Influential hip-hop duo Gang Starr have released their first new song in 16 years. “Family and Loyalty” features a verse by J.Cole, as well as vocals from late Gang Starr rapper Guru, who died from cancer in 2010.
It’s a nostalgia-inducing song for OG rap fans, with a mellow old-school hip-hop beat and of course rhymes from the late Guru. DJ Premier and Guru’s New York collective were incredibly influential in ’80s and ’90s hip-hop, until they went on hiatus after their seventh album ‘The Ownerz’ in 2003. They seemingly hadn’t reunited when Guru passed away seven years later.
On “Family and Loyalty” J.Cole raps about rhyming alongside Guru’s posthumous verse, saying: “J. Cole, who’d a thought you woulda been rhyming with ghosts/Guru flows forever.”
Speaking to NME, DJ Premier said of Cole’s contribution “When it comes to this generation of MCs, ones that are lyrically on the level that Guru was on and someone that he would want to work with; Cole is that guy. When Cole heard the record, he got the chills and knew it was a classic.”
It is unclear whether Gang Starr will be releasing more music. Listen to “Family and Loyalty” below.