New York is known to produce some of the most successful rappers in the music industry, the list includes iconic names like P Diddy, Jay-Z, 50 cent, Notorious B.I.G, and of course the Brooklyn duo, Gang Starr. They were undoubtedly one of the most revered, loved, and influential groups in hip-hop, having established distinguished careers both as solo artists and as a group. Over the course of time they became more of a cultural symbol to the fans that supported them, slowly creating a brand that fans and artists alike could trust. Their catalog of music was no different, songs such as, “Mass Appeal”, “You Know My Steez,” and “Above the Clouds” have stood the test of time and become true hip-hop classics. But fans of Gang Starr have something to rejoice about, the group’s sole survivor, DJ Premier, has announced a new album along with releasing the first single from the project, One of the Best Yet.
It has been 16 years since Gang Starr released their last album, The Ownerz, together. Though the group never officially disbanded, both musicians ultimately went on to establish their own solo careers. Although there was always rumors that Gang Starr was working on a new album, nothing ever came from it, and after Guru’s unfortunate passing it looked like the oppurtunity for a timeless modern day classic was lost. But thanks to current technology and the love of a friend who refused to give up, the hope was not completely lost. In September 2017, DJ Premier set out on an emotional journey to create a long awaited Gang Starr album that he felt was years in the making, and he did so with Guru’s aura and precense.
Not only was the other half of Gang Starr spiritually present with DJ Premier, but he was physically present with him too. Placing Guru’s urn of ashes on his usual producing console, DJ Premier was ready to get to work. After 16 years of waiting for the highly anticipated Gang Starr album, it’s finally almost here. When asked about the emotional experience of putting this album together DJ Premier said, “This album means everything to me. It’s a continuation of what I never wanted to end. It’s a very foreign place for me and very emotional. I get happy, sad, excited; my feelings are kind of all over the place. But predominantly, just very happy to be making music with Guru again.” Fans can now check out the first single released from the album, “Family and Loyalty,” which features current hip-hop superstar, J Cole. One of the Best Yet, is set to be released on November 1st, and is now available for pre-order here.