Thursday, May 26, 2016

GANGSTARR 4 EVA


The Sun Rises In The East, the classic debut album from Brooklyn, NYC-based emcee and former Gang Starr affiliate Jeru The Damaja, celebrated its 22nd anniversary a couple days ago. This was notably the first release to be entirely produced by DJ Premier that wasn't a Gang Starr album. With four GS joints already under his belt, Premo provided the perfect hard and grimy boom bap soundtrack to compliment Jeru's commanding vocal tone and intelligent street lyricism. These are some of the hardest and overall best Premo beats of all time, with the lead single "Come Clean" being one of the greatest songs in the history of hip hop, period; Jeru flips three memorable verses over the thumping boom bap equivalent of a dripping faucet, with a vocal sample from Onyx's "Throw Ya Gunz" scratched in for good measure. "D. Original" and "You Can't Stop The Prophet" were also released as singles (with the latter being superbly remixed shortly after by the legendary Pete Rock), while Jeru dishes on gold diggers on "Da Bichez", addresses racism on "Ain't The Devil Happy" and trades lines with fellow former Gang Starr affiliate Afu-Ra on "Mental Stamina". In addition, "Brooklyn Took It" and "Jungle Music" are probably the best album cuts (or non-singles) on a project that is ultimately free of flaws or filler. The Sun Rises In The East is essential as fuck and a personal favorite of mine; easily one of the top five hip hop albums of 1994 and one of the most important defining releases to come out of both NYC and the East Coast at large. Also, I somehow didn't notice until well after the fact that the album cover is a bit of a mindfuck, eerily predicting 9/11 seven years before the tragic event. I must have posted this album at least four or five times already in the past few years, but that should you an indication of how much you need this joint in your life.