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Dynamic Duo takes ‘giant step’ with DJ Premier collaboration

Famed American hip-hop mastermind DJ Premier has produced beats for A-list artists including Jay Z, Kanye West, the late Notorious B.I.G, Maroon 5 and The Black Eyed Peas. Now, local hip-hop artists Gaeko and Choiza of Dynamic Duo can add their names to this exclusive list of stars.

On Wednesday, Dynamic Duo and DJ Premier released the collaborative EP “A Giant Step,” featuring the two singles “AEAO” and “Animal.”

The new EP marked the first time that the renowned DJ has worked with Korean artists. Premier said he had been looking for more opportunities to work with foreign artists, and after representatives from his agency saw Dynamic Duo perform at the annual Midem Festival in Cannes, France, they suggested he check out some of the duo’s music. 
(From left) Gaeko, DJ Premier and Choiza pose during a press conference held at the Yes24 Muv Hall in Hongdae on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
(From left) Gaeko, DJ Premier and Choiza pose during a press conference held at the Yes24 Muv Hall in Hongdae on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

“When I listened to their CDs, I liked the way they flowed, they had dope voices and their production sounded more like what I like to listen to,” said DJ Premier during a press conference held at the Yes24 Muv Hall in Hongdae on Wednesday. “Even though I couldn’t understand the language, it sounded like they were speaking like the way I listen to hip-hop.”

In its 16th year in the industry, Dynamic Duo is certainly no stranger to the Korean hip-hop scene as one of the most well-known acts in the game. However, despite their local fame, Gaeko and Choiza admit that they have never been involved in a hip-hop collaboration project with someone of DJ Premier’s magnitude, which prompted them to hold their first-ever press conference.

“This all just feels like a dream,” said Choiza. “We have been listening to his music since the ’90s ... he is one of the reasons we started out in hip-hop.”

“When he (DJ Premier) shook my hand and hugged me, I honestly didn’t even want to wash myself when I got home; that’s how much of a hero he is to me and I was honored to be able to work with him,” Gaeko added.

“When we were younger and just totally crazy about hip-hop, we would listen to this man’s music and it made our dreams grow bigger,” he continued. “I even remember listening to his music on a small speaker while I practiced performing in my closet, so the fact that I was able to rap with beats that he produced for us is unreal.”

Although this is far from the famed producer’s first international collaboration, having also done projects with artists from China and Japan, Premier explained that one of the elements that made this collaboration different from the rest is that he came to Dynamic Duo instead of the other way around.

“This time, I came to Korea and sat with them in the studio,” said the DJ.

“I respect their lyrics, so I was 100 percent, right there with them,” he added.

DJ Premier admitted that he is still not familiar with any other Korean music artist but claims that he would “love to work with Dynamic Duo again.”

“Now when I do what I do with somebody like Dynamic Duo, or anybody outside of the United States, it makes people see that you can be versatile, but still stick to your roots ... music always breaks barriers of different races, ethnicities and everything and it puts people together,” the producer said.

By Julie Jackson (