When you think about all-time great diss records, “Kick In The Door” should definitely be in your top five.
The DJ Premier-produced scorcher features the Brooklyn rapper going at New York rivals like Nas, Jeru the Damaja and Raekwon over a menacing sample of “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
The now classic Big record was one of many highlight tracks off Life After Death, but did you know that Puffy originally didn’t want it on the album? In an interview with Complex, Premo revealed that during the making of Big’s sophomore album Puffy confronted the producer and told him “Kick In The Door” wasn’t it, and that he needed something on the level of “Unbelievable.”
DJ Premier: “Kick In The Door” almost didn’t make it because I dropped it off to Puff in a 20-minute cassette. Back then when we were dropping beats off, we weren’t burning CDs or flash drives and shit. So I made a beat of that, and gave it to Puff. Then Puff’s office called me later that day saying, ‘Hey, your platinum Biggie plaque came in.’ I went to pick it up that same day. I’m about to leave, then Puff walks out the office and goes, ‘Yo, man. What’s going on? I need you to work on some new stuff for Big.’ I said, ‘I gave him a track today. Remember? I came here and dropped it off.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, but I don’t like that one. That ain’t hot. I need you to come with that Tunnel shit. What you did with ‘Unbelievable.’ Because you ain’t hitting it with this one.’ I said, ‘This shit is hard, yo. Has Big heard it?’ He goes, ‘Big ain’t heard it. I’m going to give it to him, and let him hear it, but you can already count on that not going on the album.’ So I went back thinking of trashing it, and working on another one. Then Biggie calls me later around five or six in the afternoon, and asks, ‘Yo, can you come in tonight so we can lay down the joint?’ I go, ‘But I got to make something.’ Big says, ‘Nah, I want to lay the joint you gave me earlier today.’ I replied, ‘Puff said he didn’t like it.’ Then Big goes, ‘Fuck Puff! I got shit to say, and I got to get at your man Jeru too.’ I said, ‘As long as it’s peaceful, you got to do what you got to do. You’re a man.’DJ Premier Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records | Complex