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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Step In The Arena

Gang Starr

1991

Wikipedia

Step In The Arena

Rating

3.17

Votes

3829

Reviews

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5

This is one of the most important hiphop albums ever produced even though a lot of folks outside of the scene haven't heard of it. In a time when hiphop was fracturing and trying desperately to find out what it was and what it could be, Gang Starr brought heavy, intellectual, clever lyrics over deeply funky boom-bap beats. The influence of this album can be felt in modern artists like The Roots, Sho Baraka, Nappy Roots, and Blackalicious. Musical significance aside, it's just real damn good. Just DAMN good. An absolute pleasure to listen to.

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5

This is the finest example of old-school hip-hop I've heard yet. The sound is clearly indebted to the East Coast, and while there's not as much Southern innovation as say, Outkast, touches exist. The production and turntablism is insanely good. The flows are all relatively familiar ones from the era, but they're convincing and use enough tempo and theme variation to remain fresh.

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5

Some of the smoothest rhymes and rhythms I've ever heard. This album has aged like a fine wine. I imagine it was considered rather intense when it came out, but in the rearview, it is so mellow and enjoyable. I never wanted it to end.

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4

Loving the cool flavour and rhythm of this album! I have heard some tunes by Gang Starr before, but totally forgot about these guys. The first full Step In The Arena listen was a lot of fun chillin' in the crib, and then kickin' it a 2nd time in the car on an hour drive to hike in the woods was smooth as well. Banjo was salivating on that drive, so I assume he was diggin' too. The song Take A Rest represents most what I am enjoying from this record. Thanks dudes, it was refreshment after the desert of yesterday's album!

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2

“Step in the Arena” by Gang Starr (1991) Never heard the album or this duo, and my familiarity with the hip hop genre is quite limited. Musically, the producer in the duo, DJ Premier, puts together a fine background, providing solid rhythms and scratching, with some tentative forays into sampling. I’m sure this was innovative in 1991, and likely very influential, but it doesn’t seem to stand the ‘test of time’. Guru’s voice lacks expressive range, and in rapid phrases he frequently mumbles to retain the tempo. His tone is subdued, letting the startling nature of the words carry the artistic freight. That’s appealing. In terms of meaning, his lyrics are marked by self absorbed boastfulness, with an expansive range of metaphors from gladiators to those who covet luxury vehicles. It’s illustrated in the title track, “Step in the Arena”, which compares rap competition to lethal one-on-one combat. But the lethality serves no goal other than entertainment. There’s no consideration of the moral standing of the purveyors and consumers of these nihilistic spectacles. The meaning is “I’m the best” and that is to your detriment. He seems to want his listeners to want to adopt the same attitude. Here’s a significant line indicating that he is aware, even in 1990, that the rap/hip hop world was overpopulated with junk: “Abreast of the best in this rap mess Oversaturated market full of wackness” There is a form of intellect on display here. Skillful use of internal rhyme and other poetic devices without being mechanical. This is not doggerel. Plus, Guru is a keen observer of his culture. In “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?”, Guru advances key themes of the message of the Nation of Islam. After an opening sample of a couple of lines from Malcolm X, Guru declaims, “I was raised like a Muslim”, which is highly unlikely, given his solid middle class background, but the selective appropriation of NOI themes continues. Ultimately the lyric lacks persuasiveness, chiefly because it is so self focused. Guru needs to enter the heart of the listener. These lyrics generally lack drama. There’s plenty of violence, and elaborate imagery, but little storytelling, redemption, conflict resolution, or artistic closure. It’s simply a catalogue of unanswered questions and unsolved problems (unless the answers and solutions boil down to “give everything to me”). The poetry usually evokes little emotion other than pity and perhaps fear. The one grand exception to this bleak assessment is the track “Just to Get a Rep”. It tells a powerful tale of a man who unnecessarily uses lethal force on a victim merely to enhance his own reputation. The victim recovers and returns to kill him, also motivated by the desire “just to get a rep” (reputation). The poetic composition powerfully invites the listener to consider whether it’s worth it. Of course it’s not. But one wonders how many listeners were persuaded in that direction. Not the greatest hip hop, in my admittedly limited experience. 2/5

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1

This is not the album to convince me that hiphop is worth my listening time.

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1

I simply don't like rap. These two definitely don't have the most annoying voices in rap, so this is at least 1.5 stars instead of 1, but I'll still round it down for being super boring. I didn't make it past the fifth track. The pseudo-intelligent-sounding lyrics don't help either.

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5

Probably prefer Moment Of Truth but man, this is some great stuff. Just To Get A Rep is up there with the best they've done.

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5

Perfect! Brings me back to my love of hip hop. The rhymes and rhythms created by the rappers’ deliveries is east coast at its finest!

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5

I don't think anything Guru touches could be less than a 5. Absolutely love GangStarr and Guru is one of the best MCs of all time. 5/5

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5

A fantastic rapper and one of the best producers create an album full of brilliant, classic hip-hop tracks.

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5

You Gotta be kidding me, this is a top 10 hip-hop classic for me. Right up there with Illmatic, 36 Chambers and Low End Theory. Banger after banger on this Jawn. Straight fire!

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5

Never took the time to check out Gang Starr, but this was a pleasant surprise. It's hit and miss for me with hiphop and rap, but this hit me for sure. Smooth and groovy, just the way I like it.

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4

90s hip hop will always have a special place in my heart. It may not be for everyone, but this album demonstrates both great 90s hip hop production from DJ Premier, and great lyricism from Guru, in a collaboration that has gone on to be considered among the best for it's time, and onwards too, considering the latest releases from Gang Starr (posthumously from Guru). I have never heard this debut album, but I see why Gang Starr became so popular. This has everything you want out of that era, the jazzy samples, the social commentary topics, the little humorous skits, and the real chemistry that both artists demonstrate working together. The only reason I wouldn't give this a 5/5 is because I prefer other albums from that time (Tribe Called Quest do this all better IMO) but it's still fantastic.

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4

Hip hop with a purpose. Lyrically sound - good beats. Fun to listen to. Can definitely hear their influence in a lot of later hip hop. Only a few songs didn’t age as well because of that early 90’s “starter jacket” type feel. (Not that it’s a bad thing - just sounds dated today) Fave tracks: “Check The Technique” “Step In The Arena”

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4

It may be that rap albums hit some kind of pinnacle in the early 90s where the clean lyrics and fun rhymes grew into something more complex but also more raw in its content. Maybe that was an East vs. West type of thing. Notably, the album's sound includes a lot of jazz elements, simple beats, and a very modest yet effective DJ. Lyrically, it comes off as an inviting narrative to 'come and sit while I tell this story' and the listener is indeed compelled to do just that. Where rap music eventually turned into various outlets of strong expression, this album is way more conversational in its delivery and less confrontational. "Just To Get A Rep" or "Execution Of A Chump" stand out as the implications of violence that this portion of the hip-hop culture draws much of its emotion and content. Thing is, previously mentioned, the listener is compelled to hear this out. Over time, this subject matter has lost its importance because of its marketability and most people see it for that thirty years later as though Gang Starr knew that "Just To Get A Rep" is a reality moving forward. The album may have more musical reasons for being on this list, but for this listener and perhaps because of an old soul, this album creates a nostalgic desire for 21st century rap/hip-hop to come back with that authenticity. An authenticity that perhaps Gang Starr prophetically touched on in "Form of Intellect" with "...oversaturated market, full of wackness" and "get real, get deep, so you can keep involved, resolve and solve, so you can make the calls". If one pays attention to the current entertainment industry, the power figures in rap/hip-hop seemed to have heeded this advice. They may have come up from the streets per se, but they did not stay there. These men and women are now moguls in their own right, kings and queen makers of that world. "Step In The Arena" is a challenging album, maybe even a bit preachy but that's the value here and perhaps a more philosophical reason this album is on the list.

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3

Good album. I liked all the songs except 'Love Sick' (and even that one was ok). I can see myself listening to this again, now just to decide between 3 and 4 stars...

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2

Nothing other than production stood out to me

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2

It's rap and nothing special

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2

Not a fan of Gangster rap. Lyrics were clean which is interesting.

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2

I'll give credit due when its due. Gang Starr have good rapping vocals and their sound isn't cheesy like a fair chunk of rap/ hip hop music around that time. There are a couple of decent songs here too. But as a whole this was as interesting as a ham sandwich, has the essential elements but nothing enticing for me.

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1

If this is the greatest hip hop album of all time, then I should probably stop giving hip hop a chance.

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1

Hip Hop - 0.5/5

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5

Old skool rap

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5

Some of the most solid roots of all good hip hop

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5

Really enjoyed this album. Need to revisit it again!

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5

For lange sanger

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5

Incredible. End to end amazing vocals lyrics and production. Love it.

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5

AWESOME. consistent and complete hip hop album

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5

GANG STARR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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5

A revelation - really enjoyable

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5

Never listened to it all the way through, very good

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5

Old school hip hop at its finest

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5

Wow, the lyricism and flow are amazing. I think Check the Technique or Lovesick was my favorite, but honestly I enjoyed every track. I will be purchasing this and adding it to my collection :)

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5

DJ Premier!!! Super smooth old skool hip hop, very very good

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5

Ohhhh Shit, Gang Starr 4 Life!!!!

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5

5/5 - Forever Dope

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5

The prototype for 90s group gangster rap. Smoother than NWA but harder than west coast G funk, it's super awesome.

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5

like

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5

Okay więc jest bardzo dobrze. Mam wrażenie, że jeden z moich nowych ulubionych albumów hip hopowych. Nawet nie wiem co mówić bo wszystko mi się podobało. Ulubione kawałki: check this technique take rest say ur prayers just to get a rap step in the arena.

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5

Loved it

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5

Very cool album! I’m really trying to discover more rap so this really helped.

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5

18th January 2022 Listened on the way to book club at the standard. 90s hip hop. Love it.

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5

Wow c'est très bon. Je vais certainement réécouter l'album. 5

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5

Classic hip-hop that I had never heard before. I loved it though, and will definitely hunt out more of their stuff. Execution of a chump, and the meaning of the name were my favourites first time through, but I will revisit it to pick up the lyrics and flow of some of the denser tracks too

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5

Immaculate flow with a classic sound and classic beats. A genuine time capsule.

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5

Incredibly important hip hop record smooth beats and dangerous rhymes a truly enjoyable listen, influenced many artists like the roots etc

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5

So many samples!

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4

Don't normally listen to hip hop but this was enjoyable.

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4

Great early rap album.

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4

Another great album that is outside of my normal wheelhouse. I'm not sure which school of hip hop this one falls in, but I like it. Would definitely listen again. 4 stars.

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4

Really great album that flies under the radar! This is up there with Eric B and Rakim, but might actually be better! Great flow, and hits hard.

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4

Fav Song: Check the Technique

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4

4 stars

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4

I think I like early rap better than late 90s and 2000s rap. I think it had a different sound and purpose. And I think my own feelings of “I don’t like rap” from that time period were probably colored by my influences.

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4

and, for whatever reason, i liked this one way more than Ready To Die, which was yesterday's pick. just felt right

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4

I think I have learned from this challenge that I like hip hop! I guess I also associated rap with like Snoop Dog and 50 Cent and PDiddy and whatever was in the 90s/00s charts which was really shite. This though- there's great beats in this, love the 90s sound, dunno the right terms but like the sampling and scratching. The rapping is pretty chill and smoothly rhythmic, lulling and poetic.

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4

A little too long for this early 90s style, but I really enjoyed this album. Jazz beats and great wordplay make this a great departure from the previous hip hop we’ve listened to.

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4

I really enjoy this era of hip hop. Arrested Development, Public Enemy, De La then prearranging taste of music to come in the following years.

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4

Was für einen Unterschied Kopfhörer machen können! Zuerst dieses Juwel über Boxen und nicht besonders laut gehört - ganz nice, aber nun wirklich nicht aufregend. Hörte man bisschen so weg. Dann am späteren Abend noch mal mit - basstarken - Headphones, und oh my God: Primo, das biste ja! Dichte Samples, aber knochentrocken und locker gestreut, luftig, reduziert und (rate mal ...) jazzy. Schon fast jeepig, aber andererseits wahnsinnig kultiviert. Gurus Rapstyle - ja, das machte man damals so, mit dem Preaching und der Berichterstattung und der Consciousness. Vielleicht heute bisschen dated (im Gegensatz zu Premiers wirklich immer freshen Beats), aber trotzdem I like it. Wirklich schöne (wieder-)Entdeckung!

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4

„But yo I don`t look for hassles, my rhymes are like castles“ Gang Starr‘s soft power ist so heilsam genrefern, dabei stark und mit ordentlich Rückgrat gegenüber „the weak stuff you heard from those creampuffs“. Und wie ausgeglichen, gar aus männlicher Sicht feministisch „Lovesick“ mit toxischer Eifersucht umgeht, hab ich im US Rap auch noch nie gehört. Die Beats wirken anfangs altbacken, nehmen mit der Dauer an Schärfe zu, bleiben aber lässig und manche bass line könnten die Beastie Boys eingeschnürt haben, wie im ohnehin handwerklich großartigen „Take A Rest“. Sanftmütige 4.1

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4

My favorite type of hip hop

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4

Nearly a five after a couple of listens, laid back rap, like Erik b and rakim

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4

90's East Coast Hip Hop, yes please

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4

Really nice hip hop album, very chill

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4

Liked it

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4

DJ Premiere is the be of the greatest producers of all time and Guru is a great MC but there are better Gangstarr albums.

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4

Again, one song, but it's a bloody good one! Must have been hugely different from other rap when it was released.

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4

Relaxing

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4

Very consistent album filled with some nice beats and some good lyrical flow

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4

Great album. I enjoyed it and will listen again.

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4

Solid hip-hop. Lyrics along the lines of "Watch me rap better than you" which I prefer to the "I'm going to kill you" vibe. Samples were catchy but repetitive within a track.

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4

Niet mijn kopje thee, maar door de pure eenvoud van de muziek pakt het me stiekem toch. Ik zal het niet gauw zelf opzetten, maar waardeer het toch met 4 sterren omdat ik wel kan horen hoe goed het is

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4

Super album! Echt een aanrader wat mij betreft. Lekker oldschool met goede beats.

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4

Hugely influential. Some of the rhymes didn't age super well, but the influence on subsequent hip hop duos is clear. Best track: Just to Get a Rep

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4

Riiktigt bra. Dock för långt

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4

clean and unique sound. coulda done without a few filler songs. excellently produced. enjoyable good 90s hip hop 😈

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4

ЧТО: Второй студийный альбом хип-хоп дуэта из Бруклина. Признанная классика хип-хопа. Группа, каждый альбом которой продавался многомиллионными тиражами. КАКОЙ: Классический хип-хоп из 90-х. Много джаза, ритм-н-блюза, фанка и соула в сэмплах. Мелодичный ярко выраженный бас. Развитая техника сэмплирования. Я уловил только очевидное (например, сэмпл из Rapper’s Delight), уверен, там очень много всего. Чувствуется, что Gang Starr с Восточного берега. Они сочетают африканскую музыку с танцевальной, подхватывая свой уникальный стиль. Получился мягкий джаз-рэп времён расцвета американского хип-хоп олдскула, который заметно контрастирует с жёсткими остросоциальными мотивами в творчестве их, если так можно сказать, коллег: Public Enemy и Run-D.M.C. Довольно революционно звучит интерлюдия посреди альбома. Это сейчас их стали пихать когда можно и когда нельзя. В то время это было редкостью. О ЧЕМ: Лирика альбома, естественно, не обходится без сторителлинга. Альбом полон рассказов о женщинах, трудностях жизни чёрного человека в Америке, о религии. Важная тема - мастерство исполнителей. Они доказывают, что лучше всех управляются на битах. Об этом свидетельствует и название. DJ Premier и Guru предлагают всем, кто их критикует, выйти с ними на арену и разобраться. На Check the technique они советуют их соперникам в игре (как бы это не звучало) поработать над своей техникой, чтобы быть с участниками Gang Starr на одном ринге. Это те основы, без которых не обходится хип-хоп. Это базис хип-хоп культуры как образа жизни и принципа творчества. Это не мои выдумки; а то, что говорят об этом классические исполнители и преданные слушатели этой музыки. ИТОГ: Замечательный хип-хоп альбом. Повлиял на звук многих современных рэперов. Обильное использование джаза и интерлюдии - то, что стало можно значительно позже. Это альбом-заявление, который начинается с того, что участники дуэта представляются. Они не собираются прятаться и готовы доказать, что лучшие в игре (ещё раз извиняюсь за слово «игра» в этом контексте). Альбом не зря назван классикой хип-хопа.

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4

(Old S)Cool & the Gang

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4

good shit, really nice production and fun lyrics. i’ll give it a 7/10, overall just really cool.

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4

good shit 4

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4

Very cool hip hop album. Not perfect, but it's a fun classic rap album

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4

10/19 Smooth beats matched with superb storytelling and sharp lyricism. Standout Tracks: Execution of a Chump, Beyond Comprehension, Lovesick, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Just To Get a Rep, Precisely the Right Rhymes, The Meaning of the Name

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4

Strong album, I'd listen again!

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4

I’m not sold on these cats. They were influential on the East Coast rap scene, and in some ways, directly responsible for Wu-Tang Clan. There is a hardcore thread running through this record that definitely shows up in future artists. They had some sick rhymes with lyrical substance, but it never really gets cooking on the album. It’s reminiscent of ATCQ, but with none of the excitement or verve. It’s just kind of…there. (7/10) FT: Step in the Arena, Execution of a Chump

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4

Fantastic, obvious root and influence of many mcs to come

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4

Nie mam dużo do powiedzenia na temat tego albumu, uwielbiam oldschoolowy hiphop, a ten krążek mimo że nie zaskoczy nikogo niczym w 2021, to jednak nie zestarzał się ani trochę bo doskonale się broni od strony muzycznej i produkcyjnej jako takie klasyczne brzmienie HH, ciepłe, organiczne (dzięki charakterystyce sampli i wokali) i lekko niesforne. W chuj duży podziw dla głównego producenta za całokształt i consistence albumu, a dla guru za consistent flow (warstwie lirycznej nie miałem okazji przyjrzeć się z bliska gdyż nie jestem na tyle obeznany z tekstem). Ulubione kawałki: Step In The Arena (nostalgiczne wrażenia, mimo że nie grałem nigdy w GTA), Who's Gonna Take The Weight, Game Plan (fajny przerywnik, chociaż niekoniecznie ciekawe jest przejście z niego w nastepny utwór pod względem kompozycji), Take A Rest (ten jeden bardziej obskurny sample mnie kupuje wraz z dynamiką tego kawałka i przerzucaniem sie między samplami, które momentalnie zmieniają charakter kawałka), Just To Get A Rep, Precisely The Right Rhymes.

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4

Classic hip hop doesn’t get much better than this

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4

Really enjoyed this one. Great slab of hip hop

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4

Love 90s rap! Definitely will need to listen again.

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4

Everything 90s rap was trying to be.

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4

Lotta bars

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4

Super funky fresh flow and groooooovy

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4

Great flow, good beats. 90’s hip hop is the best.

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4

Not bad. Decent rap album

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4

Wow. Great album. Group I have heard spoken about a lot, and now I get it. Put this up there with Tribe Called Quest as some of my favorite rap progenitors.

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4

Pure, clean flow. I don't normally listen to rap, but this was actually a very good listen.

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4

Okay so I'm not really a fan of alot of mainstream rap mainly for lines like "never stop thrustin into your system" which kinda caught me off guard but some songs i really really loved on this album One of my fav tracks was the execution of a chump cos i really loved the beat and the sound 4/5 pleasantly surprised <3

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4

Wasn't familiar-now I am! Listened to Gang Starr all day. Who's Gonna Take the Weight was my fave song, but no bad ones here imo!

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4

I liked this one. Very smooth flow and great beats. Good lyrics too. Would definitely listen again.

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4

Surprisingly, I liked it. This just might encourage me to seek out more simmilar hip hop

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4

Funky Funky Funky - Funky Beats from Premier and Rhymes from the MC represented the common man. Had a lot of fun with this

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4

back to back, let's go!

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4

Prefs: Step in the Arena, Who's Gonna Take The Weight?, Check The Technique, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Street Ministry, Just To Get A Rep, As I Read My S-A Moins pref: Precisely The Right Rhymes

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4

Never heard this and really, really liked it.

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4

Fine - didn’t finish yet

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4

Step in The Arena, Daily Operation, Hard To Earn - they always sounded equally good to me - just very consistent, high-quality rap albums- and to have one of these albums included in the 1001 list is very nice.

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4

Guru has an iconic voice

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4

4.25

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4

I enjoyed this album quite a bit. The samples and beats were classic east coast hip hop with the jazzy feel and the vocal delivery was very intentional and methodical. Though this album was long, I was able to get through it without any fatigue

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4

dikke priem, wel veel van hetzelfde maar daarom juist chill om dit te luisteren tijdens het leren

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4

Very nice. I liked it!

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4

This is the second Gang Starr album that I've heard, and it’s much better than the one that I listened to. Production on this album isn't that crazy, but I can excuse that. I feel like when Dr. Dre released The Chronic just one year later is when production really got amazing, with all the amazing samples that he used. The chemistry between Gang Starr and DJ Premier is just fucking amazing. I mostly know DJ Premier for the stuff that he's done with Ye, Eminem and Royce Da 5'9, but he's been given us these amazing scratches for so long that it's obvious why people would have him on their album. The only times that I've really listened to Gang Starr is when his 8 Mile track comes on, but I feel like that has to change after this. The cover art is kind of basic, but I can forgive it. It was the 90's, and It’s cool to me such a young Gang Starr and DJ Premier. Also, the font that they use is pretty cool. Favourite track would be "Execution Of A Chump", because it sounds like this is something that actually happened to Gang Starr due to the rone that he is using. Least favourite track would be nothing, since I have no idea if I tracks are worse than other Gang Starr tracks, since I haven't heard many 9/10

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4

I always think of myself as someone who doesn’t like rap and hip-hop but whenever I hear this earlier stuff from the 90s I really like it.

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4

classic 80s/90s rap. solid beats and tight rhymes. nothing flashy, just simple and well-executed.

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4

I really loved the run of songs from "Who's Gonna Take the Weight" to "Check the Technique." I ended up loving this album. A nice refresher from the past few we've listened to as I was excited when each new song started. The lyrics were snappy, smart, and could be anything from funny to poignant.

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4

Great stuff. And the first time I've heard The Band sampled.

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4

I really dig it

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4

Guru could read a dictionary and I would listen to it

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4

This is yummy

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4

Guru's a great rapper but Premier's production in this is on another level. Great record.

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4

The execution here is on point. Everything solid about MC/rapper combos is here. The flow is confidently smooth and laced with intelligence. The 90's is heavily here without needing all the "it was the times" qualifiers. Those pieces of The Chronic, The Predator, and The Low End that aged horribly are missing here without losing the cultural relevance to the moment of its creation. That elevates the work. Maybe it wasn't on the charts like those other albums but the slow burn here is a legacy play that'll last longer.

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4

rap innit

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4

Very enjoyable chill album. Very easy to listen to the lyrics.

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4

Awesome 90s Hip-Hop album. Great lyrics.

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4

I've heard great things about Hard to Earn and Moment of Truth, so I'm glad my expectations were met with this record. In a time where gangsta rap was on the rise, we have rappers like Q-Tip and Guru with smooth verses and intricate samples. It's simple, no experimental sounds, the songs don't evolve much, and they're fairly short, with tracks in the 2nd half hardly ever passing 3 minutes. This just an MC and his DJ, and it's among one of the best I've seen. Excellent scratching, beats, mixing, and pacing. Samples are groovy: jazz, funk, and soul. It suffers as expected. It's a bit too long for 50 minutes. And I found myself spacing out for many of the tracks. By the 2nd half, there were only a few highlights that would attract my attention. Also the cut to "As I Read My S-A" was harsh and loud. Favorites: Step Into the Arena, Who's Gonna Take the Weight, Check the Technique, Precisely the Right Rhyme

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4

4.5

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4

I well enjoyed this. I liked that some of the songs were about quite banal things like your girlfriend getting jealous and changing weekend plans. I thought it was really easy listening with fun samples. I think Avalanches must have re sampled some of these. Would listen again

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3

More song I knew than I realised! Good chilled out early hip hop!

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3

Melko solidia old schoolia

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3

This is amazing. I love the musicality of this album. The production does have an 80's vibe but not in the synth way that I usually think of 80's music. I will be listening to this again for sure.

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3

Good lyrics, not my favorite delivery. Beats are okay, “softer” than most rap from the time.

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3

A great rap album from the early 90s.

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3

Enjoyed this one more than some of the other 90s hip hop. Lyrically strong without unnecessary excessive profanity. I'm trying to focus more on the lyrical quality of this genre to help me enjoy it more.

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3

Some good beats and classic messages

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3

That bell sound is back on Say Your Prayer, fucking love that little bell. This was a 3 until I read that all this is produced with two turntables. The production was getting a bit repetitive but if all they're working with is samples on a turntables then fair enough. His rhymes are a bit cheesy at times but all up pretty sick.

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3

DJ Premiere! Otherwise, sure it’s pretty good.

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3

Consistently great, classic, sample-heavy production from DJ Premier. Guru is a solid rapper, but ESPECIALLY in this early album, it's a lot of early, not-very-interesting cliched styles.

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3

Solid rap and beets. I wasn’t wowed by anything.

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3

Liking the low-key delivery and presentation; this drink goes down smooth. 6/10

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3

Ganstar rap is exactly what it is: old school rap. Not particularly great, but not bad either

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3

This is old-school rap at its finest, plenty of great classic soul/funk loops and thoughtful rhymes.

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3

Old school hip hop. It might be key record back in the day, now it sounds dated and not special...

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3

5.5

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3

3.3 - Classic old school hip hop sound. Sunny, poppy, "conscious." Some corny rhymes here and there, but overall there's plenty to like.

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3

Ayy I've listened to this one before. Big Mos Def vibes but not as good

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3

Not quite sure how these guys had passed me by until now. Coming to it 30 years late it obviously sounds pretty old school but you can see the influence they had on loads of people who came after them, including some of my favourite artists like Jurassic 5. Enjoyed it, but probably enjoy what it led to more.

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3

Not usually my kind of tunes, but surprisingly enjoyed this. Witty rhymes and lyrics that are actually interesting and I also really liked the music. Cool strings/ brass and piano up in there. Getting Diggable/ tribe called Q vibes. *who's gonna take the weight, beyond comprehension, Check the technique, as I read my S-A

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3

Decent grooves.

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3

Good album. It is the sort of hip hop I like.

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3

Enjoyed this, not listened to these two before though I've heard of Premier. Good 3*

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3

Had three listens. I do really like it, but... BAD THINGS: I never pay any attention to actual lyrics (besides the enunciation of individual phrases) and that's the main appeal of rap music, so I'm unlikely to ever score hip-hop a high mark because my brain just ignores all the best features of this music. Hopefully I can get out of that trap over time. GOOD THINGS: Great style, love the brass and guitar samples making it all jazzy, and all the basslines are incredibly groovy. I like that the lyrical content isn't so vulgar like in some hip-hop, but the lyrics are delivered in a very assertive manner which comes across well. FAVOURITE TRACKS: "Take A Rear", "Who's Gonna Take The Weight", and "Step in the Arena".

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3

Meh. The problem with 90's hiphop is that we have Kendrick Lamar now and he is the King.

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3

Ah 90s hip-hop, feels like a distant paradise in a sea of mumble-bumble bollocks. I'm not saying there isn't a time and a place for mumble rap, it just doesn't fit into my schedule very often. Anyway... Step In The Arena was an album that gave me a brilliant feeling. I love the old school beats and the old school everything to be honest. Only reason it isn't getting higher is due to the album not having any absolute stand out tunes on there for me. I liked Step In The Arena but generally, this is an album full of pretty good tunes. I'm loving it more for the vibe.

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3

Cool beats

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3

ух ты нихуя себе реп хз почему этот альбом сунули, он самый слабый т.к. самый первый да и 91й год это ж пиздец базовый уровень. слышно прям явно как все реперы того времени вдохновлялись ракимом - тематика без особой жести, слабенькие панчи про то какой я КРУТОЙ, а вы ФУФЛО максимально поверхностные, за такие щас засмеют. хотя на то время это было пиздец прорывом и потом лет 5 все так и звучали. строчки с плотно уложенным текстом на всю длину такта и иногда выходящие на новую строку тоже отличительная черта. про биточки уж че и говорить, два прихлопа да погнали зато сигнатурный скретчинг премьера в первозданном виде кек вместо этого альбома лучше б 1998 Moment of Truth включили, раз уж репа тут так мало рип гуру хули

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3

Нормальная тема, хоть ни в одну тему особо и не залип. Особенно удачным показался второй трек. Флоу бодрый, но не слишком харизматишный или технишный. Думаю, продукт своего времени, для которого было збс. Ныне немного скушновато. Но эстетикой олдскула норм веет, понадобилось бы - спиздил бит.

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3

Background music

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3

nice start. *takes notes* apparently the dj's name is premier and this dude's the guru. well so far it's exactly what i expected from the intro + year this came out. i like this well enough. i'm on song 3 and i'm bored already help. 'you puny protozoa'. this whole song is too much. he's not like the other rappers. 'strangely enough i've been struck, affected by her smile' lmao. it's a short thing but my fave track was 'say your prayers'. other than that one i liked 'precisely the right rhymes'. i'm most likely not coming back to this record but his lyrics were fun, the music was boring though. 2.5.

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3

Typical gang starr. Beats cah get repetitive but there are some good ones.

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3

Very cool and chilled. Great lyrics, great beats. That said, like a lot of hip hop I find it's in one ear, out the other, but that's just me. I don' think I really pay enough attention to it.

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3

-Seems like a step between early rap and more modern rap, with slightly more complex rhyme schemes than old school rap -"Lovesick" stood out as the best track -"Step In The Arena," "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow," and "What You Want This Time?" were pretty solid

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3

This album sounds like it must have been innovative at the time, and clearly Gang Starr is extremely talented. But it was not really our thing.

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3

Need to make a Playlist with Gangstarr and Aesop Rock.

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3

Very well made, great poetic lyrics. Quite repetitive on a full play through. “Love Sick” and “Take a Rest” are the standouts for me

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3

Alright album. Lyrically it’s above average. Beats are true to the 90s and only a couple songs stand out. Mostly it’s a standard 90s rap album. 6.5/10

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3

Really good instrumentals throughout. Some really great scratching as well, however, overall lacking in hooks and too similarly paced. Take a Rest/As I Read My S-A adds a much needed injection of pace but for the most part it feels like each song just blends into the next. Vocal cadence/flow very similar throughout as well and unfortunately rarely gripped me.

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3

Äntligen hip-hop!!! Typiskt old-school hiphopalbum, med långsamma beats och snabb rap i verserna, med samplade rader och record scratches i refrängerna. Välluttänkta verser, främst om hur Guru lyriskt mördar den andra MC:n. Lovesick (Dylan inspirerad??) behandlar hur berättarjaget har svårigheter i sin relation på ett mycket skickligt sätt rent textmässigt. Efter lite research verkar många hiphopheads hålla detta som Gang Starrs tredje eller fjärde bästa album, typ, vilket lovar väldigt mycket om resten av deras diskografi! Sammantaget ett väldigt bra, klassiskt hiphopalbum. DJ Premier med felfria beats som Guru rappar över med ett naturligt flow. Bästa låt: Just to Get a Rep.

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3

Classic Hiphop.

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3

Couldn’t get into this. I heard a lot of samples that I know I’ve heard elsewhere, these guys probably were first. I don’t know why I didn’t like this, seemed odd cadence and somewhat low energy. Still better than a lot of modern style.

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3

good rap

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3

August 11, 2021 (Aug 20) Not bad but I personally found it a little bland.

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3

Very much in the vain of de la soul, enjoyed

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3

// Favs: Check The Technique Score: Decent 3

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3

Liked this. Listened to a couple of times since, Just To Get A Rep is the best song on it.

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3

Nice chill old-school rap album

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3

3 stars. It’s good, but kind of basic 90s hip hop

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3

This was enjoyable.

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3

Not a huge rap fan but this wasn’t bad.

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3

Some classic beats here. Guru's flow can occasionally be a little simplistic and one note, but I enjoyed it more often than not. Call it a 3.5. Favorite tracks: "Check The Technique", "Take A Rest"

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3

My kind of hip hop. Mellow

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3

It was good to hear another side of hip-hop's golden age with this album. It may have seemed repetitive and a bit of a mixed bag at first, but there's a lot I found myself enjoying across the record. DJ Premier and Guru make a strong partnership, allowing each other's contributions to shine with no features. Guru's vocals are mellow, laid-back, setting a warm tone against Premier's even warmer, groove-laden sampling. My impression is that this is easy listening by hip-hop standards- no abrasive production, no aggressive vocals or violent and misogynistic lyrics. A Tribe Called Quest are the closest peer I can draw from my (limited) hip-hop knowledge, but for a relative beginner to the genre, it's ideal. The stage is set from the stand-out title track, and from there the sampling draws from some classic funk and soul, introducing me to some great tracks I hadn't heard before. In particular, the dramatic orchestral sample on "Check the Technique" (Marlena Shaw- "California Soul") and the sunsoaked brass and keyboard riff in "Lovesick" (Delfonics- "Trying to Make a Fool of Me") have pointed me towards songs I enjoyed more than anything on this album. The lyrics seem fairly repetitive- Guru repeatedly casts himself as an intellectual outsider, and laments hip-hop's downfall to commercialisation and violent lifestyles. It's an interesting perspective but feels like it's been covered after three tracks- maybe I just need to hear the lyrics more. It may not show much variation, and isn't always dynamic or upbeat enough to jump around to, but nonetheless I quickly found myself on my third listen, bobbing along to "Who's Gonna Take The Weight." At the very least, this is strong background music and it's also certainly one of the smoothest, most considered hip-hop albums I've heard.

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3

This was cool, but definitely worked better on the tracks with fuller or funkier beats, otherwise his monotonous flow fell flat

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3

Gang Starr has always been kinda mid in my opinion

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3

Good for non active listening. Some annoying samples in the back sometimes.

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3

A typical but enjoyable rap album from the 90s. 0 recognized songs

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3

I'm very unfamiliar with early 90s hip hop, so this felt a bit dated, but I also appreciated its sound. Liked Check the Technique, Execution of a Chump.

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3

Not my thing really

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3

Dentro de lo que puede tocar de Rap y Hip Hop he descubierto que este estilo me gusta más, donde hay sampleos, beats y rimas y de menos se conserva una buena calidad para cantar. De este disco quizá mi única observación es que fue un poco más largo de lo necesario.

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3

3.5 | Disco muy muy solido. Bien hecho. Excelentes beats. Letras con propuesta que se siente entre una mezcla de Public Enemy y A Tribe Called Quest. Musicalmente muy bien mezclados los elementos de jazz y la instrumentación que se sale un poquito del género, aunque para estos años tampoco es que estuvieran haciendo parteaguas en ese sentido. No lo conocía y veo que es un disco muy aclamado. Quizá no me convenza a ese grado de ponerlo en un pedestal pero se me hace un disco muy muy sólido con mucha calidad... que sufre como tantos discos de hip hop en ser quizá demasiado largo.

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3

Cultured hiphop. I was aware of Guru but had never listened to Gang Starr, worth revisiting.

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3

Not my type of music but the lyrics were strong and powerful. It also had some beats that will catch you dancing.

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3

It's ok, I get that it's influential but most of the lyrics are just bragging about how great they are. Some tracks are better than others.

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3

Premier is probably the best producer of all time, and I love many Gang Starr tracks, and RIP to Guru. But I never really enjoyed his flow, it's a bit outdated now, and this album doesn't change that.

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3

better than expected.

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3

Very classic early learning center rap

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3

I liked this quite a bit! The backing track / beats / music is quite good and varied enough to keep the album interesting.

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3

Hiphop sin estridencias. Sintetizadores y estilo ochentero.

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3

Nice bit of old school hip-hop

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3

im not a big fan of "old school" hip-hop simply due to the fact that with innovative artists we have nowadays (kanye west, kendrick lamar, danny brown), listening to the pioneers makes it easy to find faults - it can feel a lot more limited and overall, more confined. regardless, i really enjoyed this album more than i thought i would. the album does drag its feet a little bit going into the second half, but the flow is usually fun and enticing, which can, in turn, be said for the instrumentals. it's a pretty fun album, i would say it's far from perfect and does tend to overstay its welcome, as well as getting quite repetitive. nonetheless, it's clear to see why this release is listed here. holds some great highlights too, i.e Check The Technique.

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3

Mid school old school bit laboured by today's standards

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3

was alright, not so much my style I guess

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3

3/5

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3

I liked it

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3

I appreciate the lack of curse words in these songs. It’s refreshing to know hip hop can be done well without them. However, the beats are quite primitive and lead to a lack of excitement to hear this again.

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3

I've been sleeping on Gang Starr, despite the fact that they seem to be the originators of my favorite subgenre of hip hop, alongside groups like the Roots, De La Soul, Jurassic 5, and others. While overall I don't think Gang Starr is quite on the level of the best of the genre, I really enjoyed "Step in the Arena." The only song I knew was "Check the Technique," and either because of familiarity or the great strings it was my favorite on the album. Guru's rapping is occasionally a bit too slow in a cornier 80s hip-hop type way, and while he’s got some good lyrics overall his flow is solid but the he’s the weak link here. DJ Premier does a fantastic job of mixing classic beats and scratching with jazz and rock elements. He’s the highlight of the album. While I loved hearing Gang Starr's music, my favorite thing I learned about them today is that each episode title of the first season of the Netflix series Luke Cage, based on the Marvel Comics character, was named after a Gang Starr song. Gang Starr was surpassed by those they inspired, but they’ll get an extra star for their influence.

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3

Gifted. Unlimited. Rhymes. Universal. I listened to this a little in the 90's after getting into the Hard to Earn album (which was released after this) and GURU's Jazzmatazz which was great. Though it was good to go back in time and listen, I didn't think much about the album. Though I have respect for GURU, this album is forgettable and sounds dated, so does HTE.

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3

Rating: 6/10

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3

Really enjoyed this album. Classic hip hop. Great samples. Sounded great in headphones.

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3

Solid, but not spectacular. I can listen to Gang Starr all day, but there is never one song that I'd tell a friend "you HAVE to listen to this song"

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3

Preferred yesterday’s Wu-Tang Clan album but this had some good tunes

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3

3/26/2022 Today's Album: "Step In The Arena" by Gang Starr - Being a rap album from the same era as Straight Outta Compton, this album feels like a step up. The first track is the title track Step In The Arena and is a great introduction to this mellow, grooved out, rap music. It has a similar issue in it's verse structure as SOC, where each line has a rhyming counterpart, but this album does it with much more finesse. It still feels boring after a little while, but there is so much more character and intent behind each of the verses being spit on this album. The bass throughout these tracks is super in the mix and super deep/dark. It gives this booming feeling to each track and does a lot to stylize the album. As we get into the track list, the instrumentals seem to only get more interesting as the vocals get more and more difficult to slog through. Maybe I just really can't appreciate this genre, because it is so unbearable how inherently uninteresting this way of rapping sounds to me. Each track sounds like such a let down, as the beats lure me in with the authentic and dark production, but the rappers suck every ounce of energy out of it. Getting pretty done with the generator recommending these let-downs. As far as I can tell, one of these rappers has some real potential. I can't tell which ones, but the Highlighs section is pretty much all of his tracks because he just has more charisma. He still uses that annoying cliché in his rhyming, but he mixes it up with lengthened lines and smart wordplay. The song Lovesick has a truly amazing beat, welcoming me in with soft guitar plucking and that ever-present warm bass. The flow isn't bad on this track and I think that they work well as a group when they are singing about love (for whatever reason), but it is a really nice track overall. I really like the telephone sample in What You Want This Time?, but as usual it gets pretty ruined by the rapping. Also, they just mostly rap about being good at rapping, despite it being the literal worst part of this project. Seriously, though. It is all they rap about. The rest of the track list doesn't leave a very large impact except for Precisely The Right Rhymes, which has a bass so overblown it made my walls shake and my ears hurt for a sec. So, I would say overall that although there are a ton of really cool instrumental ideas all over this record, it never ends up hitting quite right due to the lack of performative talent form 1, or sometimes both, of the rappers in this group. Listen to it if you really dig soul instrumentals and can overlook some plainly bad rap verses throughout most of the tracks. Score: 6.5/10 Almost really good. Highlights: Step In The Arena, Beyond Comprehension, Lovesick, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, As I Read My S-A

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3

Better than I expected. More musical than similar of the genre. Cover art 1/5 zero thought went into this.

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3

gangstaaa

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3

Guru was astonishing. Frowning cuz I'm down in the dumps The other night I took her out So she could shake her rump Exactly.

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3

It's a genre I like and this is a good, if not great, example.

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3

Not impressive at all but it's endurable

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3

Musically, I really enjoyed this. Lyrically, it's the usual mix of genre stuff, but some is quite clever.

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3

It was good, but it wasn't something that stood out too much. There are a lot of 90's hip-hop albums I would rather listen to, but it's still decent.

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3

Really feel like I must be missing something with this album. It didn't particularly grab my attention. Decent use of samples, beats were good, but lyrically, I just zoned out. Vintage hip-hop, yes. Nostalgic, maybe. Best hip-hop album ever, I just don't see it.

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3

Not heard this before and impressed by it.

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3

Is there a general term for the transition hip-hop made from 1988 to 1992, a period we can now recognise as rather tumultuous for the genre? During these years, we observed the rise (and occasional fall) of, among plenty others, Public Enemy, Ice-T, NWA, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, MC Hammer, Arrested Development, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Will Smith, and my faithful friends, you know that several of those ultimately proved detrimental: just ask Chris Rock! (I'm already embarrassed to have made that joke, and that's while I'm typing it right now). Regardless of that, hip-hop was a significantly different entity at the start of 1993 than it was at the end of 1987; in 1987 America, a rapper was someone a sitcom grandmother would impersonate in a bum-moisteningly embarrassing routine about why her grandkids should never even look at marijuana, whereas in 1993 America the actress who played that granny would be calling the police twice a day over her fears at seeing a "rapper" in her neighbourhood. Now, I'm speeding over much relevant history and culture of those four years, but forgive me; you're smart, you can fill in the details yourself (actually, was there that much hip-hop about the end of the Cold War? Loads of rappers gave their takes on 9/11, to varying levels of taste). Gang Starr fit into the alternative hip-hop of the period, having a firm foot in really old-skool hip-hop with their beats and good-natured bravado, yet showing a greater sophistication than their predecessors, both musically and lyrically (the sample from the French electropop anthem E.V.A. is wonderful), and broadly, the album works. One aspect that stands out from this album is its clear intelligence. As much as it flaunts a cockiness, it always mitigates it with the sober realisation that arrogance, or indeed the desire to be arrogant, leads to many a fall, many a humiliation, and many a fuck-up. But I can't ignore the grumbles I have. The tracks feel rather samey, so quite a few tracks feel fillersome, meaning that the album feels far longer than it is. This lack of diversity also causes the listener to drift, generating the perverse conclusion that you think the rhymes might be interesting, but you're not interested enough to pay attention. The standout tracks (Step in the Arena, Who's Gonna Take the Weight?, Just to Get a Rep) are fantastic, and the album never sounds bad at all, but one wishes for a few more fireworks. Still, it does have the merit of thoughtfulness. Much hip-hop of the era had that quality, but much else didn't (much managed both simultaneously; Public Enemy and Ice Cube decided to fight racism with racism). An interesting artifact from an era of interesting artifacts, but this at least is interesting in itself, and not just historically interesting, unlike 2 Live Crew declaring their yearning for pussy or Vanilla Ice imploring ninjas to go, go, go.

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3

Hip-hop. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

Pretty good… I don’t really like rap, but I did like “Execution of a Chump.” I understand that this album was a pioneer in early rap, but it was kind of repetitive after awhile. Unlikely that I would listen to it again.

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3

meh

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3

6/10. More pleasant than I was expecting.

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3

Look, Gang Starr is classic, but you’re gonna include this and not Paid In Full or Road To Riches? U crazy Robert

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3

My name is eirik and im here to say type flow

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2

I guess this falls somewhere between ice cube and ice-t, but it's nowhere near as good as either of those. Sounds like early 90s hip hop but without any samples, nothing really stands out, just plods along and acts a bit too intellectual. 2/5.

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2

Aika joutava levy. Ei jäänyt mieleen...

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2

Very basic rap album without a lot of beats and very clean rap. Not bad, just too long and too monotonous

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2

90s hip hop has not aged well. While I understand that it was probably influential and novel when it came out, on today's standard is (musically, not lyrically) less relevant

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2

Too good for my taste & patience I think.

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2

eh, decent content subpar rapping

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2

Hip-hop rap. Rollo. Sin más.

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2

Hip hop

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2

Good, but not for me.

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2

Considering hip hop isn't really my thing, I didn't hate this. I was bopping along with it at times but it was quite tough to listen to for 50 minutes straight so I had a few breaks from it.

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2

Not for me

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2

Not my thing.. Very repetitive..

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2

No connection whatsoever.

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2

It's alright. Decent tunes and rapping but lyrics a bit shit.

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2

да уныль какая-то. репчик тех времён для меня во многом зависит от битла, ибо практически все флоу были монотонной и просторифмованной бубнежкой. ну а здесь, есчесн, одни из самых раздражающих и бесполезных битов, что я слышал. вероятно худшее использование волынки в треке (хотя может это и трубы были, хуй поймёшь). Плюс минус зашли meaning of a name и say your prayers (которая бля звучит как заставка гта сан андреас, я хз связаны ли они как-то). Неинтересный альбом, стронг фри ту э лайт фо

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2

Eh, I know I’m supposed to like gang Starr and I’m sure he’s respected for a reason, but I just find listening to him boring. Step into the arena is good

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2

Rap is just not for me.

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2

I kinda see why some people see this album as a classic piece of east-coast hip hop, but I just can't hear it. The production is awful, with cymbals that are overplayed to a ridiculous extent and annoyingly sharp jazzy sounds that almost drown out some great lyrics. This mostly happens on the first half of the record, but I lose my patience on the second half due to the same boring, not hard-hitting, average, choppy rapping. 2/5.

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2

Music is a mediocre sort of rap

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2

Solid listen. Premier beats are top notch and Guru's rhymes are somehow smooth and sharp. Execution of a Chump was my favorite track

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2

Not my style

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2

More intersting than most hiphop albums, but pretty boring.

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2

The title track was alright, but honestly the album just felt like average hip hop of that time. Not bad, not great. 2/5 stars.

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2

I am not greatly into rap although I do appreciate it as an art form and expression. This was typical old skool rap and the flows were good, he has a nice tone. I likes some of the beats but the lyrics were not that clever.

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2

Not my kind of music 😞

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2

Good rap is still rap.

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2

Washed over me. Didn't hear anything that particularly felt revelatory but at the same time wasn't paying a huge amount of attention to the lyrics.

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2

Like most 90s rap, hasn’t aged well

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2

Felt like a pretty generic early hip hop album. Not bad but nothing special

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2

1. Name Tag 0:36 - nice little intro skit 2. Step in the Arena 3:37 - decent bars. beat is weak though was bored half way through 3. Form of Intellect 3:40 - Like the beat of this song a bit more but nothing in this track blew me away. 4. Execution of a Chump (No More Mr. Nice Guy Pt.2) 2:41 - decent. 5. Who's Gonna Take the Weight? 3:56 - Not thrilled about this one. 6. Beyond Comprehension 3:13 - meh. 7. Check the Technique 3:58 - Again not bad but not great. 8. Love Sick 3:27 - Again not bad but not great. 9. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow 2:18 - Again not bad but not great. 10. Game Plan 1:08 - interlude 11. Take a Rest 4:21 - I really like bass line sampled in this track, it is a shame the rest of the track doesn't measure up. 12. What You Want This Time? 2:41 - not great. 13. Street Ministry 1:25 - Short little track, nothing noteworthy though. 14. Just To Get A Rep 2:42 - Average 15. Say Your Prayers 1:24 - Average 16. As I Read My S-A 3:02 - not great. 17. Precisely The Right Rhymes 3:25 - My favorite song of the album, interesting lyrics and a decent beat. 18. The Meaning Of The Name 2:55 - Truly saved the best for last. I was expecting to write this song off but I like it even better than the last track. Maybe I am judging this album unfairly by applying 2021 standards to it. I realize that albums like this laid the ground work for really interesting stuff to come but I am not a rap historian whose mission it is to appreciate the birth of an art form, I am just a guy who wants to listen to good music. I was going to score it a 1/5 but the last two songs saved it and bumped the whole album up a star.

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2

I think a lot of the songs sound a bit too dated but I can appreciate the album for what it probably once was

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2

Seems pretty solid, background music is good and raps sound ok. Didnt have to skip around much. 2

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2

I find old school rap to be pretty boring. This album has some good beats but i don't think i will return to it anytime soon.

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2

Anonymous early 90's rap sound...forgettable. 2/5

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2

Sorry, but no.

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2

Classic early 90s rap/hiphop. Lyrics are creative and varied but don’t always go anywhere. No stand out tracks. Background beats are repetitive. Skipped one or two tracks.

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2

I dunno, it seems like fairly uninspiring hip hop to me. If anything he sounds as bored as I felt.

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2

I might recognize why this is in the list, but the entire album felt like listening the first three songs in a loop, always the same thing over and over. Not my type of music, I guess…

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2

Dont like this type of music.

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2

Firstly I have to profess I'm a Hip-hop dunce but something like "It takes a Nation of Millions" is raw and addictive and came before this. I think this is like the cleaned up 'presentable' version of Hip-Hop dreamed up by Spike Lee and presented to America? It's like the equivalent of 'Fresh Prince' only it's not funny. 'Who's gonna take the weight?' is a good track but only because it's a Public Enemy clone. It's not bad, only middle of the road.

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2

Not really my cup of Gang Starr Tea

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2

Fun samples, vintage beats, but again this is nothing earth or butt shaking. Never heard it before, won't be listening again

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Definitely give them credit for writing thoughtful powerful lyrics, but I really don't like the delivery style, it has a muddy/muffled sound (reminds me of digital underground) with a lot of 80's sounding rap accent noises inserted (exaggerated scratches, sirens, horns). Doesn't age well for me.

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2

"you're heating up like a thermostat?" no. that's it.

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2

Quite boring honestly. I kind of liked “As I read my S-A”

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2

Didn't mind it, a few songs had me bobbin my head. I liked Lovesick and Execution of a Chump Although, as is the case with most hip hop, the song structures are extremely repetitive, so it bored me sometimes. I felt the album was too long for what it was worth, with a lot of fluff.

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2

Not bad actually, the tunes are reasonably pleasant if a bit uninspiring

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2

Not quite my jam, but I could appreciate some of the tracks.

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2

Picks up steam as it goes along but can't escape some fatal design flaws – most beats are built around either repetitive or straight-up annoying samples (or both!) that grate across the space of a 3-minute track, and the bars tend to feel somewhat monotone and uninspired. There are several high points where the production and delivery rise to the occasion, but mostly this LP just feels a bit hollow.

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2

not really my kinda music

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2

Their early stuff isn't as good as the later but still some good tracks on this one

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2

Not bad but not great

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2

Detta albums sensmoral: Guru är episk på mikrofonen och i allmänhet. Bra beats dock.......

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2

Não foi dessa vez que eu consegui escutar atentamente um álbum de hip hop.

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1

...

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I am not a big fan of rap. As I have to listen to much to the lirics, as english is not my first language. The message in the music will not come over to me therefore. I think it is a good album but no idea what it is about.

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1

Niet mijn smaak. Kale beats, te weinig melodie voor mij.

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1

Er is een muziekstijl waar ik niet lang naar kan luisteren., op enkele uitzonderingen na. Dit album is dat typische voorbeeld van eentonigheid, met een monotone stem en weinig creativiteit in de beats. Als rap eigenlijk zo bedoelt is, dan past het precies binnen mijn belevingswereld en daardoor misschien juist wel een goed album.

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1

Oh the longing for Mozart this album causes .....

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1

Not interested

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1

Rap, hurt my ears ...

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1

mehh, ég fíla ekki rapp

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1

1/5 this went south quickly.

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