This is from about 6 months back but is important for a couple personal reasons: 1) The caliber of writers who made the BBC’s radar on this extensive project is, at worst, for me, flattering to be mentioned amongst them and 2) I got to mention “I Am, I Be” without having to justify its greatness. Every “greatest” rap list has the same rotation of 5-8 albums, so it was nice to see people get personal. Read the whole (very thoughtful) and huge article/project HERE.
I called Preemo to see what went into the latest Gang Starr (the first in 16 years!) One Of The Best Yet, an intimate next step in their ongoing legacy, with posthumous verses from Guru culled through bitter lawsuits with Solar, whose strange involvement with Guru towards the end of his life, and whose vocal Preemo slander leaves a bitter taste beneath the whole thing. Nevertheless, the new one is a great album– a familiar conversation between old friends– and Preemo was open and gracious as always in this recent feature. Written for THE FADER, read it HERE.
Spoke with DJ Premier about the making of one of the best songs ever, “Mass Appeal.” Another one for POW fam, read it HERE. More dissections of important classics to come.
As Moment of Truth turns twenty I realize just how well much it’s aged; “Robbinhood Theory,” “What I’m Here 4,” “Above The Clouds,” so many high points. It’s my favorite Gang Starr album (Hard to Earn, close second) and I had the huge honor of speaking with Preemo and listening to him break down every song from the album with incredible candor and color. You can see how the stories behind the tracks really shaped the album and its overall sunken mood in particular. Check it out on Wax Poetics. Thank you Preemo. Guru RIP.
It wasn’t mostly the voice, it was mostly the consistency–indeed, a daily operation. Guru (right) and Primo are a prime example of a rapper and producer perfectly meshing. Their output married and listeners benefited for decades. I spoke with Guru a few years back and, of all the older, revered artists I’ve interviewed, I never thought I’d be writing on him in this uneasy light. But his work lives on. RIP.