Giveaway: Gang Starr’s Daily Operation Vinyl LP (Respect The Classics Reissue)
AFH is proud to offer one of our Heads a vinyl LP copy of Gang Starr’s Daily Operation. Reissued as part of UMe’s “Respect The Classics” series, the 2014 version includes a 3D cover of the artwork prominently featuring the late Guru, DJ Premier, and a symbolic portrait of Malcolm X.
To win the LP, please make sure you follow AFH @Ambrosia4Heads and RTC @RespectClassics, then, hashtag #AFHRespectTheClassics with the answer to this question: What is the book and the author on the table in the artwork? We will pick the winner at random after 8pm EST on Friday, November 14, 2014 and notify the winner on November 15.
Released on May 5, 1992 by Chrysalis/EMI Records, Gang Starr’s third album, Daily Operation, was pivotal for Guru & DJ Premier.
The New York City-based duo (who spent much of the early 1990s as roommates) found a recording place that suited them in D&D Studios (now owned by Premier, renamed HeadCourterz). Located on Midtown Manhattan’s 37th Street, the Garment District lab once played home to large and small Pop and Dance acts in the ’80s, when founded by Douglas Grama and David Lotwin. However, beginning with Gang Starr’s move, it signaled a would-be home to New York Hip-Hop’s most revered producers, with rooms occupied by Da Beatminerz, Lord Finesse, Showbiz, Diamond D, and Tony Touch. By virtue, the crammed complex, with its famed pool-table, vending machine containing Philly Blunt cigars, and smoky iron and cement staircases would become a defacto locale for classic sessions by The Notorious B.I.G., Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Jay Z, Big L, and Big Pun, among countless others. For Gang Starr, D&D placed the pair in the heart of Manhattan at a time when the city was vibrant and unpredictable, middle group from tenures spent living in both The Bronx and Brooklyn. Additionally, the sound that the boards and equipment at the veteran studio afforded them would prove to be integral for a trio of highly-revered albums. Daily Operation set that off.
The third LP also welcomed in the Gang Starr Foundation, including Jeru The Damaja and Lil Dap (Group Home). While founding Gang Starr member Big Shug, as well as Melachi The Nutcracker would later join the fold in addition to some non-musical affiliates, the expanded team added to the swarming militia sound, complementary to Guru’s cautious tales and Premier’s menacing scratches.
First single “Ex Girl To The Next Girl” progressed upon Guru’s previous narrative. Confident yet vulnerable, the song served as an Everyman anthem, claiming that once a good man goes bad, he’s gone forever. Premier’s crisp scratches colored the way for clear transmission of a story of how instead of getting hurt, Gifted Unlimited simply got even. The B-side second single, “Take It Personal,” looked into Gang Starr’s future sound. Applying Guru’s signature bravado and barbed chip on his shoulder, Premier juggled the beat, giving it a pepped-up arrangement and sound like no other. This pivotal moment for the group set the table for would-be hits like 1994’s “DWYCK” and 1997’s “You Know My Steez.” Hardcore but relateable, wise but reckless, informed but heavily blunted, Daily Operation may not be Gang Starr’s most-revered LP, or its best-selling, but it is a keystone in the catalog.