Christopher Edward Martin (born March 21, 1966), better known by his stage name DJ Premier (also known as Preem, Premo, or Primo for short), is an American record producer and DJ, and was the instrumental half of the hip hop duo Gang Starr, together with emcee Guru. Born in Houston and raised in Prairie View, Texas, he has lived in Brooklyn, New York, for much of his professional career. Rolling Stone identified Premier as arguably Hip-Hop’s greatest producer of all time.
The Source placed DJ Premier on its list of the 20 greatest producers in the magazine’s twenty-year history, while the editors of About.com ranked him #1 on their Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers list. He also made the “Finals” in the search for The Greatest Hip-Hop Producer of All Time by Vibe. He attended Prairie View A&M University.
Premier is known for producing all of Gang Starr’s songs as well as many of the Gang Starr Foundation’s songs. His work also includes production for heavyweight rappers such as (alphabetic order) Apathy, Big L, Big Daddy Kane, Bun B, Canibus, D.I.T.C., Fat Joe, Game, Ill Bill, Jay-Z, Joell Ortiz, Kanye West, KRS-One, Lord Finesse, M.O.P., Mos Def, Nas, Rakim, Royce da 5’9″, Snoop Dogg, The LOX, The Notorious B.I.G., Vinnie Paz, Xzibit, rock band Limp Bizkit, Busta Rhymes, pop/R&B singer Christina Aguilera and among many others.
Premier collaborated with MC Jeru the Damaja on the album The Sun Rises in the East, released in 1994, as well as the 1996 follow-up, Wrath of the Math. Also from the Gang Starr Foundation, Premier produced and supervised Group Home’s Livin’ Proof; although overlooked at the time of its 1995 release, the album has since come to find similar acclaim. Among others in that are closely tied to the Gang Starr Foundation who have worked with DJ Premier include Afu Ra, Bahamadia, Krumbsnatcha, Big Shug, Smiley the Ghetto Child, and NYGz. He recently produced the majority of Blaq Poet’s Tha Blaqprint in 2009 and will produce the entirety of NYGz debut album.