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Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Review - Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr

Artist: Gang Starr

Posted on Wed, Sep 8, 1999 at 4:00 AM

You've got to have balls to sample Thelonious Monk, then drop some old-school big-band and follow it with lyrics about Ornette Coleman. But with a hip-hop record, that kind of hi-fi audacity is always two steps away from either the lowest musical posing or true "beats-to-the-rhyme" genius. Without a doubt, on "Full Clip," Gang Starr's double-disc greatest hits, Guru and DJ Premier always end up on the genius side.

Whether it's a new joint, such as the blazin' title track, or an old gem like "Mass Appeal" from '94's "Hard to Earn," Gang Starr maintains its soul, style and presence.

Guru's rhymes speak to the youth, assassinate sucka MCs and relish in the art of the game. Primo makes soulful tracks with dope beats and classic hooks that "bridge the musical legacies of James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and Kool Herc" (just like the liner notes say).

For the heads, this is the five-star album you've been craving since rap went south. For everybody else: Yes, it's worth the cash, and yes, it'll make your neck snap back.

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