GANGSTARR - one of the best yet !?

piedpiperpiedpiper 1,274 Posts
edited March 2016 in Music Talk
There was an argument recently, whether Moment of truth is classic or not and I think someone else mentioned Guru's monotonous flow somewhere. This has most likely already been discussed back in the days, but I think it's worth another try...IMO, these dudes are the most consistent Hip-Hop group so far and I appreciate their stuff a lot.

Daily Operation, Step in the Arena and Hard to Earn are CLASSIC.

I still enjoy to listen these LPs and I think they aged very well.Moment of Truth and No More Mr. Nice Guy are excellent as well. However, I would argue that No more Mr. Nice guy sounds outdated and that Moment of Truth is not as consistent as the previous LPs and Guru is not on the same level anymore. Even the Ownerz LP is OK.I would say Guru's delivery is fine, although dude is not some GOAT, next level MC. Especially on Daily Operation and Step in the Arena the combination of laidback instrumentals and Guru's flow works. The way Premier used sampling and how he managed to produce a lot of excellent beats is great, although he ran out of ideas in recent years.

What do you think? What are your favourite joints/ LPs? What's the deal with Guru's MC-skillz and Premier's production? How do you you folks think about Gangstarr?
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  Comments


  • I think without primo's beats their shit would've been Outside of Manifest & Jazz Thing, lyrically he never did it for me. Beatwise the jawns they did together are endless. I always felt if Primo was down with an emcee who could really rip it (see KRS, Nas, Biggie & Jay) and did an entire album, he'd be as sucessful as Dre. Look at how dope Sun Rises & Wrath are. Primo is just so loyal & grown that he inspite of their constant fights, he stood by one of the weakest emcees to make classics and for that alone he gets major props.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    I think without primo's beats their shit would've been


  • Mike_BellMike_Bell 5,738 Posts
    1. Daily Operation
    2. Step In The Arena
    3. Hard To Earn
    4. Moment Of Truth
    5. The Ownerz

    Guru without Premiere's beats is like Group Home without Premiere's beats.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    1. Daily Operation
    2. Step In The Arena
    3. Hard To Earn
    4. Moment Of Truth
    5. The Ownerz

    Guru without Premiere's beats is like Group Home without Premiere's beats.

    Let's not overstate it. Guru vs. Malachi? I mean, even Guru is better than that.

  • HAZHAZ 3,373 Posts
    I know I'm in the minority, but I never considered Guru to be a wack MC. I don't think he would have been as sucessfull without Primo's production, but that could be said about other great acts as well. Where would CL have been without Pete Rock? Don't get me wrong, I liked CL, but I never knew what dude was talking about.

    peace

    h

  • Mike_BellMike_Bell 5,738 Posts


    Guru without Premiere's beats is like Group Home without Premiere's beats.

    Let's not overstate it. Guru vs. Malachi? I mean, even Guru is better than that.

    Duly noted.

  • HAZHAZ 3,373 Posts

    Let's not overstate it. Guru vs. Malachi? I mean, even Guru is better than that.

    Group Home was so wack on the mic that they RUINED that album. I can't play that ish for a minute.

  • GropeGrope 2,970 Posts
    I know I'm in the minority, but I never considered Guru to be a wack MC. I don't think he would have been as sucessfull without Primo's production, but that could be said about other great acts as well.



    actually, i think some of guru's lyrics are fantastic. full of great punchlines and sometimes very funny. his lyrics used to have a nice touch. a certain temper that noone else had.

  • Group Home was so wack on the mic that they RUINED that album. I can't play that ish for a minute.



    Instros only

  • Daily Operation has to be in my top five all time hiphop albums...Take it Personal, Ex to the Next, Im the Man--the way Primo flips the beat for each verse--take 2 and pass was the anthem----"yea, yea, yea...JUST PASS THAT BLUNT NIGA"---'92 was just a bomb year for hiphop anyhow...

  • izm707izm707 1,107 Posts
    Primo has reached the Genius level for me...he kinda created the "beatmaker" status because it was probably him that generated the most fans in the producer's world. He learned people how to dig, literally. He gaves snares, kick and hihats to plethora of beatmakers. Some even sold beats containing primo's drums. Arguably, he lost his magic touch with the time. But it always happens. He had his moment of glory. And Moment Of Truth was a classic. Period. No debate.

    The Sun Rises was the definition of a classic. Now it is true that Guru may be fallin' short on wax AND on stage. But dude got a pass, c'mon. He's not Nas. But he was half of the duo, the same duo that made us love this music in the first place...And yes i was a Gangstarr fan so my opinion is biased, but i would explain to anyone how you can't go against Primo. You just can't. It's irrelevant.

  • Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills (maybe more than 90%)

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    My take on Gang Starr is that they had a great run.

    The first album I never really got into beyond Manifest.

    Step in the Arena is pure genius, on which I think Guru shonuff proved that he was at the very least a capable mc and at most that he was even fierce. This to me was their best work.

    Daily Operation, I feel, is vastly overrated. Actually, it's not that I think it's bad or anything like that, it's just that Soliloquy of Chaos was the only track I managed to revisit on the regular and much of the other stuff on there was just boring to me.

    That Gotta Get Over single in between albums was hella nice though.

    Hard to Earn was pretty much right up their with Step in the Arena as some as-good-as-it-gets shit. Primo really took his production into some crazed areas which he would continue with success on Jeru's first album. The weekly club night that I would go to when this dropped seemed to play the entire album through the course of the night...which was a good thing for all involved.

    Moment of Truth was pretty darned good as well. I dunno if I'd call it a classic ala Step in the Arena and Hard to Earn...in fact no, I definitely wouldn't. But there's enough good material on it to keep me from clowning people who think that it is.

    By the time that The Ownerz came out, I think Primo was rehashing too much of his old, usual style for me to even begin to appreciate it. Had it come out pre-97, I probably would have liked it more. But instead it just kinda bothered me that Primo was stuck in such a rut.

    Overall, while I think Gang Starr was certainly a great rap duo, I still have them ranked well below EPMD.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills (maybe more than 90%)

    Please be serious.

  • Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills



    Do people really consider them inferior to the likes of Young Jeezy, LLoyd Banks etc...???

  • Overall, while I think Gang Starr was certainly a great rap duo, I still have them ranked well below EPMD.

    WAY BELOW!!!

    and notice how everyone's comments talk about Primo's beats and not the lyrics? it's like we're talking about some shit where the lyrics aren't an integral part of the equation. And what's hip hop without lyrics???? DJ Shadow wh.... don't get me started

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills



    Do people really consider them inferior to the likes of Young Jeezy, LLoyd Banks etc...???

    Yes on Young Jeezy, easily. I don't much care about Lloyd Banks.

    And to keep a step ahead of you, Melachi even makes Mike Jones sound like a lyrical wizard.

    He was just that bad.

    Lil Dap at least had a cool voice. Melachi had absolutely nothing going for him.

    Him and Gary Fencik = the 2 worst wannabe rappers EVER.

  • aside from that decade of gangstarr greatest hits album, moment of truth is the only ALBUM i still isten to.

    not a classic album???

    - work

    - you know my steez

    - royalty

    - the militia

    - jfk to lax




  • Overall, while I think Gang Starr was certainly a great rap duo, I still have them ranked well below EPMD.

    WAY BELOW!!!

    and notice how everyone's comments talk about Primo's beats and not the lyrics? it's like we're talking about some shit where the lyrics aren't an integral part of the equation. And what's hip hop without lyrics???? DJ Shadow wh.... don't get me started

    That's the thing I didn't get in a recent thread when people were saying Guru was past his prime on Moment Of Truth... when was Guru EVER a rappin' juggernaut? I couldn't even f--- with Guru at all when Gangstarr first came out. I learned to appreciate his style by Daily Operation because I think he does drop some nuggets of wisdom here and there, plus he has a unique voice that separates him from the pack. But I'm not seein' where the big drop off is for Guru from Daily Operation to Moment Of Truth. Gangstarr, just like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, was ALWAYS more about the beats than the raps. Which is why Moment Of Truth is a great record IMO- Primo outdid himself with the beat choppery on that bitch.

    BUT let me also state- Primo's beats for Group Home album > Primo's beats for Moment Of Truth

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills (maybe more than 90%)

    Please be serious.

    That crazy Phill, always repping the Real Schitt??? to the fullest. I thought the meant you were joking though. Right?

    Right?

  • Group Home lyrical skills > 90% of currently relevant rappers' lyrical skills (maybe more than 90%)

    Please be serious.

    That crazy Phill, always repping the Real Schitt??? to the fullest. I thought the meant you were joking though. Right?

    Right?

    You know I'm always just trying to rile certain people up with my real schitt posts ... some dudes are just so easy to agitate!

    It's more like 75%.

  • Melachi even makes Mike Jones sound like a lyrical wizard.





    It's obviously different strokes for different folks and you can call me but I just can't get with most of the "Bontempi" sounding hip hop around these days

    ...Maybe I'm just old ???

  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    My take on Gang Starr is that they had a great run.

    The first album I never really got into beyond Manifest.

    Step in the Arena is pure genius, on which I think Guru shonuff proved that he was at the very least a capable mc and at most that he was even fierce. This to me was their best work.

    Daily Operation, I feel, is vastly overrated. Actually, it's not that I think it's bad or anything like that, it's just that Soliloquy of Chaos was the only track I managed to revisit on the regular and much of the other stuff on there was just boring to me.

    That Gotta Get Over single in between albums was hella nice though.

    Hard to Earn was pretty much right up their with Step in the Arena as some as-good-as-it-gets shit. Primo really took his production into some crazed areas which he would continue with success on Jeru's first album. The weekly club night that I would go to when this dropped seemed to play the entire album through the course of the night...which was a good thing for all involved.

    Moment of Truth was pretty darned good as well. I dunno if I'd call it a classic ala Step in the Arena and Hard to Earn...in fact no, I definitely wouldn't. But there's enough good material on it to keep me from clowning people who think that it is.

    By the time that The Ownerz came out, I think Primo was rehashing too much of his old, usual style for me to even begin to appreciate it. Had it come out pre-97, I probably would have liked it more. But instead it just kinda bothered me that Primo was stuck in such a rut.


    I actually agree with most of this.


    I'm a huge Gangstarr fan and always have been. Step in the Arena was crazy influential to me and like Archaic (...wha?!), I would say that is their best overall album. I think Daily Operation and Hard to Earn are tied for #2. Both of those albums are ridiculous pretty much from start to finish.

    Moment of Truth took me a minute to get into ("At the Mall" was one of the first joints I heard outside of the singles and was a serious "wtf?"). That record has stood the test and still sounds good today.

    The Ownerz had some dope cuts on it, and that one kid KILLED IT over that piano beat in the beginning, but overall that was probably their weakest record.

    That said, Guru isn't the illest dude of all time, but he was good enough to make Gangstarr great.

    Now someone bust out that guru/raver graemlin.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    It's just weird to me that anyone would simultanously prop up Melachi the Nutcracker (who categorically sucked) and shoot down Guru/CL Smooth (who more than held their own).

    Did y'all really only listen to Mecca and the Soul Brother for the beats?

    I ask, because that sounds ludicrous to me. The beats were out-of-this-world great, yes, but i couldn't imagine anyone but CL doing them justice.

  • I'm-a keep it 100... I can appreciate a rapper who has a fuckin style of their own even if it's a wack style. I have more respect for technically wack rappers like Group Home, Mike Jones (that say-the-same-schitt-over-and-over style, simple as it is, is still a style that nobody ever did before) and even Chingy than I do for the guy who I guess is the current people's champ, Lil Weezy, who is basically just doing his best Jay-Z impersonation. Don't get me wrong, he is technically more skilled than those other dudes I mentioned. Just not real original with it IMO.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    Gangstarr, just like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, was ALWAYS more about the beats than the raps.

    I'll agree to this to the extent that if you had to measure one vs. the other, sure Primo and Pete Rock > Guru and CL. However, I think the thing about Gang Starr and the reason why Guru got by for so many years despite his mediocrity is that he and Primo created a sound together where Primo's beats and Guru's monotone were part of a package deal. Same with Pete and CL.

    Could different MCs have made either group even better? Possibly/probably but looking back, I'm not mad at the pairing of either. Music is filled with examples where the singer/producer (whatever combination you want to put together) weren't always equal but it's the partnership that created whatever it is we celebrate later, regardless of what kind of nitpicky flaws we can identify.

    In contrast though, Group Home was definitely a case where the beats were far and away the draw (I'd say the same thing about Jeru's albums too even if Jeru wasn't nearly as bad as either Lil Dap or the Nutcracker).

  • It's just weird to me that anyone would simultanously prop up Melachi the Nutcracker (who categorically sucked) and shoot down Guru/CL Smooth (who more than held their own).

    Did y'all really only listen to Mecca and the Soul Brother for the beats?

    I ask, because that sounds ludicrous to me. The beats were out-of-this-world great, yes, but i couldn't imagine anyone but CL doing them justice.

    Now did I say that Guru or CL sucked? No, I said that it was MORE about the beats than it was about the rhymes. You said yourself that the Pete Rock beats were out-of-this-world great, do you think that CL's rhymes were also out-of-this-world great? They were dope, no question- just not as ridiculous as the beats. That's all I was saying. You're making like I said that Malachi > Guru / CL. PLAESE TO BE SERIOUS.

    Malachi > Lil Weezy

  • Gangstarr, just like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, was ALWAYS more about the beats than the raps.

    I'll agree to this to the extent that if you had to measure one vs. the other, sure Primo and Pete Rock > Guru and CL. However, I think the thing about Gang Starr and the reason why Guru got by for so many years despite his mediocrity is that he and Primo created a sound together where Primo's beats and Guru's monotone were part of a package deal. Same with Pete and CL.

    Could different MCs have made either group even better? Possibly/probably but looking back, I'm not mad at the pairing of either. Music is filled with examples where the singer/producer (whatever combination you want to put together) weren't always equal but it's the partnership that created whatever it is we celebrate later, regardless of what kind of nitpicky flaws we can identify.

    In contrast though, Group Home was definitely a case where the beats were far and away the draw (I'd say the same thing about Jeru's albums too even if Jeru wasn't nearly as bad as either Lil Dap or the Nutcracker).

    I pretty much this wholeheartedly.

  • Hey, one question- I noticed a lot of youse Soulstrut doods have a real deep hate for that "At The Mall" song. What is it you guys can't stand about it? Is it just the idea of rapping about shopping in a mall? Is it the beat? The "go shoppin'" hook? It wasn't one of my favorite songs on Moment Of Truth at all, but I don't get the big dislike of it either. Maybe it has something to do with how malls are viewed from a white perspective vs. what it is from a black perspective possibly? There are some ghetto-ass malls out there, let me tell you! Going to the mall is much more a part of the black experience than slangin' on the corners- just so alla yall who are know what it is

  • piedpiperpiedpiper 1,274 Posts
    Overall, while I think Gang Starr was certainly a great rap duo, I still have them ranked well below EPMD.

    WAY BELOW!!!


    I??m quite surprised by that. I especially like EPMDs first two LPs and they made a serious contribution to Hip-Hop, but their MC skills are questionable as well and they were not as consistent as Gangstarr in the long run IMO.
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