Gang Starr is undoubtedly one of the most revered, beloved and influ­en­tial groups in Hip Hop.  Over the course of their dis­tin­guished career, they became a cul­tur­al insti­tu­tion.  The group’s “Chain and The Star” logo sym­bol­ized power and excel­lence and it per­meated into the cut­ting-edge music they cre­ated.  With a hand­ful of indelible clas­sic albums on their resume, DJ Premi­er and Guru’s cata­log has not only per­severed, but mastered the test of time.  Simply, Gang Starr did not fol­low trends, they cre­ated them.

Though they nev­er ‘offi­cially’ dis­ban­ded after the release of their last pro­ject (The Ownerz 2003), Premi­er and Guru still remained infin­itely con­nec­ted to each oth­er even as they embarked on solo paths.  In the inter­im, fans clamored for more music from Gang Starr.  Though there have been whis­pers and mur­murs, the pos­sib­il­it­ies seem­ingly grew more remote as the years passed by.  After Guru tra­gic­ally passed away in 2010 the hope seemed to van­ish alto­geth­er.  Today, that all changes!

“The one per­son who nev­er gave up hope was DJ Premi­er.  I nev­er lost faith, or wavered.  I still felt it inside of me, it just happened to be nine years later (after Guru’s passing)” Premi­er com­men­ted.   “We all want the things we want right now, but I am a patient guy.  I hung in there and I just kept believ­ing.”

Dia­monds are forever like fam­ily and loy­alty Guru pro­claims on Fam­ily and Loy­alty, the first new Gang Starr single in six­teen years.  The instant Pree­m’s scratches and instru­ment­al hit and Guru’s voice soars, its as if time has stood still; and the past is pro­logue.  “This record means so much to me.  It’s a con­tinu­ation of what I nev­er wanted to end” Premi­er stated.  Its a very for­eign place for me and very emo­tion­al.  I get happy, sad, excited; my feel­ings are kind of all over the place.  But pre­dom­in­an­tely, just very happy to be mak­ing music with Guru again.”

Though Guru passed away nearly a dec­ade ago, Fam­ily and Loy­alty is quint­es­sen­tial Gang Starr.  Col­lect­ively, Premi­er and Guru have always func­tioned as a con­nect­ive tis­sue between socially con­scious and street.  Fam­ily and Loy­alty is cut from the same cloth; as Guru deftly pivots from the things that can­’t be bought (love and respect), infin­ite thoughts and know­ledge of self to fly girls who hold heat.

If hear­ing Gang Starr resur­rec­ted was­n’t enough, Preem and Guru wel­come J. Cole into the Gang Starr fam­ily and he puts an exclam­a­tion mark on Fam­ily and Loy­alty.’ Cole con­tem­plates an out of body exper­i­ence and how it feels to rhyme along­side an artist who may no longer be with us in phys­ic­al form; but (like dia­monds) who’s influ­ence has no expir­a­tion date, J. Cole, who’da thought you woulda been, rhym­ing with ghosts, Guru flows forever. When it comes to this gen­er­a­tion of emcees, ones that are lyr­ic­ally on the level that Guru was on and someone that he would want to work with; Cole is that guy Preemo con­fid­ently asser­ted.  When Cole heard the record he got the chills and knew it was a clas­sic.

Fam­ily and Loy­alty is a thank you from Gang Starr & J. Cole to fans and the cul­ture that raised them.



Fol­low Gang Starr:

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.