Hip hop isn’t that old enough to be spawning tons of greatest hits, that’s why they are few around, but this year sees at least 3 compilations, Wu chronicles, EPMD and now gangstarr. For those of you who don’t know (And you must be stupid if you didn’t) Guru and premier make one of the hottest combinations that hip-hop has ever seen. This prolific Boston emcee coupled with the incredible Texas deejay/ producer have laced us with 10 years of this music and to celebrate this double disc is truly a great honor to them. Now when I first heard about this album I thought the same thing that happens every time something like this gets released, it will be a let down. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the track listing, every joint I have ever liked on a Gangstarr album is on here, plus the hard to find stuff, the remixes and 2 new extra tracks.
Although ‘No more mr nice guy’ was their first album on Wild Pitch, the group really caught ears with ‘Step in the arena’ an album in my opinion that was ahead of its time. What did surprise me is that ‘Love sick’ isn’t on here, it was a credible song as one of the love raps of the early nineties, but hey that’s about the only omission that deserved to be here. A handful of songs are taken from each of their 5 albums and shows you how incredible they are, I can’t stress this enough.
Time to reminisce on the great’s that are ‘Just to get a rep’, ‘Whos gonna take the weight’ ‘Take it personal’, ‘manifest’, the list goes on. I guarantee that the younger generation who weren’t around to experience the first gangstarr albums won’t be disappointed if they hear this as all the tracks stand up to the standard of todays top emcees. There's the best tracks from ‘hard to earn’ which include ‘Code of the streets’ ‘Mass appeal’, ‘DWYCK’ with Nice n smooth each one a classic in their own right.
What makes this compilation better than any other greatest hits is the choice of tracks, someone knew their music when putting this together that’s why we also get the great B sides and unreleased tracks including ‘the ? remains’, ‘So wassup’, ‘You know my steez (remix)’ the dopest beat you’ve ever heard on ‘1/2 & ˝’ and the recently released ‘Militia 2’ with WC and Rakim. The 2 new tracks fit in with the set and ‘Full clip’ rounds things off as one of the best tracks you’ll hear in a while from the group.
Like the EPMD situation I hope this doesn’t signal an end to the group as not many artists have lasted 10 years, and stayed true to hip hop without selling out. Gangstarr are officially one of hip hops greatest achievements and still have a lot of steam left in their output so do yourself a big favor, when this comes out put your money aside and pick up a piece of hip hop history.