Released in 1995, D&D All-Stars 1, 2 Pass It is an East Coast hip-hop classic. Anchored in the rough and funky tones of DJ Premier, the track is the focal point of Mad Lion, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun and Jeru The Damaja who exchange verses like in a street corner cypher.
As if his line-up weren’t big enough, 1, 2 Pass It was supposed to include another legendary MC: JAY-Z. So says DJ Premier, who immersed himself in the genesis of the song in the last episode of his YouTube series So Wassup?
A piece subject to selective greening
Premo began by explaining the importance of the famous D&D Studios in New York, where he lived between 1992 and 2002. As the reputation of the studio grew, Arista Records proposed to David Lotwin and Doug Grama – the owners of D&D Studios to make a compilation titled The D&D Project.
To spur creativity, Dave and Doug threw a small-audience party at the studio, the 40’s & Blunts Party, to which they invited some of New York’s top rappers of the time.
“ They served food, they had blunts, they had 40oz tons of malt liquor,” recalls Premo. “And we were partying, drinking and doing a beat on the spot. And when we do, whoever is ready can take the mic and do a verse. It was even a race to find out who had his rhyme ready. “
In the race, Jay-Z’s ambitions did not receive a favorable reception
While Mad Lion, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun, and Jeru The Damaja were all busy writing their verses, a great MC waited patiently outside D&D Studios hoping to join in. at the party.
“Here’s the highlight of the show: The tall, tall icon JAY-Z himself – kudos to Hov – was outside,” Premo revealed. “ He couldn’t get in because Dave said to Jay, ‘There are way too many people here. Like, we can’t even move. ‘ There were too many people inside. […] Waited a minute and he gave another try, but he still couldn’t get in. And Jay is gone. “
Of course, that was the pre-Reasonable Doubt JAY-Z, not the Hall of Fame Hov that rap fans know today.
However, despite being denied entry to the party, JAY-Z did not hold a grudge as he returned to D&D Studios to record a series of tracks with DJ Premier for his first four albums. Moreover, in truth, two of these collaborations – “Bring It On” in 1996 and “So Ghetto” in 1999 – sampled 1.2 Pass It thanks to the scratch hooks of Premo, so we can say that Hov had the last word.
“ One thing I love about Jay is that he let it go,” Premo said. “ He still came back [to D&D Studios] and did Reasonable Doubt there and of course he worked on In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. We worked on [Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life] and [Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter], so the story continued. “