Earlier this week, DJ Premier surprised Gang Starr fans when he tweeted a clip of a voicemail left by Nas. The rapper is trying to reach Premier, hearing a rumor that a new Gang Starr album is on the way.
“Yo, Premier, what up man? It’s your man Nas. Yo, is it true there’s a new Gang Starr album? That’s crazy man. Let me know man,” he says.
“I gotta call Nas,” Premier wrote in his tweet.
Well, Premier finally made it official. On Thursday, he shared a new Gang Starr record called “Family and Loyalty” and it features J. Cole. The song contains two unheard verses by Guru, sounding smooth and lyrically sharp as he breaks down the meaning behind diamonds being forever like family and loyalty. Cole adds his gems to the song, continuing his productive feature run this year.
Gang Starr is considered one of the pillars of East Coast hip-hop, a group originally made up of DJ 1, 2 B-Down and various producers before DJ Premier entered the fold. The Brooklyn-based group would go on to pioneer New York’s underground sound with their jazz rap hybrid between 1989 to 2003, dropping classics like “Positivity,” “Take It Personal,” and “Mass Appeal.”
Released in 2003, Gang Starr’s final album was The Ownerz. A few years later, after an extended hiatus to pursue solo projects, Guru passed away from cancer. Premier would continue to hold the torch for the group, keeping their name alive in interviews and reminiscing on their six-album catalogue whenever possible. A Gang Starr biopic, helmed by the veteran producer, is rumored to be in the works.
So far, there aren't many details concerning that Gang Starr album. While you wait for more info, listen to “Family and Loyalty” below.