Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" 180-gram 2LP (Bonus Tracks) Reissue, J.Stalin's "Cypress Village: The Album" and NAV "Bad Habits"

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2019 12:39pm | Post a Comment
Gang Starr Step In The Arena 2LP 180-gram black vinyl (2019 reissue/Virgin)

Among the hot new vinyl arrivals into Amoeba this current week is the new 180 gram double vinyl reissue of the Gang Starr landmark second album; Step In The Arena 2LP that features not just an expanded
double black vinyl pressing but also two bonus tracks ("Credit Is Due" and "Check The Technique  (Remix)").  This early nineties golden era album from the power duo of producer DJ Premier  and the late great emcee Guru is one of those perfect albums with every song a true hip-hop classic with examples including the single "Just To Get A Rep" (scroll down to see this song's music video as well as others from the album).

"Mad brothers know his name" raps Guru (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over Premo's trademark production on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released as the first single from the album by Chrysalis/EMI  following the album release with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the B-side of the 12" single. Other well worn Step In The Arena  tracks include 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?," the killer "Street Ministry,"  "Check The Technique" and Step In The Arena 2LP's title track. Knowing how quickly quality vinyl reissues of albums like this tend to get snapped up by crate diggers, my advice is to order your copy ASAP of Step In The Arena 2LP.  Meantime scroll down to peep those music videos of tracks from the album.

J.Stalin Cypress Village The Album. (Livewire)

Also out this week is the latest from prolific West Oakland rap hero J.Stalin; Cypress Village The Album. Entitled after his beloved home turf with album cover photo to match said area of West Oakland near the former Cypress Freeway, the new album was just released on his own indie label Livewire Records. As usual J.Stalin brings in many of his longtime friends/collaborators along with some new ones to join him on numerous songs throughout the 23 track album. For example Shady Nate, Stevie Joe, Brick Money and Young DL  all join him on the album's self-titled track while Joseph Kay joins him on several tracks including "Lay You Down,"  "Every Girl I Know," "The Struggle" and "Freak Like Her" while innovative SF rapper Larry June collaborates on the album's closing cut "Guaranteed." Order your copy here.

NAV Bad Habits (XO Records)

Initially unveiled a few months ago the physical version of Ontario hip-hop artist NAV's album Bad Habits is now available from Amoeba. It is the second official studio album release by the Punjabi-Canadian artist who, back in the beginning of the year, had announced that he was quitting the music biz which he was fed up and "done" with. Known to many for his production work with such artists as Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna and The Weeknd, that spur of the moment decision by the well connected artist unsurprisingly didn't very long. However his discontent with the music biz and people in it has lasted; as witnessed by some of the lyrics on Bad Habits . While even the diehard NAV fans will agree that Bad Habits is not as strong a release as his previous work, it's one of those more subtle recordings that admittedly takes repeated listens to get into.

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from Step In The Arena 2LP

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" from Step In The Arena 2LP

Gang Starr "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" from Step In The Arena 2LP

Gang Starr "Lovesick" from Step In The Arena 2LP

Relevant Tags

Step In The Arena 2lp (1), Young Dl (1), Brick Money (1), Stevie Joe (1), Shady Nate (4), Larry June (1), Gang Starr (18), Guru (10), Nav (1), Dj Premier (18)