Gang Starr was before my time, they stop putting out albums as a group by the time I was 13. They've attained a place in the hall of hip hop legends. The producer of the group, DJ Premier, commonly referred to as Primo, is one of the most revered producers in the history of the genre, of the elevated echelon of Pete Rock and J Dilla. The MC of the group, the now deceased Guru, didn't achieve the same status of Primo, but he's still well known in the genre.

I've only flirted with their catalogue, not at all well-versed in the six albums they produced from 1989 to 2003. I am very enamoured, though, with the song 'Rite Where U Stand' of their final album, The Ownerz.


It's the perfect blend of Old School and New School. D-Block co-founder Jadakiss brings what I feel is the best verse I've ever heard from him with a cadence and rhyme scheme indicative of the new generation. His rhythm is purely post-millennial, and he brings a violence in his grime that Guru's old school rhyme kicking doesn't have, doesn't need. Guru is exactly that, the guru, the professor, writing in the old style of straight-forward schemes with just a touch of flair. And that speaks nothing of the beat, pure Premier, never fleeing far from the record scratch while embracing a atmospheric sound that embeds you in the song.

Perhaps the greatest divider between Guru and Jadakiss, the Old School and the New School, are their depictions in the video. Jadakiss dons flagrant clothing, seats himself in an exotic automobile next to an attractive woman, and displays urban opulence in his every moment on screen. Guru is the exact opposite, he surrounds himself with darkly-clad cohorts in a rundown warehouse and kicks pure hip hop with no questions asked. It's beautiful in it's own right.

This song to me represents the bridging of the gap. This is the collision and collaboration of two generations hotly debated. Hip Hop heads constantly argue which institution prevails, the Old School or the New School. Perhaps they both did.


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