Search - Gang Starr :: Hard to Earn

Hard to Earn
Gang Starr
Hard to Earn
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Gang Starr came out hard on their 1994 album, Hard to Earn, an album notably different from its two predecessors: Step in the Arena (1991) and Daily Operation (1992). While those two classic albums garnered tremendous prai...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gang Starr
Title: Hard to Earn
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Original Release Date: 3/8/1994
Release Date: 3/8/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: East Coast, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724382843528, 0724382843559, 724382843511, 724382843542, 724382843559


Album Description
Gang Starr came out hard on their 1994 album, Hard to Earn, an album notably different from its two predecessors: Step in the Arena (1991) and Daily Operation (1992). While those two classic albums garnered tremendous praise for their thoughtful lyrics an

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CD Reviews

I'm not a huge hip hop fan but....
(5 out of 5 stars)

"...this is definately my favorite hip hop album easily. Unlike most other rap records, this one is solid start to finish. No crap, just straight up real beats and lyrics. The Guru is one of the best and this album only proves his dedication and heart for the art of rap. DJ Premier???? what else can be said about him? He has the golden touch. Tasteful samples, and killer beats. This one will stay at the top of my collection for years to come. Gang Starr are the illist, by far."
Gang Starr(DJ Premiere+Guru)
Velada Carlisle | 01/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a ill all-around CD. YOu have to be a fan of true hip-hop to like it and its energy for rap is alive. Premiere,being my favorite producer anyway) drops dope beat for the 93 era, and Guru keeps the album even with his unique sense of mic presense. Guru has to be the most on-beat MC I've ever listened to. His flow goes so smooth and on top of that, his wordplay and rhyme skill never seem to fail.

My Top 5 tracks
1.DYWCK feat. Nice&Smooth(great feature)
2.Suckas Need Bodyguards
3.Mass Appeal
4.Blowin Up Ths Spot
"I'll burn out ya' eyeballs, and leave a note in braille." (
Velada Carlisle | 10/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Eric B & Rakim. EPMD. OutKast. Among them; Gang Starr.

A lot of great rap duos have come and gone in the past. At the beginning of the 1990's, Gang Starr established themselves as one of rap's elite duos with albums such as 1991's Step In The Arena, and 1992's Daily Operation. By 1994, DJ Premier had made a name for himself as one of the hottest producers on the east coast, and rightfully so. Somehow, Premo and Guru found time to record their 1994 LP Hard To Earn, another excellent Gang Starr LP.

After hearing the album intro, it's evident that Guru is "angrier" on Hard To Earn, and he kicks some more street lyrics on this album in his trademark monotone. Of course, you'll find a fair share of Guru's signature social commentary on tracks like Code of the Streets, and Tonz 'o' Gunz (the latter, by the way, is NOT glorifying gun violence, it's actually quite the opposite.) Guru also shines on battle tracks like Brainstorm; spitting with a different cadence than his norm creates ill results on this track. Overall, Guru would never be considered the G.O.A.T. emcee, but he was never a slouch on the mic in his Gang Starr days. A lot of people complain that his monotone delivery was weak, but it was a style that was truly his own, and it worked well most of the time over Premier's tracks.

Speaking of Premo, how is he doing on this album? The beats on Hard To Earn are some of Preem's illest; peep the beat on Mass Appeal if you somehow haven't heard it already, it's one of the illest rap tracks ever created, no question. Words From The Nutcracker is a solo by Melachi The Nutcracker (whack) of the Group Home, and it's only 1:28 long, but Premo cooks up an excellent beat that masks how weak the emcee on this track is, and then some. Hell, I wouldn't mind if Melachi rhymed for three more minutes, as long as it was over THIS beat, I'd be a happy man. F.A.L.A. combines some jazzy keys and a hard drum track to create yet another ill track. I could go on and on about how dope Premier's beats on this album are. The only track on the entire 17-track album that suffers from a not-too-great beat is Now You're Mine, but even the worst beat on the album is pretty decent. To be blunt, Premo's a genius behind the boards. His work on Hard To Earn isn't exactly the dopest of his career, but the tracks are consistently dope throughout.

Hard To Earn is without a doubt another quality Gang Starr LP, and although a few weak spots drag it down to a 4-star rating, it's still worth owning for classic tracks like Code Of The Streets, Brainstorm, Tonz 'o' Gunz, DWYCK, and Mass Appeal alone. Not a minute of whack material to be found on here, just 17-tracks of no-nonsense 90's hip-hop. Highly recommended.

Best Moments: Mass Appeal (favourite), Code of the Streets, Brainstorm, Tonz 'o' Gunz, DWYCK feat. Nice 'n' Smooth, F.A.L.A. feat. Big Shug."