first last.”
Premiered exclusively by Pitchfork, “1st” offers just a glimpse at the musical symmetry and bond Torii developed with Premier creating Flow Riiot and it happened so organically that Torii feels as if something greater was at play, as if the stars aligned to make this musical marriage happen.
The great thing about Premier is he’s a tailor and he has this rare and innate ability to cater his sound around who he is working with to accentuate an artist’s strengths; but you can always still tell its Premier.
With a Hip-Hop king who has a habit of contributing and producing historic projects behind the boards, Torii Wolf’s debut, Flow Riiot, brings a full clip of moods, range, and vast musical talent. Torii and Premier’s collaborative union bum-rushes the walls of genre, age, and expectations to let the world know there’s a Flow Riiot going on.
Listen below to her latest offering, 1st.