DJ Premier Blasts A Company For Copying Gang Starr’s Logo
Gang Starr has one of the most iconic logos in Hip-Hop. Over a dozen years since group co-founder Guru passed away, that logo on official Gang Starr merchandise provides for the late MC/producer’s family, including his son and his longtime musical partner, DJ Premier. This week, Preemo took umbrage with a major clothing designer and retailer who he feels is responsible for biting that Gang Starr logo. One of the most respected figures in Hip-Hop called out those behind the move.
Premier shared a video of a consumer scanning the rack at Zara. With the message “Never Break,” Zara jackets feature a star in front of a circle—matching Gang Starr’s logo. Smaller circles accent the star, a very similar aesthetic to the 30-plus-year-old logo. That popularized logo appeared on the front cover artwork of Gang Starr’s 1991 sophomore LP, Step In The Arena. However, a slightly scaled-back version was previously on the back cover of 1989’s No More Mr. Nice Guy, Gang Starr’s first full-length and the LP that presented the collective as a duo with Guru and DJ Premier.
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In his Instagram post, Preemo @’ed Zara and asked “Really?” In the comments, many Hip-Hop peers, including Jeru The Damaja, Pharoahe Monch, Marco Polo, and Dilated Peoples’ Rakaa Iriscience, joined Premier in calling out Zara for their mistake.
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In a 2013 Mass Appeal interview, DJ Premier explained, “The Gang Starr logo has always been an important thing for us—for me and Guru—from day one. As far as the vision for the Gang Starr logo, it was always a chain and a star—which was created by Guru and Big Shug.” Preemo added, “The original logo, Guru drew—’cause Guru could really draw. [He] went to [the Fashion Institute of Technology] and fashion school; he was really into all of that. We wanted it to be a logo that stood out beyond the one that he drew—just like Public Enemy’s logo stood out [and] EPMD’s [logo] stood out.” Premier adds that the duo insisted on keeping the logo a constant ever since it was created.
DJ Premier Explains the Meaning of the Gang Starr Logo (Video)
Zara has yet to respond publicly. However, the Spanish company has been in hot water of stolen designs before. Artist Tuesday Bassen previously filed a lawsuit against Zara for appropriating work without compensation.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ in-studio interview with DJ Premier for the 20th anniversary of Gang Starr’s Moment Of Truth: