Gang Starr returned to unleash their first song since 2003 on Friday (Sept. 20). DJ Premier constructed a pair of unreleased verses from his MC partner Guru, who passed away in 2010, to seamlessly funnel into an a guest spot for next-gen star J. Cole. "Family and Loyalty" is now available on all major DSPs.
Guru's hard-hitting rhymes remain as fresh as ever over soulful Preemo production. "Diamonds are forever like family and loyalty/ Or real rap songs like 'C.R.E.A.M.' or 'My Melody'/ Diamonds are forever like my infinite thought/ Like respect in the hood that can’t be bought," he raps on the chorus.
Cole takes the baton to share a few gems of his own. "That's precisely why I'm blessin' you with clear-cut messages/ I'm destined to invest in urban sections where depression rulesI hope to heal the destitute before I leave this vestibule/ Between the heavens and the seven circles/ Where some dead homies maybe rest, I plan to resurrect a few," Jermaine spits.
"Family and Loyalty" is expected to lead into another LP from the seminal Brooklyn-based duo, which will serve as Gang Starr's first full-length since The Ownerz. "This record means so much to me,” DJ Premier told Rolling Stone. "It’s a continuation of what I never wanted to end. It’s a very foreign place for me and very emotional. I get happy, sad, excited; my feelings are kind of all over the place. But predominantly, just very happy to be making music with Guru again."
The Dreamville boss declared this to be the final feature he's given for his entire career. "This a honor to be on this song," he wrote. "This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run. @REALDJPREMIER This song a classic, thank you. RIP GURU."
Listen to "Family and Loyalty" below.