FROM HARD TO URN

Preemo, left, Guru, right

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, featuring 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 underscore 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 interview. Written for THE FADER, read it HERE.

DJ PREMIER BREAKS DOWN MOMENT OF TRUTH TRACK-BY-TRACK.

gs mot

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.

Words Manifest

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.

Read my 2007 interview with Guru for Wax Poetics

Read a very candid recent interview with Primo by Rob Harvilla of the Village Voice

Download Matthew Africa’s recent Gang Starr Mix