Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" (1991)

Gang Starr "Lovesick" (1991)

Gang Starr "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (1991)

"Just To Get A Rep" lyrics by Guru, Gang Starr

Stick up kids is out to tax Stick up kids out to tax.
And this is how the story goes
Brothers are amused by other brother's reps
But the thing they know best is where the gun is kept
'Cause in the night, you'll feel fright And at the sight of a 4-5th,
I guess you just might Wanna do a dance or two 'Cause they could maybe bust you for self or wit a crew No matter if you or your brother's a star He could pop you in and jet without a getaway car
And some might say that he's a dummy
But he's sticking you and taking all of your money
It's a daily operation
He might be loose in the park or lurking at the train station
Mad brothers know his name
So he thinks he got a little fame
From the stick-up game
And while we're blaming society
He's at a party with his man
They got their eye on the gold chain
That the next man's wearing
It looks big but they ain't staring
Just thinking of a way and when to get the brother
They'll be long gone before the kid recovers
And back around the way, he'll have the chain on his neck
Claimin' respect, Just to get a rep
Ten brothers in a circle Had the kid trapped, the one wit the hood, he said,
"We'll hurt you" If you don't run out your dues and pay
Give up the Rolex watch or you won't see another day
See, they were on the attack And one said,
"Yo, you wanna make this to a homicide rap?
Make it fast so we can be on our way
Kick in the rings and everything, ok?"
The kid was nervous and flinching
And little shorty with the 3-8, yo, he was inchin Closer and closer,
put the gun to his head Shorty was down to catch a body instead
Money was scared so he panicked
Took off his link and his rings and ran frantic
But Shorty said, "Now" pulled the trigger and stepped
It was nothing, he did it just to get a rep
The rep goes bigger and now he's known for his trigger finger
Rolling with troops of the sons like a gangster figure
He's near the peak of his crazy career
His posse's a nightmare macking jewls and some crazy gear
But as we know these things do come back
and Shorty's now peeping others that are scheming the kind of act
Cuz the kid that got shot didn't perish so
He pulls up in a jeep with tinted window
Too late Shorty was caught in the mix
His time ran out his number came up and thats it
Ya know the rest so don't front the plan has been upset
Some brothers gotta go out, just to get a rep

Relevant Tags

Step In The Arena (2), Golden Age Hip-hop (2), Guru (10), Hip-hop History Amoeblog (33), Hip-hop History Tuesdays (44), Hip-hop History (63), Billy Jam (40), Hip Hop (94), Rap (134), Gang Starr (18), Dj Premier (18), Just To Get A Rep (1)