Gang Starr

Genres: Urban & Rap
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Arguably hip-hop’s most literate, challenging act on both musical and lyrical fronts, Gang Starr comprises Guru Keith E (Keith Elam, 17 July 1966, Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA; vocals/lyrics) and DJ Premier (b. Christopher Martin, 21 March 1966, Houston, Texas, USA; music). Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) was born the son of a Boston municipal and superior court judge, but moved to Brooklyn following graduation with a degree in business administration from Atlanta’s Morehouse College. He had previously worked as a counsellor in a maximum detention home in Boston, an experience which would inform many of his lyrics. Gang Starr was in existence before DJ Premier joined, originally also comprising fellow rapper Damo D-Ski and DJ Wanna Be Down. Their early labours are recalled on cuts like ‘The Lesson’ and ‘ Bust A Move’, both of which were produced by DJ Mark The 45 King. However, they were at that time still Boston-based, and in...

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