On Friday November 1st, Gang Starr released their historic new album, One Of The Best Yet, their first album in sixteen years. The album was met with overwhelming critical and fan response and praise. With Gang Starr billboards predominately displayed in Times Square, London and locations across the world, One Of The Best Yet made a swift and immediate impact rocketing up the charts to become the #2 hip-hop album in the country; trailing only Kanye West’s Jesus Is King.
To celebrate the release of One Of The Best Yet, Gang Starr releases the project’s second video “Bad Name.” Shot on location in Chicago, the “Bad Name” video includes cameos from Guru’s son Keith Casim and internet personality Spice Adams.
“I initially wanted “Bad Name” to be the first single that officially brought Gang Starr back. Since the inception of video music channels I have always paid very close attention to the direction and production elements. I love coming up with concepts, and I already had a vision for “Bad Name.” I wanted a fun video with Spice Adams and for Guru’s son (Keith Casim) to play his father in the video—and then never do that again. We ended up going with “Family and Loyalty” with J. Cole as the first single and it worked out perfectly, as Keith was able to get more comfortable being in front of the camera and used to the process” Premier commented.
With all Gang Starr videos, symbolism plays a central and integral theme. In one pivotal scene, Premier bestows a Gang Starr hat to Guru’s son. Though not planned, Guru’s son underwent a transformation to play his father in the video by cutting off his dreads to fully immerse himself into the role. “When I played football, my coach used to say “put your war bonnet on (helmet) “I have always carried that with me and that’s how I’ve looked at it when it came to Gang Starr. Giving that hat to Keith was a very special moment because it reminded me of what his father and I built together” DJ Premier stated.
That symbolism is also reflected in the video’s closing moments, as the urn with Guru’s ashes appears. “This video came out exactly as I wanted, but the shoot was very hectic. Spice Adams was nice enough to open up his home to us during the filming and it helped us add the levity and warmth which the scene required” a very appreciative DJ Premier recalled. “Guru’s spirit and impact will live forever, but it was essential for him to be at the video shoot.”
In September of 2017, DJ Premier embarked on a journey that had been years in the making. Even though he has now accomplished that goal with One Of The Best Yet, the reaction and reception which the album has generated have been awe-inspiring. “I’ve never seen or felt so much love. The illest thing is, I have so many people coming up to me on the streets to congratulate and thank me. Guru’s tragic ending contributed to so many unfounded rumors, this album has erased so many difficult memories. One Of The Best Yet is not about me, it’s about Guru and his family. This puts Guru where he deserves to be, eternally remembered as One Of The Best Yet.”
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