In a recent interview with Pepsi where DJ Premier revealed three of his favorite studio sessions in three different cities, the legendary producer opened up about working with the Notorious B.I.G. on “Unbelievable.”
“One of the best sessions was really doing “Unbelievable” with Biggie. I didn’t have time to do a track when he had already [almost] finished Ready To Die. He was like, ‘Yo. I need this last one. I need a B-side for my first single “Juicy.” I wanna play it for you.’ He came and played it for me, he hadn’t shot the video yet. He was like, ‘I need a beat where I gotta still do it for my [people] at home on the block.’
“I was like, ‘Yo, man. I don’t have anything to concentrate on right now and I don’t wanna hold you up.’ He said, ‘Man, I don’t care. I need something.’ So I told him to just come on up and come down.
“He came down and as soon as he walked in I was playing him those little notes. [Starts humming the intro to “Unbelievable” as we know it.] I was doing all of that. He was like, ‘Yo, I like that. Make it dance and not do the same rhythm.’ So I programmed in the beginning with the intro beats. [Starts beat boxing] And then I did the hook. He was like, ‘Yo. That’s it!’
“Now, the “Unbelievable” part with R. Kelly’s “Your Body’s Callin’”—I didn’t plan on putting that in there. I didn’t know if it was gonna be in the proper key. So when it came down to him asking me to put that in there, I did it. I did it the next day because I didn’t have the record on me at the time. This day and age I could have went straight to Harlem and did it. But it happened. It sounded exactly like how it was supposed to sound….
Read about how the song ended up in Funkmaster Flex’s hands and two more of Preemo’s favorite studio sessions here.