Not long after releasing his Hip Hop 50: The Soundtrack Volume 1 project with Mass Appeal, DJ Premier chopped it up with The Fader about his “The Root Of All” collaboration with Lil Wayne and Slick Rick.
In the interview, Premier explained the story of how Wayne and Rick became featured on the song after it was originally a Logic track before he was removed.
You can read exactly what the legendary hip-hop producer had the say about the “The Root Of All” after the jump below! Are you still playing the record?
“The Root Of All” features, I think, the most interesting pairing on the tape: Slick Rick and Lil Wayne. How did you decide to put them together on a track?
It was originally a Logic record. I made that beat and he was like, “Yo, this reminds me of a friend of mine who died over a bad drug deal, and the emotion of the track makes me wanna write about that.” He laid down his verse and [we called it] “Money” because the thing that went bad with his homie was money related.
We left it at that. Time passed, and he was like, “Man, it’s been a while. Can I hear it again?” Now, right before I sent him the track again, I said, “Man… Lil Wayne would body this, because he can talk about money.” I sent [Wayne’s verse] to Logic, and he’s like, “Oh my God, Wayne killed it. There’s only one problem: I used my verse for another song. But I’ll write you a new rhyme.” I’m like, “Damn, but that was the one, because your sh*t about the money set the whole tone for Wayne.”
Logic sends me another banging verse, but it’s just about how nice he could rap… Now it doesn’t match what Wayne said. It was to where I was even gonna change the name and call it “Bars And Money” and have a Twilight Zone thing, like, “Picture this: an emcee, spitting hard bars. Logic, tell ’em what you’re gonna do.” And then, after his verse, “Picture this: money. Lil Wayne, tell ’em about what you think about money.” I figured that was the only way it would make sense.
But I was like, “You know what? If it’s going to be anything that can help close this whole thing out, let me see if Wayne is cool with me getting somebody like Slick Rick, who could talk about money.” I hit Rick up, and he’s like, “Well, I’m really picky about, who I rhyme with. Is the rhyme dope?” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, Wayne got busy.” As soon as I gave it to him, he’s like, “Man, I love Wayne’s verse. I’m gonna do a hook and a verse.” So I was like, “Perfect.”
Premier said that he ultimately decided to speak with Slick Rick to see if he could thematically link to Lil Wayne’s verse about cash.