Gang Starr

Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr

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Considering that the only previous hip-hop hits collection to stretch two full CDs came from 2Pac (and that only after his death), Gang Starr's Full Clip is a surprising release, though it's incredibly welcome. The duo of DJ Premier and Guru has been one of the longest continuous acts on the rap scene, beginning with 1989's No More Mr. Nice Guy and a spot on the soundtrack to Spike Lee's 1990 film Mo' Better Blues. And as demonstrated by Premier's stunning productions on classic early tracks like "Who's Gonna Take the Weight," "Words I Manifest," and "Just to Get a Rep," Gang Starr hit its stride early, and just kept on hitting peak after peak during the '90s with "Speak Ya Clout," "Code of the Streets," "Tonz 'O' Gunz," and "You Know My Steez." And new tracks, usually the bane of any best-of collection, provide quite a few highlights here -- including "Full Clip," "Discipline" (featuring Total), and "All 4 Tha Ca$h." Also, the set compiles several notable B-sides -- "The ? Remainz," "Credit Is Due," and "You Know My Steez (Remix)" -- as well as soundtrack works like "1/2 & 1/2" (from Blade), "Gotta Get Over" (from Trespass), and "The Militia II (Remix)" (from Belly). Though Guru's monotone raps can grate over the course of two hours, Full Clip documents one of the best, most underrated hip-hop groups ever, from their jazzy beginnings into Premier's harder productions from the mid-'90s and beyond.

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