The group Gang Starr is one of my favorite groups or duo, however you want to look at it. Guru and DJ Premier have put out classic tracks together and that continued with their fourth album. Hard to Earn was released 25 years ago today. On one hand you had Guru, one of the illest and smoothest dudes to ever touch a mic. With DJ Premier, he’s definitely in the upper echelon of producers and considered one of the best to ever do it. Let’s just say this, you know a DJ Premier beat when you hear it, kind of similar to J. Dilla, Dr. Dre or Timbaland. Hard to Earn was the follow-up to their Daily Operation that was released in 1992. Hard to Earn produced one of the best hip hop tracks ever in Mass Appeal. Whenever you hear cyphers, the beat to this track is usually played.
DWYCK was the next single and it featured Nice & Smooth. The final single from the album was another banger, Code to the Streets. Group Home, Jeru the Damaja and Big Shug also appeared on the album. While the albums from Gang Starr didn’t sell like they should, they’re still one of the more respected duos in hip hop history. Unfortunately, the two had a fallout and never patched things up. In April of 2010, Guru passed away after a heart attack put him into a coma because of cancer. Below is the track listing to the album, Hard to Earn and it’s followed by the streaming link.
- Intro (The First Step)
- Code to the Streets
- Tonz O’ Gunz
- The Planet
- Aiiight Chill…[Skit] ft. Nas, A.G., Masta Ace, MC Eiht, DJ Scratch & Mister Cee
- Speak Ya Clout ft. Lil Dap & Jeru the Damaja
- DWYCK ft. Nice & Smooth
- Words from the Nutcracker ft. Melachi the Nutcracker
- Mass Appeal
- Blowin Up the Spot
- Suckas Need Bodyguards
- Now You’re Mine
- Mostly tha Voice
- Comin’ for Datazz
What do you think about the album? What’s your favorite track off the album? What are your thoughts about Gang Starr? Leave some feedback below about the Hard to Earn album or Gang Starr.