Gang Starr – The Ownerz

Seminal rap duo makes compelling claim on cutting-edge supremacy

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On their seventh album, DJ Premier and rapper Guru have the amoral, musically simplistic idols of hip hop in their sights. The self-explanatory “Put Up Or Shut Up” delivers a killer blow; elsewhere literate, dizzying verbal sucker punches leave their opponents reeling. Best of all are Premier’s inventive backing tracks, hotwired with weird strings, unexpected piano and horn riffs, allowing Guru’s superior patter to rain down righteously. All told, a class act still in their prime.

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