I wouldn’t mind reading a similar article detailing the making of Funky Piano featuring Crooked I and Bishop Lamont. via Remixmag

As soon as I heard the sample, I knew I had to make this track with KRS or not make it at all. In ’95 or ’96 he did a record called ‘The MC.’ This sample had a similar melody, so I knew I had to make “The DJ” with him. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even do any production on the track until I got in contact with him, and he told me his was interested. I have known him for some time, so getting a hold of him wasn’t that difficult. I got to work on the track and sent it over to him, and at the same time I talked to his assistant to set up a session at my spot.

What happened when he came through later that week was possibly one of the biggest highlights of my career. KRS sat across from me in my studio and interviewed me about the things I wanted to express in this record. We just talked, and while were talking, he was jotting down notes on some pieces of paper I had given him. Basically, he got me going, and as I rambled on about everything from digital DJing to the way most DJs on the radio or in clubs don’t really have the basic required skills to call themselves DJs, he wrote down what he needed. Somewhere into the conversation he started asking me to sum up all the things I had into phrases he used as the ‘tenets’ of being a DJ.

After almost an hour he said, ‘I think I got what I need. You can just let me be for a while, and I’ll let you know when I’m done.’ It was amazing for me to be interviewed by one of the greatest talents in hip-hop history and then have the result of that be put into a rhyme he wrote right on the spot in front of me. Then witnessing his recording process was another story in and of itself. The funniest thing is when he was getting set up in the booth, I checked out some of the notes he was writing while we talked. Most of the major words or phrases that he used as the basis for putting all of that shit together were written in graffiti. It was incredible. And every hip-hop producer wishes they got a chance to work with this dude. Getting DJ Premier to talk shit on the first chorus was a no-brainer. I felt like it needed energy coming out of KRS’s first verse and not scratching like I did with the second chorus. Primo wanted more time to talk between the verses, but I asked him to cut it to 8 bars. Premier is a good friend, and I really appreciated him adding some icing on the cake for me. People’s reaction when they recognize his voice on the track is priceless! ‘Is that Primo?’ I Love it.

For KRS’ vocals, I used a Rode NT2 mic that I refuse to give up. Still sounds great with the right person after a long time. After getting them recorded, I stacked a Waves DeEsser, A Renaissance 4-band EQ and a Renaissance Compressor. It’s what I’m most comfortable with and again its not too much tweaking. I feel like if you have to mess with the vocals too much, then they got recorded wrong in the first place. I had some light delay and reverb on KRS main tracks, as well. He did two background tracks and laid down a crazy bridge that I might decide to put on a remix or a version for the special edition DVD.

Previously: DJ Revolution – The Dj ft KRS-One