Gang Starr Gear Up To Rattle The Streets With Sixth LP

Guru says tracks with M.O.P., Crumb Snatcha, Big Suge should make the cut.

Gang Starr's man behind the mic, Guru, is contemplating a post-MCing life a couple of years down the road. He wants to spend more time raising his kids and is hoping that his independent label, Ill Kid, takes off (he's sold 100,000 copies of the label's first release, Baldhead Slick & the Click), but he still has some unfinished business.

Guru and his longtime partner, Gang Starr's sole beatmaker, DJ Premier, are gearing up to rattle the streets one more time this year, with the release of their sixth album.

"We're in the works on Gang Starr," Guru said Sunday in New York. "We got like five joints done. We're gonna have M.O.P. on there. I got one with Crumb Snatcha, he's from Boston. We got another, "Militia," on there with Bumpy Knuckles and Big Suge from Boston. A couple of other special guests, but I don't wanna mention too many. Possibly D'Angelo, though."

Guru said the LP, which is their first full-length of new material since 1998 and still untitled, won't veer too far left from the group's much-lauded beaten path.

"[We're going to have] some straight-up Gang Starr tracks, bangers. Still with the scratching [on records] and all that. You know how I like to write about certain things going on in the industry — there's still a lot of Hatorade, it's corny to me — and of course, all the things affecting brothers coming up in the streets. Being that I'm a little older and more experienced, I could see a lot of things going on and I can kick it to brothers and let them know without preaching. It's gonna be a lot of that. It's gonna be some rugged street joints. But everything's got a message with Gang Starr. Gang Starr represents three things — street knowledge, intellect and spirituality."

And while this year is all about smashing things up with his partner Premier, Guru said 2003 will see him trying another solo effort. A fourth installment of Jazzmatazz is being mapped out.

"I'm renegotiating a new deal [with Virgin records]," he said. "I wasn't happy with the way the last one was marketed and promoted. I had like seven platinum artists on my last album — they got on there not for money but because they had love for Guru. We did some slammin' albums and it was the most critically-acclaimed work outside of Gang Starr.

"That project didn't even go gold," he continued. "I put a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears in it. That's like letting someone hold your kid and they abuse your kid. I gave them my hard work and they didn't do nothing with it."