After a three-year hiatus from the recording studio, Gang Starr -- the jazz-influenced hip-hop duo of Guru and DJ Premier -- has just begun work on the follow-up to 1998's "Moment of Truth" (Virgin),

After a three-year hiatus from the recording studio, Gang Starr -- the jazz-influenced hip-hop duo of Guru and DJ Premier -- has just begun work on the follow-up to 1998's "Moment of Truth" (Virgin), which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In the downtime, Guru helmed a third installment of his "Jazzmatazz" series, recruiting heavyweights such as Macy Gray, Isaac Hayes, and Herbie Hancock.

"It's always a thrill for me to go back and work with Premier," Guru tells Billboard.com. "It's like a marriage. You give each other creative space, then you come back and put your heads together and make something happen. Every time we do that, it gets more intense. It's ill."

Guru says only three songs have been recorded so far, including "Culture of Freedom," on he which he says he is "spitting about grimy New York living." The rapper is hoping to line up guest appearances from Virgin labelmates D'Angelo and Aaliyah and has talked with Snoop Dogg about a possible cameo. Look for the album to drop sometime early next year.

In the meantime, Gang Starr will perform live Saturday (April 28) as part of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. Check back to Billboard.com tomorrow for a full preview of the event.