Murs, My Favorite Gang Starr Albums Are…

As one of California’s underground kings, Murs has made a name for himself with honest music and true school values. He’s also made waves with his collaborative work with producer 9th Wonder (Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition, Sweet Lord, and Fornever). Knowing a thing or two about producer/rapper discs, he broke bread with XXL to discuss one of the best to ever do it. Here, Murs makes his personal picks for best Gang Starr albums.

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  • Pierzy

    Moment Of Truth is the…um…truth

  • Sha

    Man…. Hard To Earn was dope. But without question…. DAILY OPERATION!!! That album was so dope because there was NO OTHER HIP-HOP ALBUM WITH THAT SOUND!!! From the album artwork to the DJ Premier showing cats how to LOOP THE SAMPLES… This album by far exceeded any other album Gangstarr has done. It was done so well that cats started trying to pin-hole these dudes as “Jazz/Hip-Hop” artists. They eventually had to step away from this style. But without a doubt…. DAILY OPERATION IS THE BEST GANGSTARR ALBUM.

    But to my listeners please……. Dig into that year that Daily Operation was released and listen to other artists. NO ONE HAD ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO IT!

    And then listen to the year after Daily Operation and see how many cats tried to duplicate. DAILY OPERATION WAS THE SHIT!!

  • oskamadison

    Hard To Earn was their grimiest joint but their best all-around joint was Moment Of Truth. “You Know My Steez”, “Royalty”, “Work”, “Above The Clouds”, “The Set-up”, “Betrayal”, “Militia”….too many bangers.

    • iGotOnMyBackpack

      Nah, Moment of Truth is a little overrated. It’s their most popular album but Hard to Earn is the best Gang Starr album with Daily Operation coming in 2nd

      • oskamadison

        Moment of Truth is it for me but I’ll give you this: nothing on MoT can fuck with “Speak Ya Clout”. 3 of Preme’s hardest beats in one joint? I still bang that like it dropped yesterday. Before MoT, Step In The Arena was my favorite. It took me years to really appreciate Daily Operation (probably because Pete and CL had me with Mecca and the Soul Brother)though I liked at the time it dropped. The Ownerz was a bangin’ album but like most albums in ’03 (except Outkast’s Speakerboxx joint) got drowned in 50′s tidal wave.

  • Marcus Dessaso

    Moment Of Truth Is the Truth “The Mall”,B.I. vs Friendship,The last two tracks are some of the best primo beats i’ve ever heard,That is definitely the best album…Uno

    • oskamadison

      Speaking of The Mall, why does no one give dap to G-Dep for straight murkin’ that joint?

  • jp

    MoT is not only the best Gangstarr album but perhaps the last truly classic hip hop record aside from maybe Blueprint,from “U Know..” to “In Memory of” every song bangs. My favorite aside from Above the Clouds (Premier’s best beat) is My Advice to U. No need for the skip button = classic.

  • hate

    who give a fuck what murs favorite gangstarr album is?
    for real.
    maybe if you asked premier what his favorite one is, maybe then i would give almost half a fuck.

    this site would be completely irrelevant without bol.

  • El Tico Loco

    They’re all bangers why are you making us choose?

  • R. Cey

    My favorite is Hard To Earn but it’s probably due to the circumstances: I was aware of their previous joints like “Who’s gonnat Take The Weight?”, “Just To Get A Rep”, “Take It Personal”, etc. but that ’94 joint was their first release I purchassed on my own (no big brother lending the tape & shit).

    It was also a time when I was so passionate about Hip Hop, I was buying/dubbing tapes/Cd’s like there was no tomorrow, staying up late at night to records songs from college radios.

    Finally Preemo was at his zenith & GURU’s voice, subjects matter, Charisma (what they call swag nowadays) matched those beats like a glove.

    I believe, too, that since Gangstarr’s Fondation was in full effect (Jeru’s The sun rises…, Guru’s Jazzmatazz series, even that Bald Head Slick LP & Group Home the year after, Premier’s working with everybody that was dope @ the time) helped into getting me hyped to their shit

    MOT is dope too & I was extremely satisfied when I first heard it in full.

    It’s just those 2-3 years after when Preem’s styles, IMO, became redundant, very similar to what’s on that CD & that he started selling them to anybody (Afu-Ra, NYG’z) that he lost me.
    Then, No disrespect to the deceased, but GURU came to my city, drunk, maybe high, cursing the crowd out & insisting on rapping (just to be rapping) on NYE 2002, WTF? I just wanted to have a good time & this niccas messed it up.

    but yeah, Hard To Earn is the shit, 2nd golden age of Hip Hop…

  • chacho

    Moment of Truth was the best shit out! Yo Primo needs to drop a cd Dj Clue style with Nas Jay Z Kanye Em Wayne Joell Ortiz. Yup

    • swype-matic

      Besides Wayne, you on point

  • The1987Kid

    I think Step In The Arena is one the purest hip-hop albums in history, that album is raw vintage Gang Starr the album from top to bottom is classic songs like Form of Intellect, Check The Technique, Lovesick, Street Ministry & As I Read My S-A are just dope, Guru is so sharp & cerebral lyrically he sounds like the 2nd coming of the God MC Rakim but Guru always was original, arm with the 5 percernt knowledge of self, great storytelling mix with deep but simple internal rhyming & the socially conscious elments Guru proved that he was a force to be remembered, to me DJ Premier is at his rawest you can hear him experimenting deeply with different sounds, the crafty manupulation of the melodies of the jazz, soul & classical samples & the smooth knocking boom-bap drums. I love all of Gang Starr albums but this album is the one that gets me. This is way i love hip-hop no gimmicks, no filler just dope beats & dope rhymes that means something.

  • EmCDL

    ‘Hard To Earn’ will always be my favorite GangStarr album….that ish stays on repeat to this day (in fact I’m about to bump it now).

    I couldn’t really get into MOT the first time I heard it, but after the second time I warmed up to it.

    But Hard To Earn was that ish! Brainstorm (my fav), Speak Ya Clout, Now You’re Mine, Code Of The Streets, Mass Appeal, Suckas Need Bodyguards, Tonz O’ Gunz, Mostly Tha Voice….come on son! You have no choice but to play that album from beginning to end, no skipping! The only track I didn’t care too much for (but still don’t skip over regardless) was The Planet; couldn’t get into Guru’s flow it sounded choppy as hell.

    Daily Operation would have to be my second, followed by MOT and then The Ownerz.

    And co-sign oskamadison, G-Depp murdered that Mall track on MOT.

  • Jamal7Mile

    Hard To Earn did it for me, but they are ALL bangin’. Gotta admit I never copped Ownerz. I’ll catch up.

    Special recognition to the Jazzmatazz series…

  • Fireforreal

    I really like Juvenile more than B.G.

  • P. Harris

    Hard to Earn –> Code of the Streets, Mass Appeal, Speak Ya Clout, Dwyck…

    Moment of Truth was a banger but Hard to Earn was my jawnt…

  • Ev E

    I know its not just me, but doesn’t he look like Randy Moss at the end of the season last year! lol

  • Crackee

    Moment of Truth happens to be my favorite album of all time(not just fave Gangstarr).