UPDATE (October 3, 2019): Gang Starr has dropped a visual for the J. Cole-assisted track “Family and Loyalty,” the prolific hip-hop duo’s first song in 16 years. The touching music video also honors the legacy of MC Guru, utilizing archival footage of the late rapper and a cameo from his son, Keith Casim.
“Keith was nine when his father passed away [in 2010] and he is now 19. I used to babysit him. [Keith] made me feel like Guru was there with me,” DJ Premier said in a statement. “I told him he has the same look in his eyes as his Father and everyone on set commented on how striking the resemblance is. It was real important to me to have Guru’s son be a major focus of the video.”
“Everything is very emotional and raw, because he’s not here, but his spirit is here,” Premier added. “We shot the first half of this video on Cole’s turf and we had a very limited window in North Carolina. Fab 5 Freddy called me and he was really worried he would not be able to fly in from New York due to Hurricane Dorian. I told Freddy that Guru was piloting the flight and he would get him here safely and on time; and he did.”
DJ Premier added, “We have so much unused footage [of Gang Starr] together, and with Guru’s lyrics I visualized him in the video as a picture book, a photo album that would capture our journey.”
ORIGINAL STORY (September 20, 2019): The most recent studio album from prolific hip-hop duo Gang Starr was released nearly 16 years ago, but as DJ Premier noted just yesterday, with the help of Nas, a new Gang Starr project would soon release. Today, DJ Premier is following through on his promise, releasing a celestial new cut that re-enlists the late MC Guru, equally tapping J. Cole for a well-placed feature.
Entitled “Family and Loyalty,” the new single is nothing short of a historic moment for hip-hop. Unreleased verses from Guru make up the crux of the track; his eclectic delivery throughout his verse and the overarching chorus is a much-welcomed return to the OG hip-hop form. Premier equally continues in showcasing why he’s one of the industry’s most prolific producers — ethereally sampled strings and keys intermingle with his iconic boom-bap breaks. Cole sounds right at home as well, bridging the OG sound with his newfound flow, riding over the instrumental in a way that isn’t overcrowding to the pair’s atmosphere — he melds perfectly alongside them.
The track is currently out in select international markets, but as midnight strikes on the East Coast, it will be available globally. You can stream Gang Starr’s latest single featuring J. Cole, “Family and Loyalty,” below.
For more related news, Mick Jenkins recently his first single of 2019.