2019 has been a big year for fans of underground, old school, and 90’s hip hop. We’ve seen projects from OG’s like Missy Elliot, Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, and The Wu-Tang Clan. We’ve also seen dope collaborations between old heads and the next generation like Pinata by Madlib and Freddie Gibbs as well as Danny Brown’s new project uknowhatimsayin produced entirely by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest. In addition, groups like Griselda Records and Pro Era and artists like Jk1 The Supernova and Smoke DZA are resurrecting the boom-bap sound. They are coming out with stuff today that sounds like it was recorded during the golden age of hip hop.
If all this wasn’t enough, hip hop heads everywhere finally got great news after Guru’s unfortunate passing in 2010. DJ Premier blessed us earlier this month with a brand new project by the 90’s hip hop duo GangStarr! The new project features legendary late MC Guru with DJ Premier and a number of talented and respected collaborators.
One of the Best Yet analysis
The album is a breath of fresh air for your ears while the trap wave dominates the popular culture. In contrast to this trend, the lyrics and themes presented in a GangStarr project are meaningful and real. On One of the Best Yet, Guru maintains his calm and composed demeanor while painting pictures with his rhymes.
Expect to be overcome by nostalgia with the timeless sound that DJ Premier always brings to his work. His beats have a kind of flavor to them that elicit a real picture and emotion. Listeners can feel the chemistry the two artists once shared by DJ Premier’s ability to match a sound and feeling to Guru’s words in songs like, “Hit Man” and “Get Together”. Zangba Thomson, Editor in Chief for music culture website bongminesentertainment.com wrote that “Premier did a wonderful job because it felt like Guru (RIP) was still with us in the physical form”. It truly is an incredible gift and surprise for fans to hear NEW GangStarr in 2019.
Honestly, even the name of the album is dope. The title is a throwback to a bar off their hit song from the 90’s, “You Know My Steez”, where Guru boasts himself as “One of the best yet” on the mic. The title is super cocky and confident, yet admits some humility. This seems to have been done intentionally as a nod from DJ Premier to the MC’s who hold it down. The album has an incredible list of collaborators including Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5’9”, J.Cole, Q-Tip, and Ne-Yo. There are also some of the classic GangStarr features that fans love with Jeru the Damaja and Freddie Foxx present.
If you haven’t check it out, I’d definitely put One of the Best Yet on the 2019 must listen list. It’s a solid listen for any fan of the genre due to the storytelling, hot boom-bap beats, and interludes. But for real admirers of hip hop, the return of GangStarr in 2019 will be remembered by the moment when Guru the Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal came back to remind us all these years later that he’s still One of the Best Yet.