Throughout the history of Gang Starr, there were a host of important albums and movements. In the late 1990s, Guru and DJ Premier went gold (with a Top 10) in Moment Of Truth, gathering the award tour of a much-deserved greatest hits look follow-up, Full Clip. A decade prior, it was the gripping “Jazz Thing” that set the group apart from their contemporaries.
In between these two monumental moments, Hard To Earn may have been the ultimate creative stride from the New York City-based duo. Entrenched in Brooklyn at the time, the brotherly bond between the men known as Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal and Preemo seemed stronger than ever. Guru’s righteous street philosophies had strong application on the pair’s fourth album, while Preem’ enhanced his beat construction into the five-year run that would cement his legacy as a GOAT behind the boards.
With the album newly circulating, the pair appeared on “Yo! MTV Raps.” At a time when, the MTV program was arguably the most important media platform for hardcore Hip-Hop, 1994 saw DJ Premier lace a “rhythm scratch” while a sans-sunglasses Guru ripped a quick one minute verse that was right in step with the “code of the streets” over the “Mass Appeal” instrumental.