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In the next installment of our Smirnoff Inspire DJ series we chat with the legendary DJ Premier. The Texas born producer and label executive reminisces on how baby Premo have his pastor headaches with his record collecting jones.

Who inspired you to become a DJ?

Jam Master Jay, my man R.P. Cola, he was the one who taught me how to scratch when I was in college back in 1985. Mixmaster Ice from UTFO, Howie Tee, Jazzy Jay, Grand Wizard Theodore, [Grandmaster] Flash of course. Those are my first immediate people that come to mind that really did it for me.

When did you get into record collecting?

I been into records since I was a baby. My mother has pictures of me when I was hardly even walking yet and I’m holding a record in my hand. They had these records on the wall at my church, I remember I went in and took all the records down to take them with me, I was like three years old. The pastor said, “There go that Martin Boy, messing with that music again.” Ya know what it was? Records looked like toys to me ‘cause the labels looked cartoonish. My mom had a record player; the record would drop, the needle would move over and land on the record, you see the record spin and you hear the sound that comes out of it, to a child that’s a toy. I always wanted to understand the mechanics of it and as I got more into the mechanics of understanding it and everything I was just more and more into records.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to become a DJ?

You gotta do your homework. You should definitely know what came before the Serato, what came before digital. And if you’re going to be a DJ you should own some vinyl in your household. You gotta have…man if you’re a DJ, you gotta have hundreds of records. Not 30 albums, you gotta have hundreds…thousands, honestly. You gotta have thousands [of records]. F*ck hundreds, thousands.

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