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Gang Starr - Mass Appeal: The Best Of Gang Starr

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Mass Appeal: The Best Of Gang Starr

Gang Starr

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The fact that Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr is the second greatest-hits compilation released by Virgin simply attests to the importance of the duo, one of the first great MC/DJ-producer teams in hip-hop (and both of who, incidentally, have gone on to do well as solo artists, Guru with his whole Jazzmatazz series and DJ Premier most recently on Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics). But while 1999's Full Clip was two discs of 31 tracks (some of which were remixed versions), Mass Appeal limits itself to one disc of 20 songs, and includes almost all of their singles ("You Know My Steez" is the most notable exclusion), which means that while the scope is actually greater, spanning all six of their studio albums, the depth is less. Though the tracks are not listed chronologically, the jazz-based beats of Premier and Guru's relaxed flow are highlighted and strong in each. Gang Starr staples "Take It Personal," "The Militia," "Just to Get a Rep," "Mass Appeal," "Ex-Girl to Next Girl," and "Step in the Arena" (all but the latter also found on Full Clip) are found on the compilation, as well as lesser-known though not obscure cuts like "Check the Technique" and "B.Y.S." More serious fans may be intrigued by the bonus tracks, "Natural" and "Tha Squeeze," but considering that both are also found on the 2004 Japanese import of The Ownerz, Mass Appeal is probably a better pickup for fans who've heard about the glory and genius of the group but don't own all the albums.
© Marisa Brown /TiVo

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Mass Appeal: The Best Of Gang Starr

Gang Starr

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1
Manifest
00:04:50

Chris Martin, Composer - Guru, Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1989 Virgin Records America, Inc.

2
Step In The Arena
00:03:32

Guru, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Gang Starr, MainArtist - DJ Premier, Producer, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1991 Virgin Records

3
Put Up Or Shut Up
00:03:15

Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Tony Dawsey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dexter Thibou, Recording Engineer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Krumb Snatcha, FeaturedArtist - Demetrius Gibbs, Composer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 2003 Virgin Records America, Inc.

4
Skills
00:03:17

Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Mixer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Tony Dawsey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dexter Thibou, Recorder, Recording Engineer, Asst. Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 2002 Virgin Records

5
Code Of The Streets
00:03:27

Robert Russell, ComposerLyricist - Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guru, Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer, Mixer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Tony Dawsey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1994 Virgin Records America Inc.

6
Ex-Girl To Next Girl
00:04:38

Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Martin, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Sancho, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer - The Guru, Producer - Lisle Leete, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Caesar Frazier, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1992 Virgin Records America Inc.

7
Soliloquy Of Chaos
00:03:14

Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer - The Guru, Producer - Lisle Leete, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1992 Virgin Records America, Inc.

8
The Militia
00:04:47

Freddie Foxxx, FeaturedArtist - James Campbell, Composer - Chris Martin, Composer - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer - Big Shug, FeaturedArtist - Cary Guy, Composer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1998 Virgin Records America, Inc.

9
Above The Clouds
00:03:44

Jason Hunter, Composer - Chris Martin, Composer - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer - Inspectah Deck, Rap Vocalist, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1998 Virgin Records America, Inc.

10
Check The Technique
00:03:53

Chris Martin, Composer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer - The Guru, Producer - Lisle Leete, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1990 Virgin Records

11
Royalty
00:04:11

Chris Martin, ComposerLyricist - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer - Jojo Hailey, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - K-CI Hailey, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1998 Virgin Records America, Inc.

12
Love Sick
00:03:23

Chris Martin, ComposerLyricist - Guru, Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1990 Virgin Records America Inc.

13
Take It Personal
00:03:02

C. Martin, ComposerLyricist - Guru, Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1992 Capitol Records, LLC

14
Now You're Mine
00:02:55

Chris Martin, ComposerLyricist - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 2012 Virgin Records

15
Just To Get A Rep
00:02:37

Gang Starr, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer - The Guru, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1990 Virgin Records

16
B.Y.S.
00:03:05

Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer - The Guru, Producer - Lisle Leete, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1992 Virgin Records America, Inc.

17
Mass Appeal
00:03:37

Chris Martin, ComposerLyricist - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1994 Virgin Records America Inc.

18
DWYCK
00:04:00

Nice & Smooth, FeaturedArtist - Darryl Barnes, ComposerLyricist - Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guru, Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, ComposerLyricist - DJ Premier, Producer - Tony Dawsey, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gregg Mays, ComposerLyricist

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1992 Virgin Records America Inc.

19
Natural
00:02:50

Chris Martin, Composer - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - DJ Premier, Producer

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 2002 Virgin Records America, Inc.

20
Tha Squeeze
00:03:28

Chris Martin, Composer - Eddie Sancho, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Guru, Producer, Co-Producer - Gang Starr, MainArtist - Keith Elam, Composer - Eddy Schreyer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - DJ Premier, Producer - Dexter Thibou, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2006 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 2001 Priority Records, LLC

Album Description

The fact that Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr is the second greatest-hits compilation released by Virgin simply attests to the importance of the duo, one of the first great MC/DJ-producer teams in hip-hop (and both of who, incidentally, have gone on to do well as solo artists, Guru with his whole Jazzmatazz series and DJ Premier most recently on Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics). But while 1999's Full Clip was two discs of 31 tracks (some of which were remixed versions), Mass Appeal limits itself to one disc of 20 songs, and includes almost all of their singles ("You Know My Steez" is the most notable exclusion), which means that while the scope is actually greater, spanning all six of their studio albums, the depth is less. Though the tracks are not listed chronologically, the jazz-based beats of Premier and Guru's relaxed flow are highlighted and strong in each. Gang Starr staples "Take It Personal," "The Militia," "Just to Get a Rep," "Mass Appeal," "Ex-Girl to Next Girl," and "Step in the Arena" (all but the latter also found on Full Clip) are found on the compilation, as well as lesser-known though not obscure cuts like "Check the Technique" and "B.Y.S." More serious fans may be intrigued by the bonus tracks, "Natural" and "Tha Squeeze," but considering that both are also found on the 2004 Japanese import of The Ownerz, Mass Appeal is probably a better pickup for fans who've heard about the glory and genius of the group but don't own all the albums.
© Marisa Brown /TiVo

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