: Gang Starr: Moment Of Truth.
: Guru aka Da Bald Head Slick
: DJ Premier aka Primo
: Mar 31, 1998
: Noo Trybe
1. You Know My Steez -5
2. Robin Hood Theory - 4
3. Work - 5
4. Royalty - 5
5. Above The Clouds – No Rating
6. JFK 2 LAX - 5
7. Itz a Set Up – 4.7
8. Moment Of Truth - 5
9. BI Vs Friendship -
10. The Militia - 5
11. The Rep Grows Bigga
12. What I’m Here 4 - 5
13. She Knows What She Wants – No Rating
14. New York Straight Talk – 4.7
15. My Advice 2 You - 5
16. Make Em Pay - 5
17. The Mall - 5
18. Betrayal - 5
19. Next Time – No Rating
20. In Memory Of… - 5
How long has your favourite rapper been doing it? Chances are not as long as Gang Starr. But there is a saying “It’s never about how long you do it, but how well you do it” and you’d be retarded if you didn’t know Gang Starr have been doing it oh so fucking well from the start.
The fifth album from the iconic hip hop duo, Gang Starr had been missing for some time before releasing this album (about 4 years to be exact). And by releasing this album they not only solidified their status as great music makers, they also elevated the bar with which hip hop albums are judged.
The album starts of with Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) talking about why Gang Starr are so successful and dope, and then the beat drops and you are in hip hop heaven. The track itself (You Know My Steez) should be classified amongst tracks like “Wu Tang’s C.R.E.A.M, Protect Ya Neck, Triumph” because these tracks all have an addictive allure. You just wanna bump your head till it falls the fuck off your neck. Beat is Premier on top form and Guru does the beat justice with simplistic flow and great rhymes.
The second track slows down the tempo of the album with a slow and beat, and has Guru spitting about a theory of the rich people and society as a whole. The track is pretty much a social commentary, and so it’s not really about shinning on the mic but just getting the listeners to listen and Guru achieves just that with his simplistic rhymes and calm flow.
I don’t wanna review every single track so I’ll just keep to the one I really need to talk about.
Royalty is the RnB track on the album it features KC and JoJo and would have probably succeeded in the mainstream market as a single. It shows cases Primo’s diversity as a hip hop producer.
Ah, the fifth track, probably everyone’s favourite track on the album. This is one of the tracks that have influenced me in wanting to rap. The rhymes are top fucking class. Guru is on top of his game with classic and flawless lines and flow but the highlight is probably Inspector Deck, who gets on the track and just totally rips it all up, flow, lyrics, cadence and everything was on point. You will notice that I did not give this track a rating and that is because I don’t think any rating can justify the dopeness of this track.
Moment Of truth
- is another diddly dope track with a beat that matches the message of the track, which is “hope”. This might sound weird but that seems to be the only way I can explain it.
- features Big Shugg and Freddy Foxx. Three Mcs just dropping great lines over a head banging beat, this is what hip hop is exactly about and none of them fail to deliver.
She knows what she wants
- another track on the album that could not be rated because of it’s over all greatness. Mellow and chilled out track about women that know what they want and how to get it. A track that is very reminiscent of The Roots.
My Advice To You
- as that jazzy beat that lulls you to relax and Guru’s voice fits perfectly on the beat. Proving exactly why he’s the king of monotone.
- features Scarface and has both rappers spitting stories of people that have fallen victims to back stabbers. Raw emotion is poured into this track and its one of those tracks you won’t listen to every time but if you ever been betrayed by fake ass muthafuckers that claim to be your friends, then this will probably be one of your favourite tracks not just on the album but in hip hop in general.
Next Time - what can I say? Apart from listen to the track.
On my quest to review the classic album I was looking for an album most people would agree was great but still be debate on whether or not it was a classic. And I’m pretty sure this falls under that category. Even if you don’t think it’s a classic (you’re an idiot for thinking that may I add) this is still a great album, a land mark in hip hop’s pages.
Gang Starr’s fifth album, with two previous certified classic I choose to do this because this was the longest they had been away from the industry (four years and they were no where to be found) and everyone was wondering if they could even live up to their previous material, let alone match it, and this album in some ways don’t just match their previous shit, it surpasses them.
Primo’s Production is so diverse on this album sometimes its hard to believe he made the beats all (with the exception of two which Guru produced) from jazzy, mellow and chilled (She knows what she wants) out beats to head banging shit (the militia) to R&B mainstream type beats (Royalty & The Mall). There’s no point in being diverse if you’re not going to do it properly and I’m sure any one that has ears can say without argument that Primo does it so fucking properly.
Guru. Too many people complain about Guru, I’ve heard people say he is wack, that he’s not that great of a rapper, he’s boring etc and I’ll just like to say that I don’t think anyone fits a primo beat better than Guru. Yes we’ve heard dope tracks that Primo’s produced for loads of other rappers but none of them have that charisma Guru seems to have. Its not just charisma as well I think it’s also because they been together for so long that both of them compliment each other greatly. Guru knows when to sound chilled out on a chilled out beat, his voice will always match and never sounds out of place on a primo beat and I think that’s what makes them so fucking great together. I really don’t think even Nas could pull that off if he had a whole album that was produced by Primo. Guru knows when to sound raw and hard (You Know My Steez) and when to sound sympathetic (Betrayal) and for those that complained that his lyrics are always too simplistic and boring please listen to (Above the Clouds).
So why is this album a classic? Well for one the subject matter of the tracks fantastic, they range from Back Stabbers to paying respect to dead people. There is something here for almost every mood and I think that’s very important and a lot of albums don’t include this and that’s why many dope albums that should be classics fall short.
The second reason why this is a classic is because this album proved to all the people that doubted Gang Starr could make a come back after four years of absence, four years of speculation and they proved they didn’t lose their formula for dopeness. This is a well crafted album, you can tell both Premier and Guru took their time with making this album and the end result is a piece of fantastic musical art.