February 23, 2012


Popular music is defined by being ephemeral, it is whatever is, ‘New.’  Someday we will all understand this acutely when we slide across the radio dial and discover the band that scored that first summer romance is suddenly being played on classic rock stations.  It will happen someday, if it hasn’t happened already. But with this latest generation of pop music, we are granted a special privilege.  The remix culture that sprung to life with hip-hop and the rise of the superstar producer allows the modern music fans to hear generations old songs again for the first time in a totally new way. With this in mind, Re:Generation was born.  The film documents the production of a collection of remix tracks that mash together modern dance producers, DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Skrillex with classical, jazz, blues, country and psychedelic rock classics, respectively. The film also features Erkyah Badu, Nas, Mos Def, LeAnn Rimes, members of The Doors and a slew of other music luminaries. You can hear the results here.

Last weekend, I sat down with Hip-Hop legend DJ Premier to discuss his excitement over conducting an orchestra, whether hip-hop is alive or dead, what new acts to look for, why Skrillex is totally more hip-hop than Soulja Boy and much, much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

If you’d like to see the film, Re:Generation has an encore screening tonight.  You can visit the film’s website for exact locations and tickets: In addition, if you missed my video interviews with The Crystal Method and Pretty Lights click here.

DJ Premier

  • Have you seen the film yet?
  • 00:15 – 2:15 what happened to the sheet music to the song and what was it like to conduct an orchestra?
  • 2:15 – 2:50 Discussion of, “Tap, tap, tap, shut the fuck up!”
  • 2:50 – 4:30 You seem like you were wearing a specific line of clothes during the film, is that your own brand?
  • 4:30 – 5:10 Explanation of why Skrillex is totally hip-hop.
  • 5:10 – 7:05 what makes for a great live hip-hop show? And more discussion of why Skrillex meets that definition.
  • 7:05 – 9:40 Nas said that hip-hop was dead, is it coming back? Has it been resuscitated?
  • 9:40 – 10:45 at the end of the film, you get a vinyl of your song and immediately remix it, how did that happen?
  • 10:45 – 12:30 who should fans of ‘real’ hip-hop be listening to?
  • 12:30 – End. why is modern hip-hop so structurally complex but thematically stunted





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