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‘The meaning of the name GangStarr, well I’ll tell ya
It means I find my mind can excel to
a greater type of thought, brought by the things that I’ve been taught’

GURU ‘The Meaning of the Name’


Gangstarr. I figured I would go in on some Gangstarr this week. Now back in the ‘golden era’ of hiphop, DJ Premier was lauded as a go to producer. He had a remix on every hot 12 inch single out at the time and held production credits on classic hiphop albums like Nas’ Illmatic and Biggie’s Ready to Die as well as all of the Gangstarr LP’s


They started out as a dude from Texas(Premier) and the voice from Boston (GURU),who wore leather pants, African medallions and preached some super positivity on their first album. After the move to New York, the sound got a little grittier and the rhymes more attuned to the hustle. Since they first dropped No More Mr. Nice Guy, the duo of GURU and Premier have made some serious impact in this world of hiphop. Credited with helping to define the New York sound the group has put together a slew of critically acclaimed albums. I’ve been a huge fan since Step in the Arena and even had the pleasure of interviewing Premier in TO when they released Moment of Truth. He is a man who truly loves hiphop. You hear it in every syllable of his blunt charred voice.


The really ill thing about Premier is he’s a DJ, so he starts most of his songs with 8 bars of drums. Which for a DJ is SO VALUABLE, because you need those 8 bars to make a decent blend. Before I start nerding out about mixing. I’ll tell you what I really like about Gangstarr.


*Disclaimer: Im about to say some really ignorant shit. Bear with me.

Gangstarr’s sound reminds me of the good old days of fear and loathing in hiphop. There was a time when people were scared to go into certain boroughs in NYC or any city for that matter, because of the rep that those places held as a place where you could get robbed for everything you own, very, very quickly. That was a time when hiphop wasn’t as accessible as it is today and you had to go into those places if you really wanted to be a part of it. There was no internet, no HMV, TOWER or Virgin Megastore with an urban section, no youtube, no blogs. It was real and analog and Premiers beats sound to me like corner man, hustling anthems. It was a time when you could get punched in the mouth for saying the wrong shit. I miss those days, because nowadays people can hide behind blogs and forums and say whatever they want with no repercussions. No fear of that punch in the mouth. I’ve found that swift and blinding violence is a deterrent to stupidity.
Whats greater than that is, I’ve seen Premier play Luxy in Taipei twice and he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t care about what the crowd wants to hear. He’ll play what HE wants you to hear, and you’re going to listen. He’s bar brawl gully. I fondly remember the 2nd time I saw Premier, he stopped the music to call out some fool in the front row for requesting a Beyonce song or something to that effect. Primo was on the verge of coming into the crowd to deal with this guys case(beatdown), but instead kept calling him a ‘Dumb Fuck!!!’ on the mic, all night. It was a little excessive but made for a great story.
Please, bring back the fear and loathing!


Here are a few of the Gangstarr sure shots. Please watch and enjoy.

First up, ‘Just to get a Rep’. This is real deal gritty grimey New York type shit. Mo money, mo money and mo money

Premier flipped it crazy on the production for this one. Soooooo good!
Who’s gonna take the weight.

Mass Appeal. Again, some grimey New York shit. TImberlands, hoodies, bubble goose down jackets.

Code of the Streets. They’re telling you what its about. There is a code and a pattern to everything. Its like playing sticky ball, you know which kid is going to win.

DWYCK. Its been debated at to what the 5 letters stand for. The song is ill as fuck, Nice and Smooth do their thing. The most commonly accepted meaning for Dwyck is ‘Do what you can kid’. But who the fuck cares, all you need to know is that ‘Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is, I get more props and stunts than Bruce Willis’. Word. Catch me yelling that part whenever I hear this song.

Thanks for sharing

Come back to tomorrow. Weekend info. All for Love.

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October 2020