DJ Premier Plugs New Gang Starr Music With More Unearthed Guru Vocals

It will serve as the first new Gang Starr material since 2019’s “One of the Best Yet.”

DJ Premier is doing his best to ensure Guru’s legacy continues. On Friday (June 23), the veteran Hip-Hop producer revealed what appears to be artwork for either a single or an album from Gang Starr. The caption read simply, “Monday.”

Of course, excitement for impending new music from one of rap’s most exalted duos was palpable in the comment section. Everyone from Pete Rock and Jack White drummer Daru Jones to DJ Rhettmatic and Cormega expressed their enthusiasm.

Guru died in April 2010 from melanoma. He was just 48 years old. Despite the lauded MC’s physical absence, DJ Premier was able to tap into his vault and extract several Guru verses. In 2019—nearly a decade after Guru’s death—DJ Premier released Gang Starr’s seventh studio album, One of the Best Yet. But it was a hard-won fight to get his hands on the vocals.

Shortly after Guru’s passing, DJ Premier was removed from Guru’s legacy in a letter Guru allegedly wrote on his deathbed. Fellow producer Solar, however, was given control over Guru’s estate, sparking a battle between Solar and Guru’s family.

In 2014, a Rockland County judge ruled against Solar, granting control of Guru’s estate to his family. Solar was forced to cease all business related to Guru and Gang Starr and pay back nearly $170,000 in misappropriated checks, withdrawals, royalties and life insurance payouts. Premier was convinced Solar was also in possession of unreleased Guru vocals—and sure enough, he was right.

In a 2019 interview, DJ Premier said he felt Guru’s spirit in the studio “every day.” In fact, he kept Guru’s urn near him while he was recording, but he also wanted to keep certain things out.

“I did a ritual where I burned sage because that’s known to ward off evil energy,” he said at the time. “Then, I would bless his ashes with the sage and bless his picture. If you saw the picture in The New York Times article that’s in that frame, that’s the picture that sits on top of our control board. I would let the smoke billow all throughout the picture and just kind of fog up the whole glass frame.

“I’d take his ashes and rub it against the picture and I would always say, “Get everybody evil away from us. Get everybody evil away from us. Get Solar away from us” and not even to keep bringing him up because I don’t really want to speak of him like that, but that was one of the things I prayed for because the energy has always been bad. Bad energy.”

Whatever DJ Premier has cooking is bound to satisfy Hip-Hop purists around the globe—but they’ll have to wait until Monday (June 26) to find out what it is. In the meantime, revisit “Family & Loyalty” featuring J. Cole below.