I was recently scrolling through my iTunes listening to the first 20 seconds of what seemed to be a thousand trillion songs when I came across a couple cuts from one of my favorite hip hop duos of all-time, Gang Starr. With DJ Premier (Houston, TX) cookin' up the beats and Guru (Boston, MA) suppliying classic verses, Gang Starr was a coming together of two unstoppable forces to form a musical conglomerate that consistently churned out qulaity hip hop for more than a decade. One great producer + 0ne dope emcee + one direction = quality hip hop. The music industry has strayed from this formula and albums have turned into a bland stir fry of overdone beats and forced lyrics. How can an album possibly be cohesive if you got a beat from Swizzy, Timbo, Just Blaze, Kanye, 9th, The Runners, The Neptunes, Will.i.am, DJ Quik, and Alchemist... Granted this line up of producers would never make it all onto a single album because it would cost a label millions. But, one of the the points I'm trying to make here is that I feel some artists are relying too heavily on coming up with one or two hits rather than creating one SOLID body of work. To name a few: Fat Joe, Flo-Rida, Sean Kingston, Mims, and Soulja Boy are all guilty of this. But, I respect their hustle-- they are ringtone rappers who make millions off of the wireless handheld device market. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we are entering a new era where the next generation of artists are more focused on quality verus quantity. A qulaity album will sell more units over a much much longer stretch of time than an album with one huge single. When push comes to shove, I will cop the new Wale album (Attention:Deficit in stores 9/22/2009) long before I even think of purchasing the Flo-Rida album. Its like paying to see a whole circus versus paying to see a one trick pony.
So anyway, back to my original point (sorry for digressing, I had to get that in really quick). To me, Gang Starr is one of those hip hop pairings that brought out the best in hip hop like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Eric B. & Rakim, and Talib Kweli & Mos Def AKA Blackstar. So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite cuts from Gangstarr. Check the links below to hear good music