“Family and Loyalty” by Gang Starr ft. J. Cole
Those familiar with Gang Starr already know that the vocal half of the duo, Guru, left us prematurely in 2010. Thus his contributions to “Family and Loyalty” posthumous.
Another fact that fans of Gang Starr will be aware of is that their tracks tend to be more on the conscious side. Thus collaborating with the likes of J. Cole is right up their alley. And accordingly, the theme of this song is premised on the subjects of “family and loyalty”. More specifically, these concepts are introduced in terms of their permanency, where the artists compare them to other things which are “forever” like classic rap songs and the metaphorical depths of their thinking. And in terms of their individual verses, Guru speaks more to his lofty aspirations, work ethic and commitment to his homeys.
Meanwhile J. Cole presents himself as an individual whose goal is to edify the African-American community. And he hopes to dos by via introducing new economic activity into these depressed regions.
And overall, “Family and Loyalty” reads more or less like a classic Gang Starr song. A track where the rappers acknowledge the dangers of the ‘hood but at the same time relay a certain level of appreciation for the knowledge and wisdom that comes from being brought up there.
Facts about “Family and Loyalty”
“Family and Loyalty”, which marks the first collaboration between Gang Starr and J. Cole, was released on 20 September 2019.
This track features lyrical contributions from two other classic emcees, Dres (of Black Sheep) and MC Lyte, respectively via the sample of the songs “Stop, Look, Listen” (1989) and “The Choice Is Yours” (1991).
“Family and Loyalty” is actually being hailed as the lead single from an upcoming Gang Starr project. This would be the first album DJ Premiere has put out in the group’s name since the passing of Guru (1961-2010).
“Family and Loyalty” was written by Guru, Cole and Premiere, with Preemo also serving as the track’s producer.