gang starr – moment of truth (1998)

In 1998, Gang Starr released one of hip-hop’s silkiest records of the 90s. ‘Moment of Truth’ found the duo well past their breakout, beyond critical acclaim, and planting a flag atop a definitive peak. The duo burst out of a dormant period of four years and unsettled what they saw as hip-hop’s burgeoning corporatocracy. As always, Guru’s measured flow was united with the wicked, hammering beats of sampling encyclopaedia DJ Premier, but the style here, as the former explains at the beginning, is ‘elevated’. It is both updated from and devoted to an old-school make-up. The clean, lustrous sheen laminating the production and all-round feel of the record belies the group’s obsession with mistrust: listen close and you’ll hear the anxious layers of lyricism above Premier’s ornate architecture.

29/30

A favourite: ‘The Militia’ feat. Big Shug, Freddie Foxxx

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