Hard to Earn

Hard to Earn

by Gang Starr


$12.79 $13.99 Save 9% Current price is $12.79, Original price is $13.99. You Save 9%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


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 and jazzy beats, Hard to Earn seems much more reactionary, especially its lyrics. Guru opens the album with a tough, dismissive spoken-word intro: "Yo, all you kids want to get on and sh*t/Just remember this/This sh*t ain't easy/If you ain't got it, you ain't got it, motherf*cker." While this sense of superiority is undoubtedly a long-running convention of not just East Coast rap but rap in general, you don't expect to hear it coming from Gang Starr, particularly with such a bitter tone. Yet this attitude pervades throughout Hard to Earn. Songs such as "Suckas Need Bodyguards" and "Mass Appeal" take aim at unnamed peers, and other songs such as "ALONGWAYTOGO" similarly center on "whack crews." The best moments on Hard to Earn aren't these songs but instead "Code of the Streets" and "Tonz 'O' Gunz," two songs where Guru offers the type of social commentary that made Gang Starr so admirable in the first place. Yet, even though Hard to Earn is a bit short on such thoughtful moments, instead weighed down a bit with harsh attitude, it does offer some of DJ Premier's best productions ever. He's clearly at -- or, at least, near -- his best here. There isn't a song on the album that's a throwaway, and even the interludes are stunning. Given the subtly bitter tone of this album, it perhaps wasn't surprising then that Guru and Premier took some time to pursue solo opportunities after Hard to Earn. You can sense the duo's frustration with the rap scene circa 1994. The two didn't return with another Gang Starr album until four years later when they dropped Moment of Truth, a succinct comeback album that reaffirmed their status as one of New York's most thoughtful and artistic rap acts.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/08/1994
Label: Virgin Records Us
UPC: 0724382843528
catalogNumber: 28435
Rank: 36981

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gang Starr   Primary Artist
Joe Quinde   Bass

Technical Credits

Quincy Jones   Contributor
Guru   Lyricist,Producer
Jeru the Damaja   Lyricist
Luc Allen   Engineer
Dave Carpenter   Engineer
George Clinton   Contributor
DJ Premier   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Keith Elam   Composer
Joe Quinde   Engineer
Eddie Sancho   Engineer
Kieran Walsh   Engineer
Greg Nice   Lyricist
Big Shug   Lyricist
Lil' Dap   Lyricist
Melachi the Nutcracker   Lyricist
Smooth B.   Lyricist
Louis Tineo   Engineer
Max Vargus   Engineer
Henry Marquez   Art Direction
Chris E. Martin   Composer
J.R. Baxter   Composer
James Heath   Composer
Jamal Felder   Composer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Hard to Earn 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I heard this album my face almost fell off!!!! This is what hip hop is all about