The international success story of Gang Starr’s MC Guru and DJ Premier actually begins after their splendid debut album ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’ with the video Jazz Thing (motion picture soundtrack for Mo’ Better Blues – Spike Lee) and the subsequent album ‘Step in the Arena’ (a must-buy!).
The duo creates a new style of making hip-hop and thereby establishes their own sound. Jazz (especially Bop jazz) serves as the most important source of samples for Premier, who skillfully weaves them together with booming beats in a mystical way. Guru complements this with intelligent lyrics that flow perfectly in tone and rhythm with the music. The experience and routine they have built over the years make Gang Starr the ‘Daily Operation’ of today.
Not that their music, as of now, would become monotonous; on the contrary, on this new album, the music sounds even more refined, and the lyrics are sharper and more critical.
For example, regarding the recent discussion about black nationalism in hip-hop (BDP vs X-Clan), the statement in the song ‘2 Deep’ goes as follows: “(…) the 5 percent nation takes other steps to get through to the bros on the corners with the reps (…).” In other words, humanists, militants, and others, we use different philosophies to achieve the same goals. In the song ‘Conspiracy,’ Guru launches an attack against the unfulfilled article of the U.S. Constitution stating that “All men are created equal” and comments on the socially underdeveloped consciousness of many people, especially commercial rappers (‘combat the conspiracy’). ‘Take Two and Pass’ is a hip-hop ode to the lifestyle of ganja, following in the footsteps of Cypress Hill, Tone Loc, Schoolly D and more plus many Reggae artists). The song ‘Soliloquy of Chaos’ addresses the sporadic incidents during rap concerts (which are rare in the Netherlands). The single, 12″, and music video for ‘Take It Personal’ is aimed at rappers who lack their own style (what a “nice beat” that is), and there is much, much more. ‘Daily Operation’ is an easy-listening rap album created by hardcore composers, so stay tuned!
In order to settle the polemic between BDP and X-Clan, KRS-One and Professor X have made amends and will release the song ‘Close the Crackhouse’ together this summer.
Published in Dutch in Holland Nieuws 1992