Before the late, great Notorious B.I.G. put his stamp on “Ten Crack Commandments,” DJ Premier originally made the beat for Jeru the Damaja to feature on radio host Angie Martinez’s ‘Top 5 at 9’ show.
On an interview with The Combat Jack Show back in 2013, Premo revealed that once Puffy heard the track being used on ‘Top 5 at 9,’ the Bad Boy founder requested it for Biggie’s upcoming album, Life After Death.
At the time Biggie and Jeru were at odds with one another, after the former fired shots at the Bad Boy camp on his 1996 song “One Day” which criticised the growing trend of hip hop’s commercialisation. However, this didn’t stop Jeru from keeping it hip hop and giving up the beat.
Premo explained the situation in more detail during a later interview with Rolling Stone:
The song was originally a promo for Hot 97’s Top 5 at 9. Everyone from Onyx to Wu-Tang Clan was doing promos for Angie Martinez, so we did one with Jeru the Damaja. [The beat] never goes past “9” because it was 9 o’clock. Puff was doing promo one day and heard it and was like, “What the hell.” My homie hit me up on my beeper “911” like, “Puffy is on the radio telling you to call.” Puff said, “That beat is serious. B.I.G. has one record left on the album. We need that.” Puffy and Jeru were beefin’, but I asked Jeru and his answer was, “Yeah, that’s hip-hop. Let him get it.”DJ Premier: My Life in 15 Songs | Rolling Stone