As was revealed in the “Life After Death: Making of A Classic” feature in XXL a while back, Biggie’s line “Yo son, I’m suprised you run with ‘em, I think they got cum in ‘em, ’cause they nothing but dicks” from “Kick In The Door” was directed at the tracks producer, DJ Premier. B.I.G. was referring to Jeru, who had been perceived as hating on the whole Bad Boy crew following the release of “One Day”. Although The Damaja only mentioned Foxy Brown, Puffy and Shawn Black by name, since Biggie was such a loyal type dude he took offense to his boy getting called out. This is all pretty straight-forward, but a look back into the history of these two Brooklyn-bred rap legends reveals that relations weren’t always so frosty between the pair. Last year, Jeru had this to say:
ThaFormula.com – Did you ever get a chance to see Biggie comin’ up seeing that you guys came up around the same time in Brooklyn?
Jeru The Damaja – We used to hang together on the corner. That’s my man. I mean Biggie, that’s one of my favorite MC’s and I think that I was one of his favorite MC’s. He told me, “Yo, you need to do a video for Brooklyn Took It and I just wanna stand there.” Like on MTV they were doing the Biggie story and he had on a Jeru the Damaja T-Shirt. Like I remember when he used to stand on the corner and just shoot dice. Nas and Premier used to come pick me up when Nas was recording his album “Illmatic.” I was in the studio when all them dudes did they album. I was there for the whole Illmatic. I was there when Biggie did his whole first joint.
Who knew? In another suprising revelation, there was also a B.I.G. interview where he mentioned that he was planning to make a song called “Brooklyn Niggas” with M.O.P and Jeru. In much the same way as the outstanding “Come On Motherfuckers” (featuring Sadat X over a Lord Finesse beat) didn’t make the final cut of Ready To Die thanks to Puffy’s “commercial vision”, sadly this potentially classic combination was never recorded.
Premier recounts another early incident which indicates that things were headed for trouble (I’ve combined two seperate quotes into one):
“When Biggie had “Party and Bullshit” out, he opened up for us when we did a show at Virginia State. It was me and Jeru the Damaja – who had just released “Come Clean”- Pete Rock, Damion and Cease. And we woke up early that morning to knock on Biggie’s room to see if he’s gonna follow us back to New York. And I knock on his door, and he opens the door buck-naked in his boxer drawers with a bucket of chicken. And Jeru says, “Yo, you need to stop eatin’ all of that meat, man. You need to go vegetarian.” Big was like, “Yo, my name is Biggie, not Barkim.” Barkim is like a God name for people who don’t eat flesh and stuff like that. So it’s funny to see Big there topless, big ol’ titties hanging out, clipping his toenails, with no shame.”
Finally, the beat for Biggie’s “10 Crack Commandments” was originally a Hot 97 promo featuring Jeru, so he may have been a little pissed when it ended-up on Big Poppa’s LP.
Not long after Life After Death, Jeru and Premier stopped working together as a result of a “financial dispute”, but I suspect that Preme’s involvement with Biggie may also have have contributed to the tensions between the two (which reminds me, if any one has a copy of Jeru’s unreleased diss to the Gangstarr Foundation called “Friends”, let me know). Then again, Jeru may have had no idea about that “Kick In The Door” shit until that article came out….The Prophet also got at a few other folks on “Wrath of the Math”, as he fired back at The Fugees on “Black Cowboys” and took a swipe at Blahzay Blahzay‘s Outloud for allegedly biting his style on “Whatever”, not that anyone really gave a shit.
These days, Biggie is widely considered to be The Greatest Rapper of All Time (which is not a title that I endorse myself), while Jeru does free concerts in Canada. Former DRS weed carrier Afu-Ra still makes songs with Premo. You do the math.
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