Gang Starr: Moment of Truth (1998). Holding The Torch High

Episode 137
27m | Apr 3, 2023

B. Cox reviews hip-hop duo Gang Starr's fifth album Moment of Truth as it turns 25. After a four year hiatus from their acclaimed 4th album 1994's Hard To Earn, Guru and DJ Premier returned to to the lab to craft their latest album among a changing landscape. Hip-hop, once thought to be a fringe fad when they debuted and when they first left, was now starting to explode commercially and was being sought after beyond the urban communities and into corporate America. In between albums, the two had their share of work and turmoil. Guru recorded another installment of his famed Jazzmatazz series and also faced two different pending legal charges and battled some personal demons, while Premier became a recognized as one of the top producers in the game by producing for multiple acts during the break, but suffered some losses of loved ones during this time as well.

The break and the adversity both men during it faced fueled their latest effort; crafting a well balanced and rounded out piece that reflected everything which made Gang Starr one of the best groups of their time. Guru's lyrics and emceeing rose to yet another level with his wisdom and experiences of the past few years driving his narrative to sights not seen before with Premier's beats meeting his mate's effort to a cinematic, with a Premier-type grit that served the soundtrack well. They were joined by a wide variety of featured guests such Inspectah Deck, M.O.P, Scarface, Freddie Fox, Big Shug, Shiggy Sha, a young G-Dep and singers K-Ci and JoJo. The combination led to arguably the group's most candid and complete work to date.

The album featured three singles: "You Know My Steez" "Royalty" and "The Militia". Despite with no major charting singles, the album was certified gold and stands as a contender for the crown jewel of the legendary duo's catalog.

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Show Notes

Albumism: Gang Starr's 'Moment of Truth' Turns 25 | Anniversary Retrospective

RockTheBells: Gang Starr's 'Moment of Truth' at 25

Glide Magazine: 25 Years Later: Revisiting Gang Starr's Locked In "Moment of Truth"

Ambrosia For Heads: DJ Premier speaks About How Real Moment of Truth was Hip-Hop and Gang Starr

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