Back in the mid-‘90s, Group Home emerged out of East New York as part of the Gang Starr Foundation, dropping their absolutely classic debut album Livin' Proof produced entirely by DJ Premier. Although Lil Dap and Malachi the Nutcracker were occasionally clowned for their overtly simple rhyme style, they benefited from two things: unique voices and outstanding beatwork. They came back a few years later without Preemo, and soon faded into total obscurity (Nas even referenced them in his ode to forgotten rappers, "Where Are They Now?"). They popped up from time to time throughout the 2000s, and in 2008, Dap returned with the solid solo piece I.A.Dap. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal stands strong as both an impressive comeback album and a tribute to their fallen homie Guru, who is featured on the tracks "Pay Attention" and impressive 1999 leftover "The Legacy." Other guests include Lord Jamar, Brainsick, and Jeru the Damaja, and while the producers are mostly unknowns, they contribute some excellent beats. After 11 years of relative silence, and a hip-hop landscape that has gotten increasingly corny and predictable, Group Home's return is a welcome surprise.