UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies
Gangstarr - The Owners LP [Virgin]
Gangstarr - The Owners
It has been a long time since Gangstarr dropped any material on us, far too long in my opinion. The LP was meant to drop on February 11th, then May 5th, but has been put back, and back. Rest assured though that it will be getting a release date, sometime in June I believe, the 24th, but don't hold your breath. I would like to know what the reason for the delay is though. Whilst Premo may have slipped a bit in peoples estimation and Guru has never in my opinion set the word alight with his flows, there is just something about this pair when they get together that hits the spot exactly. I am unable at present to comment on the whole LP or indeed its track listing as I am only in possession of a sampler, but what is on there is up to their usual quality and all Gangstarr fans should be happy with this. By now, most people should be familiar with the first single - Skills which has already done the rounds and brought Gangstarr back to the limelight in preparation for the release of the long awaited album. The infectious groove is classic Gangstarr, with Guru letting everyone know that the group have far from fallen off. Other tracks have also been getting hammered by radio DJs and lets hope the delay does not harm punters enthusiasm for the product when it does hit the streets.

The next single is to be Nice Girl, Wrong Place which features Boy Big. As usual Premo delivers a funk fuelled instrumental which makes great use of the Kung Fu sample courtesy of Curtis Mayfield chopped up so sweetly. Between the soulful singing of Boy Big, Guru describes his girl and how he found here where he wouldn't expect. I'm guessing he's rapping about a hooker in a brothel or a lap dancer or something like that, either way his rapping is silky smooth as usual. On the flip you'll find Rite Where U Stand, a more downtempo offering, which this time featuring the talents of Jadakiss who appears courtesy of Ruff Ryders / Interscope records. This time Premo hooks up the Temptations' Gonna Keep Tryin Till I Win Your Love as only he can. Premo is frequently aped, but he is still the master of his style and as always delivers top notch production for his own releases. Guru is saying that he doesn't want to get into trouble, but if you cross him he'll leave you laying right where you stand. Jada adds variety and contrast with Guru, the pair working well together.

Other tracks on the sampler I can tell you about include Sabotage, a heavy hitting track, largely so because of the guitar sample and long release cymbal. There are audible scratches throughout the verses and typical vocal cuts in the chorus. Guru tells a cautionary story rap about Ronnie and Ceasar, although the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Ronnie ran for Caesar, but when Caesar leaves him in charge of the business Ronnie robs him. Later Ronnie is found dead, the tag line being, 'It's like sabotage, there ain't no one to trust'.

Deadly Habitz is on a more mellow tip and takes a look at all the dangerous things people do like driving whilst under the influence, or just things that you have to do to get by that could end in disaster. Guru describes how people are out to get him by lacing his drink. Guru says how the public will never know all the stuff he has to go through and the pressures and pain he feels. 

Gangstarr - Skills Things are looking good for this release and I am really looking forward to this Gangstarr LP, just hope there aren't any serious problems getting it out, like sample clearance, or worse, the group have been dropped from the label. The sampler shows they are up to their usual quality, and apart from being one of my favourite groups I feel they can claim to be the only thoroughly consistent act who has been around a while.


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