Lyric: Looking at the situation plainly, will you remain G or will you be looked upon strangely?
Song: Gang Starr – “Moment of Truth”
Album: Moment of Truth (1998)
Background: Often credited as the pioneers of jazz rap, Gang Starr originally started releasing demos in 1986 when Boston-born rapper Guru (then known as MC Keithy E), DJ 1, 2 B-Down and a number of other producers collaborated. However, Gang Starr saw its most success after the original group split up and Guru teamed up with New York beat-wizard DJ Premier. After a slew of well received albums like Step In The Arena, Daily Operation and Hard To Earn, all produced in London by Chrysalis Records, the duo released their most commercially successful album, Moment of Truth, in 1998. The album debuted at the top spot on hip-hop charts and became certified gold by the RIAA just over a month after its release.
Gang Starr’s discography helped solidify the underground sound of New York hip-hop during rap’s strongest years. The duo saw more success into the new millennium as they produced records and toured Europe until 2002 when DJ Premier returned to the United States, bringing an end to what once was Gang Starr. Guru passed away in 2010 at 48 years old; his legacy stands as one of the most essential voices of East Coast hip-hop from the 1990s.