Gang Starr

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  • Michael B. Jordan

About Gang Starr

Characterized by rapper Guru’s street-conscious lyrics and producer DJ Premier’s jazzy beats, the venerated East Coast duo Gang Starr were defining figures of hip-hop’s golden age. • Performing under the name MC Keithy E., Guru formed the original incarnation of Gang Starr with DJ 1 2 B Down. They delivered three singles before breaking up in 1989. • Guru tapped Houston-born DJ Premier to form the new Gang Starr. The duo released their debut album, No More Mr. Nice Guy, in 1989. • The albums that followed—1991’s Step In the Arena and 1992’s Daily Operation—are widely regarded as hip-hop classics. • Gang Starr made their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Mass Appeal,” off their 1994 album Hard to Earn. • The duo’s 1998 album Moment of Truth debuted atop Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. • The group split up following the release of their 2003 album The Ownerz. • Guru died in April 2010 after a battle with cancer. He was 43. • In 2019, DJ Premier released One of the Best Yet, a compilation of unreleased Gang Starr songs featuring the likes of Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, and J. Cole.

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