Before he was making millions as one of the foremost beat architects in hip hop, DJ Premier worked a slew of minimum-wage jobs, like most of America's youth. The legendary producer, who has been instrumental in the careers of Jay-Z, Nas and dozens of others, reminisced about his first few jobs as a teenager in an interview with Montreality.
"At 14, I worked at a store in Texas called Kroger. It's a supermarket. I used to drive a forklift... I started off bagging groceries. I was so fast at that; they needed help back where the trucks unload all the new produce that comes in. So they asked me if I knew how to drive a forklift. I said 'no,' they said, 'Do you want to learn?' I said 'yes' because I wanted to drive it.'"
"I worked there 'till I was 16, then I started working at Sonic Hamburgers, eatin' everything. I got so fat, eatin' every chicken sandwich. If they ordered a chicken sandwich, I made two. One for the customer, and one I'd eat."
But the job that helped Premier go from slinging burgers to crafting beats for hip-hop juggernauts was a gig at a record store. "You really had to know your music to get a job there. You couldn't just know a little bit—you had to know a lotta bit."