Archives

Jeru The Damaja & Afu-Ra’s Lyrics Still Kick Like Kung-Fu 20 Years Later (Audio)

The Wu-Tang Clan weren’t the only Hip-Hop crew flexing a Kung-Fu style in the early 1990s. On Jeru The Damaja’s celebrated 1994 debut, The Sun Rises In The East, he introduced the Perverted Monks squad. The head of that group, Afu Ra, impressed with an ill appearance on the joint... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: OutKast vs. Gang Starr. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry (which has been determined), including the possibility... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Eric B. & Rakim vs. Gang Starr. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry (which has been determined), including the possibility for... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Method Man & Redman vs. Gang Starr. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry (which has been determined), including the possibility for... Read more

DJ Premier Explains Why He Broke Two Of His Cardinal Rules To Work With Drake

A standout song on Drake's just-released Scorpion album is “Sandra’s Rose.” The Disc 1 entry, partially a dedication to Drake's mother, Sandi Graham, only came together because its co-producer, DJ Premier, was willing to break two of his rules. Well, “rules” might be too strong a word but Preemo does... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Gang Starr vs. The Beatnuts. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual competition series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

DJ Premier Speaks About How Real Moment Of Truth Was For Hip-Hop & Gang Starr (Video)

On March 30, 1998, Gang Starr stepped forth with Moment Of Truth. Guru and DJ Premier had taken four years since giving the masses their seminal album, Hard To Earn, and Hip-Hop was at a pivotal place in history. "We had platinum-respect. You'd think we were platinum artists that sold... Read more

DJ Premier Says He & Pete Rock May Be Exclusively Producing De La Soul’s Next Album (Video)

DJ Premier has had one of his busiest years in recent memory. The Gang Starr member released and produced albums by MC Eiht and Torii Wolf. He just followed those efforts with a video collaboration with A$AP Ferg, helping relaunch '90s Hip-Hop source Payday Records. Preemo is the latest guest... Read more

DJ Premier Reveals Gang Starr’s “Just To Get A Rep” Was A True Story About Guru (Video)

There are few things in Hip-Hop more engaging than a great story. Artists like Slick Rick, Biggie, Nas, Scarface and others have been revered for years because of their ability to craft a narrative, in rhyme, that takes listeners on a true journey. What's even more captivating is when those... Read more

DJ Premier Says It’s Still Possible He Will Release The Final Gang Starr Album (Video)

In one of the busiest seasons in his career, DJ Premier appeared before a studio audience to discuss more than 30 years of music. Earlier this month, the member of Gang Starr, PRhyme, and The Badder Band sat with Genius' Rob Markman (and Letty Martinez) to discuss his truly marvelous... Read more

25 Years Later, Listening To Gang Starr Remains A Daily Operation (Video)

Twenty five years ago today (May 5, 1992), Gang Starr's two-man crew of the late Guru and DJ Premier released their third album, Daily Operation. Less than a year and a half prior, the Brooklyn, New York-based pair proved that they were a 1980s Hip-Hop group on a heavy upward... Read more

DJ Premier Recalls The First Show Gang Starr Ever Did (Video)

Nearly 30 years into his recording career, DJ Premier actively tours across the globe. The iconic Gang Starr producer performs regular DJ sets, shows with PRhyme, jams with his band, and playing with other artists. Currently overseas with his artist Torii Wolf, Premier recalled the first time he took the... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer (The Final Battle): DJ Premier vs. J Dilla. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer,” the third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no... Read more

DJ Premier & J Dilla Are The Finalists In The Finding The GOAT Producer Competition

Today (March 6), Round 4 voting closed for “Finding The GOAT Producer.” This competition, launched in early January, beginning with 32 producers (including two Wild Card inductees into the bracket). The 32 eventually became a pack of 16, then an Elite 8, next a Final 4, and now presents its... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: DJ Premier vs. Rick Rubin. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer,” the third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no... Read more

Jeru The Damaja, Big Shug & Afu-Ra Stand Tall On The Gang Starr Foundation (Video)

Tragically, at the time of Guru's 2010 death, Gang Starr had not been a unit in more than five years. Guru and DJ Premier had pursued solo ventures, putting their legendary Hip-Hop group indefinitely on hiatus. At that same time, it had been years since the attached Gang Starr Foundation... Read more

Guru, Roy Ayers, & Donald Byrd Brought Jazzmatazz to Life in This 1993 Performance (Video)

Beginning in 1993, Guru released a string of albums as a solo artist, spreading the wings he sprouted with DJ Premier in Gang Starr and exploring his deep love for live instrumentation. That departure resulted in four volumes of Jazzmatazz, a body of work which includes contributions from Erykah Badu,... Read more

Moment Of Truth: Luke Cage’s Gang Starr Episode Titles Revealed (Video)

Today (September 30), marks the premiere of the much anticipated Luke Cage, an episodic series following the Marvel superhero of the same name and starring Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, and others. For all the waves its making in the world of comic-book fandom, the show has been getting... Read more

Episodes Of Marvel’s Luke Cage Series Will Be Named After Gang Starr Songs

For a run lasting more than 14 years, Gang Starr cast a profound impact on Hip-Hop music. The duo of Guru and DJ Premier released six albums together, along with gold-certified compilation, Full Clip: A Decade Of Gang Starr. The group participated in legendary tours, introduced a host of enduring... Read more

This 1998 Ma$e & Guru Freestyle Brings 2 Different Sides Of Hip-Hop Together (Audio)

Six months from each other Ma$e and Gang Starr moved the Hip-Hop needle in 1997-1998. To some, that needle went in two directions. Released on October 28, 1997, Ma$e's Grammy-nominated, quadruple-platinum debut Harlem World certified the newest Bad Boy Records superstar. On March 31, 1991, Gang Starr released its first... Read more

DJ Khaled May Be The Key Reason Big Pun & Fat Joe’s Twinz (Deep Cover 98) Became A Hit (Video)

In 2004, the Terror Squad released #1 single "Lean Back." With verses by Fat Joe and Remy Ma, T.S. shouted out DJ Khaled. Outside of Miami, Florida, the DJ, radio personality, and producer (of the alias "Beat Novacane") was not a known name in the mainstream. In 2016, Khaled Mohamed... Read more

Jeru The Damaja, Afu-Ra & Big Shug Show the Gang Starr Foundation Is Solid (Audio)

It has been more than five years since Gang Starr's Keith "Guru" Elam passed away. Today (July 17) would have been the MC's 54th birthday. While DJ Premier continues to wave the Gang Starr flag in his recent work with affiliates such as Bumpy Knuckles, D.I.T.C., and Dilated Peoples, the... Read more

Guru & Common Flow Over Classic Dr. Dre Heat On A Rare Freestyle From 2000 (Audio)

Earlier this week, the sixth anniversary of Guru's passing allowed for a community-wide opportunity to reflect on the still-reverberating effects of the loss of such an influential MC and celebrated producer. The Gang Starr member and accomplished solo artist passed away on April 19, 2010 but his voice continues to... Read more

Press Play On Jeru The Damaja’s 1991-1992 Guru-Produced Demo (Audio)

Jeru The Damaja emerged as one of—if not the biggest star of the Gang Starr Foundation. The Brooklyn, New York MC would sign with Guru's Ill Kid Records in the early 1990s, before releasing acclaimed DJ Premier-produced albums The Sun Rises In The East and Wrath Of The Math. Both... Read more

A Never Released DJ Premier Interview About “Step In The Arena” Surfaces For Its 25th Anniversary

Gang Starr's second album, Step In The Arena, was released 25 years ago. The album was one of transition for the late Guru (Keith Elam) and his partner DJ Premier (Christopher Martin). The LP was the collective's first of the 1990s, a decade they would massively influence on the musical... Read more

DJ Premier Recreates Gang Starr’s “Who’s Gonna Take The Weight”…On The Spot (Video)

Earlier this month, DJ Premier joined Royce Da 5'9" and Adrian Younge for the first concert with all three PRhyme members. The October 13 Gramercy Theatre event also marked PRhyme's first public New York City show. AFH was in the building to catch the historic moment, which also included Younge's... Read more

A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders vs. Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Gang Starr Hit Yo! MTV Raps Amidst Their 1994 Mass Appeal, With A Freestyle (Video)

Throughout the history of Gang Starr, there were a host of important albums and movements. In the late 1990s, Guru and DJ Premier went gold (with a Top 10) in Moment Of Truth, gathering the award tour of a much-deserved greatest hits look follow-up, Full Clip. A decade prior, it... Read more

Mass Appeal: This Gang Starr Mini-Documentary Is A Must Watch (Video)

Here's an amazing documentary detailing the history of Gang Starr. Though the film is ostensibly about the making of their hit song "Mass Appeal," from Hard to Earn, it begins with the stories of Guru and DJ Premier even before they met and chronicles the story of the duo's rise,... Read more

Watch Scarface Perform A Different Verse Over His Classic Gang Starr Collaboration (Video)

One of the standouts on Gang Starr's classic album Moment of Truth was "Betrayal." The song featured a dark and moody track that evoked poignant performances from both Guru and featured guest MC, Scarface. The 1998 song would be the first time Face worked with Preemo. Seventeen years later, when... Read more

Finding the GOAT: None of These MCs Have Made the Top 10…Yet

Ambrosia For Heads’ Finding The GOAT series, the search for the Greatest Of All Time MC (as determined by you), began in September, 2014 and is soon down to its final 10+1 bye (Rakim, bringing the tally to 11) contestants. The MC who wins by the biggest margin in this... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 4): KRS-One vs. Guru…Who You Got?

We have now reached the critical Round 4 in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 21 MCs remaining (with the largest winning margin, Rakim receives a bye for the round), things are really coming down to 10 match-ups, leading AFH’s bracket-style series towards... Read more

5 Years Ago Today We Lost Keith “Guru” Elam & Nothing Was The Same

April 19, 2010 was one of the most difficult days for Hip-Hop Heads. That day, after six weeks in a coma (announced February 28), Keith "Guru" Elam was confirmed dead in a Manhattan hospital. The Gang Starr founder went into cardiac arrest, following the coma in the midst of a... Read more

Gang Starr’s Guru Lives In Spirit. Watch His New Music Video (Premiere)

This weekend (April 19) marks five years since the tragic passing of Keith "Guru" Elam. A founding member of Gang Starr, Guru is a Boston, Massachusetts-born MC known for his street-smart rhymes, raspy voice, and 20-plus-year quest to stylishly merge Hip-Hop with Jazz. In honor of Guru and the sad... Read more

Finding the GOAT: These MCs Are Going to Round 4

The polls have closed and, after a fiercely competitive and unpredictable Round 3, there are only 21 MCs remaining in the quest to name Hip-Hop's greatest MC, as determined by you. Since Round 1 began in September, more than 200 MCs have been considered and millions of Hip-Hop fans have... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Snoop Dogg vs. Guru…Who You Got

We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): J. Dilla vs. Guru…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Ever See This Cypher with MC Lyte, ATCQ, GURU, Wu-Tang Clan, CL Smooth, KRS-One & More (Video)

The second iteration of Arsenio Hall's show left the air quietly, after an announcement just weeks before that the show had been renewed. However, it was a very different story the first time Arsenio parted ways with the airwaves. After five years of providing one of the only platforms on... Read more

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... Read more

DJ Premier Unleashes A Gang Starr Tape Of B-Sides, Rarities & Remixes (Mixtape)

Today (October 24), DJ Premier opened up the online Gang Starr merchandise store through his PremierWuzHere website. With an assortment of shirts, hats, hoodies, and more—exclusively set up by the Texan-turned-New Yorker, sharing its proceeds with the family of late partner Guru, Preem got behind the wheels of steel to... Read more

DJ Premier Posts Vintage Footage of Gang Starr on Video Music Box in 1990 (Video)

On the heels of announcing he is forming his first group since the legendary Gang Starr (PRhyme with Royce Da 5'9") DJ Premier reposts some vintage footage of Gang Starr on Video Music Box in 1990. Found on Primo's blog Premier Wuz Here, here's what he had to say about... Read more

Royce Da 5’9″ & DJ Premier Announce Group, Joint Album: PRhyme

Today (September 24), DJ Premier has announced his first group since Gang Starr, the legendary duo that spans more than 25 years back to debut album No More Mr. Nice Guy. This unit will be an extension of a decade-plus of working with Royce Da 5'9". Before Slaughterhouse and around... Read more

What Becomes Of A Hallucinating Fan Who Punches DJ Premier? Babu Explains (Video)

In 1999 Dilated Peoples joined Gang Starr and Rage Against The Machine on tour. These experiences were well-chronicled on the later track, "Gang Starr Bus" by Bumpy Knuckles, produced by DJ Premier. Three legendary outfits toured in a well-remembered time in music. Gearing up for his own new release with... Read more

Time Travel Back To Rap Radio’s Golden Days In This 1991 Gang Starr Interview & Tim Westwood Mix (Audio)

Take yourself back almost exactly 23 years to the date, to April 19, 1991, when London’s Hip-Hop radio prophet Tim Westwood links up with Gang Starr's DJ Premier and Guru (plus Caveman) as they take the world by storm promoting the release of their album, Step In The Arena LP.... Read more

DJ Premier Shows The Untouched Remnants Of D&D Studios, How A Fight With Guru Made A Gang Starr Classic (Video)

In Gang Starr's Hard To Earn 20th anniversary year, DJ Premier has done some special press concerning the group, the album, and the legendary status of his group with Guru. Today, DJ Premier, along with a host of others, work out of Midtown Manhattan's HeadCourterz Studios. Named after the late... Read more

Celebrate Gang Starr on the 20th Anniversary of Hard to Earn with This Video Playlist (Video)

"The real Hip-Hop." Our celebration of Gang Starr continues on the 20th anniversary of the release of Hard to Earn, with a playlist of some of their many classic music videos. As you set your clocks forward tonight, go back in time with these timeless visuals. Related: Here’s a Rare... Read more

Here’s an Amazing Piece Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Gang Starr’s Hard to Earn

Gang Starr's Hard to Earn album turns 20 years old tomorrow (3/8). To celebrate the landmark LP, Nahright & Up North Trips have put together a phenomenal piece that features a track by track breakdown of the making of the album by DJ Premier, himself. Check out an excerpt and... Read more

DJ Premier Opens Up A Limited Time Online Gang Starr Pop-Up Shop With Rare Goodies

Gang Starr is forever. In the '90s and 2000s, a Gang Starr hoodie was one of the most coveted, respected pieces of Hip-Hop merch out there. If you were at The Ownerz Tour in 2003-2004 with Guru, DJ Premier, Common, Talib Kweli, DJ Dummy, Big Shug, and the others, you... Read more

Raekwon Freaks The Classic Gang Starr Funk On Lion’s Paw Freestyle (Audio)

Gang Starr and DJ Premier have longstanding ties to the Wu-Tang Clan, from the days of Premo lending equipment to RZA in the Tommy Boy Records days, to Inspectah Deck on "Above The Clouds," and Method Man's appearance on the "In Together Now" remix. Interestingly enough, Staten Island's Raekwon has... Read more

DJ Premier Cuts The Scratches To Who’s Gonna Take The Weight Live (Video)

Asking a Head to name their favorite Gang Starr tracks can be a lot like Sophie's Choice. From the joints included on the duo's two greatest hits compilations onto the album cuts from 1986 to 2003, it was all pretty revolutionary for beats, rhymes, style, charisma, and "tha voice." One... Read more