November 2, 2019

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Gang Starr: "One Of The Best Yet" Review – Musical Wonder

DThe French language knows the déjà-écouté in addition to the déjà-vu for memory deception. The Schonmal heard. A feeling that should prevail among all hip-hop fans of the Golden Age on Friday when they listen to the new gear Starr album "One Of The Best Yet".

The use of the word "new" in connection with Gang Starr in 2019 is, one might say, a musical miracle. In 2003, the group split, in 2010, the rap part of the duo, Guru, died of cancer. After 2003, the rapper disintegrated with his producer DJ Premier and finally slipped into an alcohol addiction.

DJ Premier in 2017

DJ Premier in 2017

When 16 years after "The Ownerz" a posthumous album appears, then the first reflex must be the doubt. Too often, after the death of rap legends Schindluder was operated with their legacies.

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The many unpublished shots of 2Pac were partly destroyed with underground features and productions. Notorious BIG has left such a small catalog that his lyrics have been repeatedly recycled for new albums – most recently in 2017 on the terrible R & B album "The King & I" by his widow Faith Evans.

It almost did not come to the album

It's different with "One Of The Best Yet": Almost it would not have come to the album. The release was preceded by a year-long dispute between DJ Premier and producer DJ Solar over Guru's late work. Solar initially had the right on his side, DJ Premier from the beginning the family of Guru.

That it could even come to that, was due to a letter that Guru allegedly wrote on his deathbed and put the Premier in a pretty bad light. The letter made sure that the relics of the rapper initially passed to Solar. It was not until a court case in 2014, as the New York Times writes, that the letter was turned into a forgery by the doctor's statement and the rights were transferred to Guru's family.

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In 2016, Solar sold 30 unpublished recordings to Premier. These resulted in "One Of The Best Yet". So at least it told Premier of "NYT" and submitted a notarized contract as evidence. Solar denies it.

The favorite rappers of favorite rappers

The big mass hype did not trigger the announcement of the comeback, although many rap greats like DJ Khaled or Nas cheered it frenetically and for the listening first single "Family and Loyalty" J. Cole was hired as a feature, currently the hottest condescending rappers in the US , Nevertheless, the song bobbing on YouTube at almost 3 million views rum.

The lack of success is not really surprising, Gang Starr have always been the favorite rappers of the favorite rappers – their highest chart placement is number 6 with their classic "Moment of Truth" from the year 1998.

Gang Starr performing Tonight Show with Young Jay Leno (1992)

Gang Starr performing Tonight Show with Young Jay Leno (1992)

However, that does not detract from the group's emphasis on hip-hop: DJ Premier with his minimalist productions, even for gene generals like Notorious BIG or Jay-Z, guru with his razor-sharp rhymes that took rap to a new, intellectual level. Above all, the duo itself stands for the opening of hip hop for jazz.

WELT editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt wrote in 1995 in his dissertation DJ Culture: "The cooperation of Guru with many veterans of jazz music influenced the hip-hop as the jazz scene and led to a lively exchange of musicians and producers, which still continues , These and similar style syntheses have led to a growing complexity of DJ productions. "

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What Poschardt did not know at that time: Gang Starr influenced the hip-hop sound of the next 25 years, because they contributed significantly to opening up to other genres. The biggest hit of the year 2019 was provided by country rapper Lil Nas X with "Old Town Road".

Nostalgic needs are served

Of such modern genre-contortions, "One Of The Best Yet" is miles away, of course: Anyone who seriously expects modern rap or innovation can also make listening easy. It does not even add anything new to Gang Starr discography. But it comes in its best moments to the genius of previous albums.

Of course, you can tell from the lyrics that some of them were written many years ago. When Guru raps in reference to the biggie hit "Juicy," "Robin Leach, interviews on the beach," it's almost macabre that the well-known presenter died last year.

More 90s references than a bad Böhmermann sketch

In the songs there are few dropouts, such as the superfluous "Get Together" with the rightfully forgotten percussionist NeYo or the very eclectic "Business Or Art". But a very big part of the 37-minute long-track plays the nostalgic needs of all those who have been stuck on the rap film since "Full clip, do you wanna mess with this?" (And therefore also understand the album titles that are modest for rap rollout).

This is partly due to the great production of DJ Premier, who produced all the songs himself in a well-tried manner, and partly to the intelligently chosen features, which are necessary to bring the album to length – because in the estate of guru sometimes only a verse was left.

Then when the old companions of Group Home take over the hook on "What's Real", only the guest part of Eminem colleague Royce da 5'9 '' reveals that they are not in 1995. When New York rapper Talib Kweli puts more 90s allusions in two lines (They'll kick in the door, tell you, "Get on the floor" /
They bust a .9 and bust some rhymes, you like, "Gimme some more"), as a bad Böhmermann sketch, then you guessed only by the line "they are not Yelp reviews for goons" the year 2019.

Gang Starr in London

Gang Starr in London

But neither the features nor the Beats by Premo are pushing Guru out of the limelight. In each song you feel the dedication and desire of Premier to set a last memorial to his deceased partner. Almost prophetically the song "So many rappers" sounds, on which Guru raps: "So many rappers in search of fame / And most'll be lucky if we remember their names" and "Well, I have proven time and time again / That I'm built to last, so watch me shine again ".

The Déjà-rêvé – another memory illusion, which knows the French – thus fails: For the dream that yet again a Gang Starr album appears, but has yet come true.

(TagToTranslate) HipHop (t) DJ Premier (t) (Musicians) (t) Barefoot Thore (t) Hip-Hop (t) Guru (t) (Rapper / 1966-2010) (t) DJ Premier (t) Ulf Poschardt (t) Gang Starr (t) Hip Hop (t) DJ Solar (t) Music (t) YouTube (t) BIG