Gang Starr – The Ownerz Anniversary

B002299401_0feb2ec3-d277-4b42-8392-5e3f731f987fGang Starr released their sixth and final studio album “The Ownerz” on June 24 2003.  The album was produced by DJ Premier and co-produced by Guru.  Two years later Gang Starr would break up officially only to be followed by Gurus death in 2010.

The album has been categorized by many as the “weakest” of all Gang Starr albums and may only be better than their first album “No More Mr Nice Guy“.  Now calling it “weak” is not fair since everything these guys have ever given us is way above average!  So that says a lot about their discography.  The album has some great moments but does not have to cohesiveness that their other albums had!  The album was the follow up to “Moment of Truth” five years earlier.

The track “Skills” was the first single released and has a fly “Shadows” sample by The Mysterious Flying Orchestra which bumps slowly to emphasize Guru’s smooth lyrics.  This tracks bangs and is one of those Gang Starr classics.

It’s the, true enliven with a youthful vengeance
And I’m a judge rap is your ass give you a crucial sentence
You need at least twelve jewels to practice
Your too enthusiastic male groupie bastard
Still tryin to convince us some more
Pretendin your raw that’s what you need a minister for
Again it’s the law got you up against the wall
We the gulliest fuck it then it’s us against y’all
Mic skills type grills like I’m Michael Jill
Like when he write for the pill is how I stay for the ill
Slide off kid, and let a grown man finesse it
We bold and impressive that old manifest shit
Some new product from a known team
Niggas know me, and you can bet they know Preme
So here we go for your stereo
And you could tell that it’s real when you hear me go hear me go

The slow flow and beats continue on “Rite Where U Stand” featuring Jadakiss as Premier takes a dope Temptations sample and makes it perfect for Guru and Kiss to get their flow on!

I see you got the fear of God in you
We’ll tear your heart in two
Too bad you didn’t know what you got into
Yeah, the most righteous, till Malcolm got a close likeness
My name carry weight to capitate most vipers
Hot rhymes, spit a dime, hit a case beater
Flow is angry like I’m in your face with heaters
Chasin divas – nah, I don’t ever have to do that
P.I. till I die and I laugh at you cats
You happy perhaps cuz you got dough and bitches
But no love from streets only for moles and snitches
Only from the meatlapin, suckers won’t see it happen
Cross that line, then it’s time for the heat clappin
I do my thing like the whole planet depends on me
I got game to make Janet wanna spend on me
Some say I’m trifflin and sometimes I’m rightfully am
Getcha man, I’ll lay him right where he stand

Now, what would a Gang Starr album be without a fly love song a-la “Ex Girl To Next Girl” and “Lovesick“?  On “Nice Girl, Wrong Place” Premier cuts up Curtis Mayfield’s “Kung Fu” nicely and makes it funky for Guru to spit his game on that chick he’s been eye-ballin!

What’s a nice girl like you doing here like this?
Busting your heels like this, I know you feel like shit
And you feel like calling the quits, but you need that dough
Paying for school, I can see that yo
You’re intelligent, similar to Angelo
I’m understanding you, I got big plans for you
Your whole awaistance got you going places
You chasing money, ain’t no funny faces
You’re/Your shit serious, niggaz is delirious
I like your little outfit, I like the way you’re wearin it
You say your last man was too jealous
You’re too young to settle down, girl I’ll let you tell it
You’re not a video chick, not a groupie bitch
Just an ambitious young woman with juicy lips
Remembering your face like this, my Henney chase like this
What you doing in a place like this

The gem in this album has to be “Same Team, No Games” where Guru, NYG’z and Hannibal Stax  pass the mike over a dope Premier beat that samples a old Lou Rawls track while Premier cuts up WC saying “Let the games begin” nicely!

YO, I’m the Jerry Rice to this, much too nice to quit
And just so you know, we never liked you kid
Since you ain’t wanna let niggers eat
I’m gonna convene with my team before
We gotta let the trigger speak
‘Cause nowadays yall rappers are carbon
Copies paws are sloppy, still its hard to stop me
Especially when I connect with my man, rep for my fam
We taking back the rest of our land
And we don’t really care if they say you are the shit
They playing your hits
We about to make our way in this biz
And let’s see if the gimmick last until the next season
In a flash, take your stupid ass out, give me the next reason
Flip for my peoples here, spit for my peoples here
Yeah… time to get rich with my peoples here
Cut of a snake’s head, then we break bread
Same team, no games
You underground trying to fake dead

The album also has posse cuts with Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx Capture Militia Part 3” and “Who Got Gunz” with Fat Joe and M.O.P.  The creepy part of this album is the final track namedEulogywhere Premier shouts out all of the “homies who ain’t here”.  The last track seemed like they were burying Gang Starr in the dirt.  All things do come to an end, and sadly on April 19th 2010 we lost Guru to cancer.  So on this anniversary of this album, we salute you Premier and Guru!  May you rest in paradise Guru!  Your voice will be forever missed!

-Al E.


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