One of the Best Yet

One of the Best Yet is the seventh and final studio album by American hip hop duo Gang Starr, released on November 1, 2019.[2] The album features previously unreleased and posthumous vocals from Guru, who died nine years prior to the album's release.[3] The album features guests appearances from J. Cole, Royce da 5'9", Talib Kweli, M.O.P., and Q-Tip, among others.[4]

One of the Best Yet
One of The Best Yet.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
Recorded
  • 2005–09 (Guru's vocals)
  • 2011–19 (production, guest vocals & mixing)
GenreHip hop
Length37:03
Label
ProducerDJ Premier (also exec.)
Gang Starr chronology
Mass Appeal: the Best of Gang Starr
(2006)
One of the Best Yet
(2019)
Singles from One of the Best Yet
  1. "Family & Loyalty"
    Released: September 20, 2019[1]
  2. "Bad Name"
    Released: October 18, 2019

BackgroundEdit

Rapper Guru died of cancer in April 2010, having not released an album with DJ Premier as Gang Starr since 2003's The Ownerz, seven years earlier. A note from Guru provided by former collaborator Solar had said that he disowned his former producer and DJ was released around the time of his death, however, many looked on it with suspicion. While Guru and Premier had not spoken since 2004,[5] Premier had wanted to release a final album, but had difficulty obtaining unreleased material from Guru, despite the rapper's prolific work ethic, because of a dispute with fellow producer Solar.[6] In 2014, a court case gave Guru's family control of his own unreleased music, and in 2016, Solar decided to sell the remaining music.[7] Despite the animosity between the two men, an agreement was reached (although Solar disputes this), and in early 2018, DJ Premier decided to put together a final album, creating new beats for the project over acappellas from Guru.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic71/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
Consequence of SoundB−[10]
Exclaim!9/10[11]
The Guardian     [12]
HipHopDX4.2/5[13]
NME     [14]
Pitchfork6.3/10[15]
Rolling Stone     [16]

One of the Best Yet received generally favorable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 71, based on 12 reviews.[9] Writing for Exclaim!, Riley Wallace praised the album as "a fluid, impeccably produced final goodbye" to Guru, and "a last curtain to a legacy group on its own terms."[11] Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone noted that "there are moments where it feels like one of the most beloved rap groups in history are picking up right where they left off", hailing "Family and Loyalty" as the highlight of the album.[16] Will Lavin of NME called it "a special moment for hip-hop", however, he stated that "Sometimes, too, Guru's absence is a little too noticeable", noting that some tracks sound unfinished.[14]

Track listingEdit

All tracks produced by DJ Premier.

No.TitleLength
1."The Sure Shot" (Intro)1:23
2."Lights Out" (featuring M.O.P.)3:36
3."Bad Name"2:21
4."Hit Man" (featuring Q-Tip)2:22
5."What's Real" (featuring Group Home and Royce da 5'9")3:24
6."Keith Casim Elam" (Interlude)0:16
7."From a Distance" (featuring Jeru the Damaja)2:30
8."Family and Loyalty" (featuring J. Cole)4:34
9."Get Together" (featuring Ne-Yo and Nitty Scott)3:28
10."NYGz / GS 183rd" (Interlude)1:10
11."So Many Rappers"2:11
12."Business or Art" (featuring Talib Kweli)2:59
13."Bring It Back Here"0:50
14."One of the Best Yet (Big Shug Interlude)"0:28
15."Take Flight (Militia, Pt. 4)" (featuring Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx)2:56
16."Bless the Mic"2:35
Total length:37:03

ChartsEdit

Sales chart performance for One of the Best Yet
Chart (2019) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 164
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[18] 65
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[19] 86
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[20] 46
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 20
US Billboard 200[22] 82
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[23] 42

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ AllMusic
  2. ^ "One of the Best Yet by Gang Starr on Apple Music". Apple Music. November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Middleton, Ryan (November 1, 2019). "Review: Gang Starr Keeps Guru's Spirit Alive On Potent New Album 'One Of The Best'". Magnetic Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Darville, Jordan (November 1, 2019). "Listen to Gang Starr's new album One of the Best Yet". The Fader. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Sundaresan, Mano (November 1, 2019). "DJ Premier Revives The Legendary Gang Starr: 'Together We Bring The Best Dope'". NPR.
  6. ^ Newman, Jason (November 1, 2019). "DJ Premier Has A Lot To Say About Gang Starr's First Album in 16 Years". Rolling Stone.
  7. ^ Cantor, Paul (October 29, 2019). "Fans Were Surprised To Get More Gang Starr. They Almost Didn't". New York Times.
  8. ^ Savage, Mark (November 24, 2019). "Gang Starr: The Bizarre Story Behind Their Final Album". BBC.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for One of the Best Yet by Gang Starr". Metacritic. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  10. ^ "Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Gang Starr: One of the Best Yet review – rap duo stand tall beyond the grave". The Guardian. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Review: DJ Premier Raises Gang Starr's Stock With 'One Of The Best Yet'". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Gang Starr – 'One of the Best Yet' review: a celebration of life, love and legacy". NME. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  15. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (November 11, 2019). "Gang Starr: One of the Best Yet". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Gang Starr's First Album in 16 Years is a Gift to Old-School Rap Fans". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  23. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2019.