Gang Starr: Robbin Hood Theory (Noo Trybe, 1998, Moment of Truth)

I was recently listening to Moment of Truth again…probably the first time in close to 10 years that I’ve just put it on, front to back.

I’ve always ranked Gang Starr albums like this:

1. Hard to Earn
2. Step In the Arena
3. Moment of Truth
4-6 (tied) Daily Operation, No More Mr. Nice Guy, The Ownerz1

Sometimes, #1 and 2 flip positions but Moment of Truth has never risen above the #3 spot.

It’s one of those albums that, instinctually, I know is a “good album” yet equally instinctually, I don’t connect with it. (See also: the second Brand Nubian album). But I decided to pull it out again and give it another end-to-end listen, just to see if my feelings had changed. Plus, I need to fill this “post a day” quota I stupidly committed myself to so why not create a bunch of posts to think all this through aloud?

1) Let’s just say this upfront: five out of the first six tracks are killer.2 Gang Starr had already teased us with “You Know My Steez” but the first new song we heard was “Robbin Hood Theory” and I remember thinking, “oh shit, man, this is gonna be good.”

  1. I have a hard time ranking those three albums against one another since there’s both songs I love and songs I’m “meh” on and none of them have the magic ratio to clearly put it ahead of another.
  2. The one that’s not? “Royalty.” Never liked it. Still don’t.