With The Ownerz, Gang Starr's Guru and DJ Premier continue to build their legacy as one of hip-hop's greatest duos.
With The Ownerz, Gang Starr's Guru and DJ Premier continue to build their legacy as one of hip-hop's greatest duos. Chemistry is key for this pair, with Guru's lyrical ability complemented by DJ Premier's sparse, bass-heavy tracks; the reverse is also true. The aptly titled first single, "Skillz," shows the duo at its best, both lyrically and aurally. Guru's nasal flow is calm yet aggressive over the hypnotic beats. The current single—the fierce, hardcore "Rite Where U Stand" (featuring Jadakiss)—showcases the group's timelessness. Fellow hip-hop vets Fat Joe and M.O.P. turn up for the piano-driven thug anthem "Who Got Gunz." Here, each MC showcases his signature style. Unfortunately, inane interludes and filler material muddle what would otherwise be a classic Gang Starr recording.—RH