These infamous hip-hop words are among some of the numerous memorable lyrics uttered by GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's track on the February 1991 Gang Starr single "Just To Get A Rep" (Chrysalis/EMI) which, with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the single's flip side, is a true hip-hop classic! Same for the January 1991 Gang Starr album Step In The Arena that "Rep" was culled from. Both are key parts of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme known by heart to any true hip-hop fan. "Just to Get a Rep" harks from a time (late 80's/early 90's) that many agree was the "golden age of hip-hop" and a time that is very close to my heart as a longtime hip-hop fan.
And listening to "Just to Get A Rep" again (see the video below and read the lyircs under video screen) brings back memories of that time when the single and the album had just dropped, a time that was brimming with amazing new hip-hop joints that (as a DJ) I was dying to play. Back then I was doing Bay Area hip-hop radio and TV shows and interviewed Gang Starr many times. It was no big deal back then. At the time, rap had still not gone 100% fulltime mainstream -- it was pre Dre's Chronic, which ushered a new, more mainstream era in rap's consumption. This meant that if you were a Bay Area DJ on such independent small stations as KUSF, KALX, KZSU, KPOO, KPFA, or KFJC, you could get artists like Gang Starr to make a live appearance on your show with little effort (today you are competing with David Letterman and People magazine). Back at that time Guru and Premo made numerous trips to the Bay regularly to perform (shows for example were at one of Dave Paul's BOMB Hip-Hop Showcases at the DNA) and do the rounds of local radio stations and retail outlets (big up to Leopolds in Berkeley and T's Wauzi at Eastmont Mall in East Oakland). If you have any memories of this hip-hop classic or wish to nominate one of your personal fave hip-hop classics, please do so below in the COMMENTS. Thanks!