[[caption-width-right:281:Left: DJ Premier. Right: Guru.]]

->''"We just like cockroaches. Never dying. Always living."''
-->--'''DJ Premier''', ''Moment of Truth'' album

Gang Starr was a Hip-Hop duo consisting of rapper Keith "Guru" Elam ("Guru" standing for [[FunWithAcronyms Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal]]) from Boston, Massachusetts and producer Christopher Martin (aka DJ Premier) from Houston, Texas.

Gang Starr actually got their start in 1985. At this time, DJ Premier (then known as Waxmaster C) was not part of the group; instead, Guru founded it with DJ 1, 2 B-Down. In 1987 and '88, they released three singles on vinyl, one of which was called "The Lesson", on a label called Wild Pitch Records. The group finally split in 1989, though, and the only one left that carried its name was Guru.

However, that same year he got in contact with DJ Premier, who sent him a beat tape. He liked it so much, he invited Premier to be part of Gang Starr. [[CaptainObvious He accepted.]]

Along with a new single, "Words I Manifest", the duo released their debut album ''No More Mr. Nice Guy.'' The next year, a former DJ, Duff Marlowe, signed them to Creator/ChrysalisRecords. The rest, as they say, is history.

Around the time they made "I'm the Man" from ''Daily Operation'', they created the Gang Starr Foundation, which isn't a rap group per se, but a group of individual rappers the duo liked and wanted to sign. Its lineup was Jeru the Damaja, Big Shug, Lil Dap, and Melachi the Nutcracker[-[[note]]the latter two would later become a rap duo named Group Home[[/note]]-].

Around the time ''Moment Of Truth'' was being made, Guru was charged gun possession. The album is somewhat centered around this. [-[[note]]"JFK 2 LAX" is about Guru's incarceration, before "Moment of Truth" starts, a few voicemails from Guru's friends wishing him the best of luck are played, and the second verse of that song describes his feelings while waiting to be tried.[[/note]]-]

Gang Starr disbanded in 2003 after their last album ''The Ownerz'', after Guru had an argument with Premier and [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere turned his back]] [[RageQuit on the duo.]] He would later go on to release solo albums. While Guru seemed to have wanted nothing to do with Premier after that, Premier looked as if he'd put it all behind him and remained confident that the duo would reunite for another album one day.

However, in 2010, [[AuthorExistenceFailure Guru died of heart cancer,]] [[DownerEnding eliminating any chance of a reunion.]] DJ Premier did a tribute mix on his radio show in his honor.

These days, Premier continues to produce for underground rap artists from all over the world, occasionally goes on tours (globally, even. He's played shows in UsefulNotes/{{Paris}}, Athens, and Osaka.), has a radio show (as mentioned above) called ''Live at Headquarterz'', and heads an underground label called Year Round Records. He has also started a collaboration project with Royce Da 5'9" called [=PRhyme=]. Do not compare them to Gang Starr, as Royce will have you know he does ''not'' intend to replace Guru.

Not to be confused with ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}''.

! Discography:

* ''No More Mr. Nice Guy'' - (1989)
* ''Step In The Arena'' - (1991)
* ''Daily Operation'' - (1992)
* ''Hard To Earn'' - (1994)
* ''Moment Of Truth'' - (1998)
* ''[[MilestoneCelebration Full]] [[GreatestHitsAlbum Clip]]: A Decade of Gang Starr'' - (1999)
* ''The [[XtremeKoolLetterz Ownerz]]'' - (2003)
* ''[[GreatestHitsAlbum Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr]]'' - (2006)

! Tropes:

* AlternativeHipHop
* BaldOfAwesome: Guru.
--> ''That's why they call me Baldhead Slick''
* BerserkButton: DJ Premier does ''not'' like [=DJs=] who play whatever they're told to, nor does he like people revealing his samples.
* BoastfulRap: "I'm the Man," "You Know My Steez", and "Mass Appeal", just to name a few.
* CallBack: The opening of ''Step In the Arena'' references "Premier and the Guru" from ''No More Mr. Nice Guy''.
* CurbStompBattle: Guru promises to deliver one to anyone who dares challenge him in a game of basketball in "Now You're Mine".
* DreamTeam: Guru, Lil' Dap, and Jeru the Damaja on "I'm the Man" and "Speak Ya Clout".
* EtTuBrute: Discussed in "Betrayal". Also touched on briefly in the first verse of "Moment of Truth".
* GoldDigger: "She Knowz What She Wantz" warns listeners to avoid these.
* HiddenTrack: ''The Ownerz'' has the "snuck in the middle of the album" variant in the form of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZJJL90YBi8 "Hiney"]].
* HymnToMusic: A bit of a specific example; "Jazz Thing" and "Jazz Music" are tributes to Jazz and legendary Jazz musicians.
* IAmSong: "Premier and the Guru", the very first track of their very first album.
* IAmYourOpponent: From "So Wassup?!":
--> ''Now you're facin' me, I'm your ultimate challenger''
* InstrumentalHipHop: "DJ Premier In Deep Concentration", featuring only DJ Premier on the turntables.
* [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand Letting The Air Out Of The Sample:]] At the end of "Just to Get a Rep", the sample slows to a stop.
* LuckyCharmsTitle: "The ? Remainz". The "?" is pronounced as "Question".
* LyricalColdOpen: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] on "What I'm Here 4"; the song ends with Guru saying the last line of the verse after the music has already dropped out.
* NewSoundAlbum: Premier said in an interview that he wanted ''Hard to Earn'' to sound less musical than the previous three albums so's to avoid Gang Starr being pigeonholed as a "Jazz Rap" duo. As a result, some of the beats sound more atonal and dissonant. ''Moment of Truth'' also counts since it was made after Premo developed his SignatureStyle.
* OdeToIntoxication: "Take Two and Pass" is about smoking blunts.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: From "Now You're Mine".
--> ''So prepare to suffer, boy, cause'' '''''now you're mine.'''''
* ProductionThrowback: The third verse of "Moment of Truth" takes some of its lyrics from an unreleased song called "I'm Not Superman" and slightly alters them.
* PunnyName: Gangster --> Gang Starr.
* ScareChord: "Jazz Thing" has a couple in the intro.
* SequelSong: "Speak Ya Clout" is one to "I'm the Man", featuring the same lineup of artists, but this time [[NowDoItAgainBackwards in reverse order]].
* ShoutOut: From "You Know My Steez"
-->''[[Film/TheWizardOfOz Cause I'm like the Wizard and you look lost like Dorothy]]''
** "Brainstorm" has Guru singing part of the ''Community Audition'' theme song, albeit a slightly altered version.
* SpellingSong: "The Planet", which has this as the chorus:
-->''I'm gonna make it god dammit''
-->''Out in B-R-double-O-K-Lyn, The Planet''
** "Mostly tha Voice" from the same album is another example:
-->''My religion is rap''
-->''R-E-A-L-I-T-Y, G''
** From "So Wassup?!"
--> ''You say you're R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T-I-N-G?''
--> ''You're frontin', boy, come against me''
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: "Words from the Nutcracker", entirely rapped by Melachi the Nutcracker from Group Home.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: "Same Team No Games" consists only of two musical notes, a drum beat, scratches, and pure lyricism from Guru and guest rappers NYG'z. "Brainstorm" is even ''more'' minimal, featuring only drums, some blips and sirens in the background, and Guru's vocals.
* TitleTrack: "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "Step In the Arena", "Daily Operation" (a 20-second AlbumIntroTrack), "Moment of Truth", "Full Clip", and "The Ownerz". "Mass Appeal" retroactively became this on their second compilation album.
* WordPureeTitle: "DWYCK", which comes from an inside joke.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: The second verse of "Moment of Truth", about how even though Guru is fearful of his situation, he'll remain calm and not buckle under the pressure.
-->''The situation that I'm facin, is mad amazin''
-->''To think such problems can arise from minor confrontations''
-->''Now I'm contemplatin in my bedroom pacin''
-->''Dark clouds over my head, my heart's racin''
-->''Suicide? nah, I'm not a foolish guy''
-->''Don't even feel like drinking, or even gettin high''
-->''Cause all that's gonna do really, is accelerate''
-->''The anxieties that I wish I could alleviate''
-->''But wait, I've been through a whole lot of other shit, before''
-->''So I oughta be able, to withstand some more''
-->''But I'm sweating though, my eyes are turning red and yo''
-->''I'm ready to lose my mind but instead I use my mind''
-->''I put down the knife, and take the bullets out my nine''
-->''My only crime, was that I'm too damn kind''
-->''And now some scandalous motherfuckers wanna take what's mine''
-->''But they can't take the respect, that I've earned in my lifetime''
-->''And you know they'll never stop the furious force of my rhymes''
-->''So like they say, every dog has its day''
-->''And like they say, God works in a mysterious way''
-->''So I pray, remembering the days of my youth''
-->''As I prepare to meet my moment of truth''
* XtremeKoolLetterz and Letters2Numbers: As with many hip-hop acts, they tended to do this with their song titles. Examples include, "What I'm Here 4". "She Knowz What She Wantz", and "Deadly Habitz".