Ownerz

The Ownerz

4.5 6
by Gang Starr
     
 

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Since pioneering the jazz-informed hip-hop that rose to popularity in the early '90s, Gang Starr's Guru and DJ Premier have been a model of consistency. With their seventh album, The Ownerz, the duo once again produce the same high-quality beats and uncompromising, streetwise raps that snagged an underground following. Thumping with just enough boom-bap and…  See more details below

Overview

Since pioneering the jazz-informed hip-hop that rose to popularity in the early '90s, Gang Starr's Guru and DJ Premier have been a model of consistency. With their seventh album, The Ownerz, the duo once again produce the same high-quality beats and uncompromising, streetwise raps that snagged an underground following. Thumping with just enough boom-bap and bounce to please longtime fans, The Ownerz balances pistol-packing rhymes ("Who Got Gunz," with Fat Joe and M.O.P.) with social commentary ("Deadly Habitz") and ghetto thug tales ("Sabotage"). Guru's wide-mouthed monotone is as nimble as it is straightforward, and Premier's beats -- chock-full of hardcore edge-scratches, disparate vocal snatches, chopped-up horn and string samples, and heavy drum kicks -- are as sharp as ever, even if the album suffers from a scarcity of ear-snagging hooks (see "Nice Girl, Wrong Place"). Although their star has yet to shine platinum, Guru and Premier have always kept the music first. On the funky, hypnotic first single, "Skills," Guru summarizes: "It's the music that the streets love / Each thug is now reppin' this with deep love / Gang Starr dueling again, ruling again / Watch as we do it again." Gang Starr may not rule the bling-bling world of modern-day hip-hop, but they are lords of the underground.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Quite a few chart-topping rappers came and went during the five years between Gang Starr's fifth and sixth LPs. So many, in fact, that it's tempting to think that commercial rap had taken a turn for the worse simply because the duo hadn't been back to tend the fires since 1998. Angry and intelligent as they'd ever been, Guru and DJ Premier came right back with guns blazing, ridiculing radio DJs and program directors as "f*cking robots" and proving their case with an album full of tough, kinetic hip-hop that blows away anything on the rap charts. Guru, never the most talented rapper on the East Coast, tightened his flow considerably to match his cutting verse, and DJ Premier only continued waxing lyrical with turntables and samplers. (Compared to his outside productions during the interim, it's clear he was holding back for Gang Starr a few can't-miss productions: "Put Up or Shut Up," "Skillz," the title track.) Guru's wordplay and imagery are vivid, whether he's relating yet another inner-city tale ("Sabotage"), excoriating the record industry ("Deadly Habitz"), or casually making a play for a girl ("Nice Girl, Wrong Place"). Surprisingly, most of the guest features are pedestrian, including the lame guns-and-gangstas posturing of "Who Got Gunz" featuring Fat Joe and M.O.P. or "Capture (Militia Pt. 3)" featuring Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx. Also a letdown is Snoop Dogg's "In This Life...," the return of a favor Premier did for him on two tracks for his Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ LP of a year back. (The only great collaboration is Jadakiss' full-flowing rap on "Rite Where U Stand.") All the Gang Starr trademarks are in place, from Premier's perfect upchoruses to Guru's reedy voice cutting or instructing, and sounding better than ever.
Vibe - Noah Callahan-Bever
1/2 Few groups embody good old-fashioned hip-hop like Keith "Guru" Elam, 36, and Chris Martin, aka DJ Premier, 34, who still encompass the breadth of hip hop before it splintered into subgenres -- each too good to recognize the others.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2003
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724358024708
catalogNumber:
80247
Rank:
36886

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The Ownerz 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the album is dope. guru and premo take it back to the old school with this album. hip-hop is restored with this album. this album reminds me of the "hard to earn" days."skills" and "rite where u stand" are the best tracks off the album. cop this album!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
gangstarr album is tight, in the time were hiphop sucks,finally there is a group that still keepin the artform alive with beats and ryhmes -duke
Guest More than 1 year ago
gangstarr puts out another classic album.the beats are all dope,Dj premier and Guru are one of the best at making good music.I give the album 5 stars.Dont sleep on this album, buy the album. flybugs
Guest More than 1 year ago
As good as it should have been. It doesn't sound like anything on the radio- meaning real music right here. Feelin them since Nice Guy I got to say each album successfully rebels against the previous albums and Ownerz does heavily depart from MOT. Where MOT centered it's axis around heavily produce tracks like Above the Clouds and Royalty with a larger overall Engineer Mix, the Ownerz stays closer to a gutter minimalizm that quotes the anti-reactionist movement toward the super grandois Just Blaze-esque soundscape. Ownerz is mad street, mad nex level, and mad what's gonna be in the next six months in "radio rap" which is also pointing toward minimal short-splicing samples and acoustic sounding snares. Recognize before you hate; Gangstarr raised your identification with street level innovation, they continue to do so on this album regardless of what you may believe. They invented many innovative processes that allow you to even have an opinion of this street level music. They owns what they've contributed to Hip Hop culture and they recognize this. If your a practitioner of Hip Hop you know this. If your not, buy this and know what it is to raise stakes in this underground era. Peace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guru and DJ Premier deliver yet again with another five-star performance with their latest opus "The Ownerz." Gang Starr delivers material that is once again far ahead of its time in hip hop with such future classics as "Skillz," "Capture (Militia Part 3)," and the album's undeniable best track "Deadly Habitz." Gang Starr is acknowledged as one of the greatest hip hop groups of all time but has yet to garner a platinum album. This is in part due to lackluster reviews of the past. However, "The Ownerz" will prove yet again that Gang Starr is indeed ahead of its time and the Gang Starr following that has continued to build throughout the years will establish "The Ownerz" as yet another hip hop classic. As Guru once said, "Real recognizes real." To not have Gang Starr in your hip hop collection is to not have Coltrane or Davis in your jazz collection. You're not a true hip hop fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gang Starr sticks with the same formula that made them successful on the last CD's. People are at the point when Gang Starr drops a record, you almost have to get it.