GANG STARR is undoubtedly one of the most revered, beloved and influential groups in Hip Hop.
Over the course of their distinguished career, they became a cultural institution. The group’s “Chain and the Star” logo symbolized power and excellence and it permeated into the cutting-edge music they created. With a handful of indelible classic albums on their resume, DJ Premier and Guru’s catalog has not only persevered but mastered the test of time. Simply, Gang Starr did not follow trends, they created them.
Though they never “officially” disbanded after the release of their last project (The Ownerz 2003), Premier and Guru remain infinitely connected to each other even as they embarked on solo paths. Premier winning three Grammy’s along the way and assisting in turning artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G. and many others into rap royalty. In turn, Guru would go on to release his own quartet of highly influential Jazzmatazz projects.
In the interim, fans always clamored for another Gang Starr album. Though there were whispers and murmurs over the years, nothing ever panned out and the possibilities of that project being willed into existence seemingly grew more remote as the years passed by.
After Guru tragically passed away in 2010 the hope seemed to vanish altogether.
The one person who refused to give up hope was DJ Premier. “I never lost faith, or wavered. I still felt it inside of me, it just happened to be nine years later (after Guru’s passing)” Premier commented. “We all want the things we want right now, but I’m a patient guy. I hung in there and just kept believing.”
One Of The Best Yet is many things. Yes, it’s the first new Gang Starr album in sixteen-years and it is a historic event to be celebrated and rejoiced, but it symbolizes much more than that. One Of The Best Yet further cements Gang Starr’s legacy.
This literal gift of an album not only harkens you back to Gang Starr’s seminal work of the past, but it re-establishes their impact in a modern-day perspective.
The Voice Online sat down with DJ Premier to break down One Of The Best Yet track by track.