Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Gang Starr - No More Mr. Nice Guy LP - Red & White Inside Out Vinyl


Vinyl Me Please (2022, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I pop in and out of Vinyl Me Please.  Occasionally they have a neat reissue that I'm interested it, so I subscribe and then cancel.  My taste in music is way too finicky for me to be able to commit to a long term subscription, but I joined up when they announced this Gang Starr reissue.

No More Mr. Nice Guy is the first Gang Starr record and probably the one I've always been least familiar with.  I never even had the CD if you can imagine such a thing.  It's mostly because I always felt like it really didn't sound much like the Gang Starr that I know and love.  It was 1989, Guru and Premier had not yet coalesced into the monster group that put out Daily Operation in 1992, or even Step in the Arena in 1990.

The beats sound kind of old and they don't have that same DJ Premier vibe that I so adore.  Guru is not as smooth or monotone on this debut and there are a few songs where he rhymes uncharacteristically fast.  It's sometimes kind of jarring to be honest.  

Even saying all of that, this is still a really good record, particularly for the standards of what was going on in 1989.  They weren't ahead of their time just yet, but they were right on target with what most of the rap world was releasing at the time.  I listen to the record and it's just fun.  It's not mind blowing or important or super influential, but there's something to be said about a record that you can just put on, listen to and enjoy.  

No More Mr. Nice Guy has that and then some and this pressing by Vinyl Me Please is for sure the definitive version for the sound quality and the huge pile of bonus tracks.  I would really love it if VMP could get their hands on the rights to Daily Operation and give it a similarly excellent treatment.

Gang Starr - No More Mr. Nice Guy:

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