Gang Starr: The Militia (Soul Brother Remix) (Noo Trybe, 1998, 12″)

5) But back to Moment of Truth. That middle section, from “Itz a Set Up” through “The Rep Grows Bigga,” is where the album loses me musically. Again: I certainly wouldn’t have expected that.

To me, this part of the album is where Premier’s emergent production style begins to really make its presence felt. If you listen to his broader discography in this era – late ’90s through early ’00s – Moment of Truth is where it comes into full bloom. There’s more chopping, less long loops. It leans more towards a “harder” sound – aggressive guitar rips, sharp, staccato cuts, muscular baselines, etc. Even re-reading what I just wrote, my impulse is to say “wait, those all sound like good things” but for whatever reason, the style just left/leaves me a bit cold. It was telling that for “The Militia,” I always much preferred Pete Rock’s remix (which had more in common with older Primo styles) than the album version.

If this isn’t abundantly clear, what I’m saying here is: it’s not you (Preem), it’s me.