Fresh off releasing their first song in 16 years, Gang Starr – the rap duo of DJ Premier and the late Guru – have shared their new video for “Family and Loyalty,” their J. Cole-assisted single. The visual was directed by another hip-hop legend, Fab 5 Freddy.
The video celebrates Guru and Gang Starr’s legacy by employing archival footage as well as a cameo by Guru’s son Keith Casim.
“Keith was nine when his father passed away [in 2010] and he is now 19. I used to babysit him. [Keith] made me feel like Guru was there with me,” Premier said in a statement. “I told him he has the same look in his eyes as his Father and everyone on set commented on how striking the resemblance is. It was real important to me to have Guru’s son be a major focus of the video.” The video also features footage of J. Cole delivering his verse in the rapper’s native North Carolina.
“Everything is very emotional and raw, because he’s not here, but his spirit is here,” DJ Premier said. “We shot the first half of this video on Cole’s turf and we had a very limited window in North Carolina. Fab 5 Freddy called me and he was really worried he would not be able to fly in from New York due to Hurricane Dorian. I told Freddy that Guru was piloting the flight and he would get him here safely and on time; and he did.”
DJ Premier added, “We have so much unused footage [of Gang Starr] together, and with Guru’s lyrics I visualized him in the video as a picture book, a photo album that would capture our journey.”
The duo last made music together in 2003 with their final album The Ownerz; while Guru continued to record until his death in 2010 at the age of 48, he and Premier never reunited.
“This record means so much to me,” DJ Premier previously said of the new Gang Starr song in a statement. ” 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.”