2015 repress. Gang Starr's sixth and final album back on wax, triple vinyl to be exact. Here's what we said back when it was originally released: Why is that every two bit rapper drops an album quarterly, but Gang Starr made us wait longer than leap years? With 2003's The Ownerz, the hiatus can be forgiven but you still wonder where all the time went. While this is a good album by any standard, it's the group's least consistent LP since No More Mr. Nice Guy, with too many "hip-hop is bullshit" rants and too few moments of pure magic that songs like "You Know My Steez" and "Mass Appeal" inspire. I'd say at least they still know how to punch you in the gut though (the good way). The album kicks off lovely with "Put Up Or Shut Up," a pugilistic pairing between Guru and Boston's Krumbsnatcha. "Rite Where You Stand," is easily one of the best cuts here with Premier's head puncturing beat. Likewise, the group's first single, "Skillz" holds up as one of the album's certifiable classics (plus, you can dance to its uptempo rhythm). Guru scores one of the most brilliant songs in his long career on "Riot Akt," regarded as the album's best track. Personally, I'm more up into "Same Team, No Games," some classic Primo head-nod shit that brings on newcomers the NYG'z and H. Stax. Guru and Premier run back to the boulevard with the yell-fest "Who Got Gunz," their high-caliber pairing with Fat Joe and MOP, while their 12" "Nice Girl, Wrong Place," goes astray as a song more in the vein of "Royalty" and less like "Lovesick." You know their steez.
- 2003 album repressed
- part of the Respect The Classics reissue series
- music label: Virgin 2003 / Respect The Classics 2015
reviewed by O-Dub 08/2015
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