The emcee formally known as Crooked I drops the BTS visuals for “Ashamed” feat Mike Smith and DJ Revolution, produced by Jonathan Hay, Mike Smith and King Tech. This is from the album “When Music Worlds Collide.”
Sheek Louch takes a stroll through NYC for his latest drop before Silverback Gorilla 2 hits the pavement in September.
The latest installment of “Magnum Opus” from good folks at Complex covers the making of Gang Starr’s legendary “Mass Appeal.” With input from the likes of DJ Premier, Big Shug, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Stretch Armstrong, journalists Chairman Mao and Noah Callahan-Bever as well as managers Patrick Moxey and Phat Gary, you’ll get the full story of one of hip hop’s classic records.
There are few rap acts that stuck to their guns quite like Gang Starr. Comprised of DJ Premier the late, great Guru, the duo’s sound came to define the purist hip-hop standard of the ’90s. They crafted a style that was true to New York despite the fact that neither of them actually hailed from New York. The duo never sold millions and millions of records, but they never made a bad album either. While they made plenty of great songs, in 1994 they released “Mass Appeal”—the quintessential Gang Starr record and a song truly worthy of a Magnum Opus treatment.
We got with DJ Premier, Guru’s close friend Big Shug of Gang Starr Foundation, and the group’s managers Patrick Moxey and Phat Gary to talk about the making of the song. What we found out is that despite the fact that the song made fun of rappers who aspired for mass appeal, Guru’s actually aspired for commercial relevance himself. But, of course, the group never abandoned their aesthetic. Ironically, “Mass Appeal” became the group’s biggest hit thanks in part to Premier’s hypnotic beat.
We also talked to Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Stretch Armstrong about the group’s lasting impact and legacy. And to round things out, veteran hip-hop journalist Chairman Mao and Complex’s own Editor-In-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever explained how Gang Starr took the road less taken to achieve their legendary status.
RIP Keith “Guru” Elam.
Listen to Ali Vegas’ album in its entirety that features the likes of Big Noyd and Nature.
We’re just going to leave that visual up there for you and tell you that Skyzoo’s album Music For My Friends is super dope.
If, for some strange reason, you haven’t picked up Slum Village’s Yes! album, this joint featuring Jon Connor should motivate you to make the purchase.
Statik Selektah gathers the lyrical strength of Bun B, Sean P and Styles P for this banger off of his upcoming Lucky 7 album.
The Mass Appeal emcee from Harlem goes in over the Jay Z and Beanie Sigel instrumental from 2005.
Actor/Rapper Rick Gonzalez teams up with Paul Haymon of Phli’Kidd Productions to film “The Real” in Chicago’s historic Pilsen neighborhood. “The Real” music video is inspired by the work of critically acclaimed Chicago photographer, Paul D’amato who photographed Pilsen for over 14 years.