After a sixteen-year hiatus, legendary hip-hop duo, Gang Starr, is temporarily back on the scene with a new release, Family and Loyalty. The record, their first release since their 2003 LP The Ownerz features a posthumous verse from fabled Emcee Guru, along with current hip-hop juggernaut, J. Cole.
Backed by DJ Premier’s renowned scratching and drums, Guru opens and closes the record with his acclaimed delivery, flow and rhymes. With his verses being interrupted by Cole, who delivers a devastating lyrical onslaught in his own right. It is the first single from what appears to be a new Gang Starr album.
DJ Premier, one of the most revered producers in hip-hop and the duo’s other half, has been teasing fans about a new LP with cryptic social media messages, tweeting, “I WONDER WHAT PEOPLE WOULD SAY IF I RELEASED A NEW…,” alerting fans that new music may be on the way but left it unspecified.
The mythical Premier seems to have confirmed the suspicions, after posting what appears to be a promotional video on his Instagram which features a voicemail from legendary rapper Nas. Saying, “Yo Premier, what up man it’s your man Nas. Is it true there’s a new Gang Starralbum? That’s crazy man let me know man. Alright chill.”
Nas and DJ Premier have a history in their own right, with the producer handling a lot of the production on the rapper’s acclaimed debut project Illmatic.
A new Gang Starr album would be much anticipated. The duo, known for classic hip-hip songs like “Work,” “Above the Clouds,” and “Mass Appeal,” would surely bring many fans memories of the genre’s golden age.
It will also be refreshing to hear unreleased verses from Guru, nearly a decade after his death from cancer in April of 2010 at 43-years-old.