The first new gang star album in 16 years, one of ‘The Best Still’, is out today.
The record – the first gang star release since 2003’s Z The Onreise ‘- has been absent from DJ premiere’s jazz-rap duo and late MC guru Hip-Hop every year.
‘One of the best’ was previewed by the lead single L Family and Loyalty featuring J and Bad Name. The former track had a poignant music video, which featured the premiere, Cole and Guru’s son Keith Kasim.
The album does not contain pre-narrated poems by Guru, who died of cancer in 2010, with the Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, guest appearances by Talib Kwali, Royce Da 5’9, Ne-Yo and others.
According to the New York Times report, Guru Vocal of ‘The Best of the Best’ had come to his recording with DJ Solar from his pre-death recording, whom he had met in 2001.
The chief says that he made an agreement with Solar for 30 The Guru’s unrelated recordings, spending 18 months converting that material entirely into lyrics.
Solar, on the other hand, “sees her essentially stealing songs released this week”, reports the NYT, and plans to pursue legal action until one of her names is ‘The Best of the Best’ ‘Is not added to.
On six albums released between 1989 and 2003, Gang Starr was the platonic ideal of rap music, the hip-hop version of rock groups like Aerosmith or ZZ Top.
Other groups had bigger hits, more iconic songs, more critically adored albums and bolder presences, but Premo and Guru represented the absolute essence of a genre.
Unwavering in their dedication, consistent in their output, virtuosic but never flashy, Gang Star were skilled technicians of all the things hip-hop purists stand for: “boom-bap,” “real hip-hop,” “that old New York rap,” cuts, beats, rhymes, life.