November 25, 2019

Matthew Africa "The Best of Gang Starr" (Mix, 2010)

“Gang Starr is one of my favorite acts from the 1990s. There is no rap group I listened to more in that era, although De La Soul, Outkast & A Tribe Called Quest all run pretty much neck and neck. Still, in recent years I haven’t listened to Gang Starr much... Maybe it’s because in the last decade the school of hardcore hip hop that they defined stagnated and played out so hard. For me, this mix was about rediscovery... After reading about Guru’s health troubles, I devoted a 2-hour episode to Gang Starr’s music. It was my first time mixing a lot of the songs in years and it felt so good, so natural, that I knew I had to turn it into tape... I drew tracks from all six of Gang Starr’s albums, and each is represented more or less in proportion to how much I like it: 1992’s Daily Operation tops them all with 9 selections, although 1990’s Step in the Arena, 1994’s Hard to Earn and 1998’s Moment of Truth all feature prominently with 7, 6 and 5 tracks, respectively. The first and last albums got kind of short shrift, although there were more songs I would have included from each if I hadn’t run out of space. They have one of the strongest catalogs in rap music and there were a lot of additional songs, verses and scratch parts I wish I could have included...” - Matthew Africa, 3/16/10. A moment of silence for the legendary Bay Area DJ, Matthew Africa, who was tragically killed in a car accident on 9/3/12. R.I.P. to him and Guru, who were taken from us far too soon.