It’s been quite some time since we heard new music from legendary Hip-Hop group, Gang Starr. The very popular 90’s Hip-Hop group featuring New York emcee, Guru and one of the greatest producers of all-time, who many would even argue is the greatest Hip-Hop producer of all-time, DJ Premier. 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 and a brand you could ultimately trust.
Creating several undeniable classics over the years, the group’s “Chain and The Star” logo symbolized power and excellence and it permeated into the cutting-edge music they created. Creating and never following the trends, many thought that after the group disbanded after the release of their last album, The Ownerz, nearly 16 years ago in 2003, and Guru’s untimely and tragic passing nearly a decade ago in 2010, that we would never hear new music from this groundbreaking and beloved group.
But even death can’t stop when something is meant to be. As today Premier resurrects the group with Gang Starr’s first official single in 16 years, Family and Loyalty. A quintessential record about how, “Diamonds are forever, like family and loyalty.” Which the group still is and you can hear in how Preem’s scratches and instrumental hit and still give Guru’s voice and knowledgeably conscious street lyrics the power to soar seamlessly together as if he was still here in the physical form. As he rhymes about the things that can’t be bought (love and respect), infinite thoughts and knowledge of self to fly girls who hold heat.
You can hear on the track how this record was still meant to be. Even with Guru no longer here in the physical form, you can tell this is the perfect time to release a track like this and Premier being one of the few people to think it was still possible. Having the following to say in a statement, “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). We all want the things we want right now, but I am a patient guy. I hung in there and I just kept believing.”
His patience bode well as we got an amazing new single from the legendary duo and J. Cole on the feature adding the perfect exclamation and touch to it. Bringing something so authentic and lyrically out of his body to the record with his standout guest verse. Cole rhyming, “J. Cole, who’d a thought you woulda been, rhyming with ghosts, Guru flows forever.” As he perfectly describes how it feels to rhyme alongside an artist who may no longer be with us in physical form, but like diamonds, who’s influence has no expiration date.
This is just the first taste of what to expect from the sure to be highly-anticipated new comeback and what’s said to be true final album from the legendary duo. If it’s true to the core of what the Gang Starr fans want and expect and gives you chills that make you know it’s an instant classic like this is when you hear it. Then boy are we in for a treat and I can’t wait to see what else Preemo has in store for it, when it’s expected to drop this Fall. Gang Starr and Cole already giving us a great salute and thank you to the Hip-Hop that raised them and many of us with this new single.