Storied hip-hop duo Gang Starr unveiled another new song, “Bad Name,” featuring posthumous vocals from late MC Guru. The track will appear on Gang Starr’s first album in 16 years, One of the Best Yet, out November 1st.
“Bad Name” clocks in at just over two minutes and Guru wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter as he laments the then-current state of hip-hop. Over a vintage DJ Premier beat that swings between chopped-up horns and vocal loops, Guru spits, “Word to God, if Big and Pac were still here/ Some of these weirdos wouldn’t act so cavalier/ We all know that the game has changed/ It’s crazy out here, rap’s got a bad name/ Think about it, what if bling never happened/ And the true artists were getting rich from rapping?”
In September, DJ Premier announced the return of Gang Starr with the group’s first song since 2003, “Family and Loyalty,” featuring J. Cole. DJ Premier began crafting One of the Best Yet in 2017, and he said in a statement he always believed the project would come to fruition, even after Guru’s death in 2010.
“I never lost faith, or wavered,” he said. “I still felt it inside of me, it just happened to be nine years later [after Guru’s passing]. We all want the things we want right now, but I am a patient guy. I hung in there and I just kept believing.”
One of the Best Yet, which is available to pre-order, marks Gang Starr’s first LP since 2003’s The Ownerz. Along with J. Cole, the 16-track project will feature guest appearances from Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Ne-Yo, Royce Da 5’9”, Big Shug and more.