Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Gang Starr - Moment of Truth 3xLP


Virgin / Noo Trybe (2051, 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 Age' 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.

Daily Operation and Hard to Earn stand quite high on my list of all time favorite hip hop albums.  They came out in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and sit in that sweet spot of my own personal Golden Era.  I didn't look backwards as much back then, so I wasn't as familiar with their albums before 1992 and by the time Moment of Truth came out in 1998, I was pretty checked out on most hip hop.  I don't know why it took them four years between albums back then, but I'm not sure a year' or two difference would have put it anymore on my radar back then.

I came to find out over the years that many people, to the point where I would a say a majority, place Moment of Truth as the best Gang Starr album.  I don't know that I could say that, but it is really good and way better than I would have figured for a record that came out in 98.  The secret sauce here is how well DJ Premier puts together beats.  While there is certainly a slightly different vibe compared to their early 90s releases, for the most part the production still feels genuine and is similar enough to me that it works.  It does have something of a minimalistic feeling on some songs, but again it still sounds like Gang Starr.

And to me, Guru sounds exactly the same, which is a compliment, I don't want him to sound different.  His laid back, somewhat monotone delivery just works for him.  He's a skilled lyricist, but always shines the brightest when he's working with top tier production.  Do I think this is the best Gang Starr album? No, Daily Operation and Hard to Earn are superior in my opinion.  But Moment of Truth is really strong and is just as good as, and in some instances is better than, Step in the Arena.

No comments:

Post a Comment