Monday, September 14, 2015

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" (Album Review 2/91)


I posted a review of Step In The Arena from Hip-Hop Connection earlier, now let's go into this review from The Source, which says, "After listening to Gang Starr's first record in '89 I felt it was a record with a lot of good ideas but it seemed like a first draft. Then the "Manifest" remix became a hit and I was convinced that these guys had mad potential and would really be able to flex their complete creative muscle if they got signed by a major label. Boom! Here we are in '91 and Gang Starr is back, but this time they are on a major label with a dope new album that has a whopping eighteen cuts. This is plenty of music for your hard earned duckets and believe me this album is so far above and beyond their first record that you couldn't even compare the two." Cont'd below...


"On the production level, DJ Premier has woven together elements of jazz, fusion, blues, funk and hip-hop sensibilities to create a completely unique sound and style that will affirm his position in hip-hop's upper echelon of producers. Like A Tribe Called Quest's album, Step In The Arena stands alone on a musical level; yet it also remains true to hip-hop's underground heritage because as interesting and progressive the music is, it still retains a street feel." Peep the '91 Video Press Kit...


"The Guru Keithy E has an unorthodox poetic rhyme style combined with an offbeat delivery and a distinctive yet mellow voice that punctuates his style. At times his rhymes are a bit hard to digest but the smooth tracks make things turn out lovely. Premier has a knack for using phrases from familiar hip-hop songs that he cuts up severely for choruses and such. This is demonstrated best on songs such as "Form Of Intellect," where he cuts KRS-One saying, "Intellectual but not yet equivalent" and the slamming "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" where Kool Keith's line "You wack MC's!" is savagely cut up and segues into Biz saying "I'll see ya later" cut up lovely again by Premier."


"Eighteen songs may scare some people away, but have no fear because the music flows freely from one song to another, each with a distinct musical identity. When you've had your fill of the current crop of rappers (with notable exceptions) who are selling out or jumping on the newest bandwagon, pick up the Gang Starr album for something diverse, distinctive, and very funky." - The Source (2/91)