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Moment of Truth
Studio album by Gang Starr
Released March 31, 1998 (US)
Recorded 1997-1998
D&D Studios in New York, New York
Genre Hip-Hop
Label Noo Trybe/Virgin/EMI Records
7243 8 45585 2 9
Producer DJ Premier (Producer)
Guru (Co-producer)
Professional reviews
Gang Starr chronology
Hard to Earn
Moment of Truth
Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr

Moment of Truth is the fifth album by hip hop duo Gang Starr.



Released four years after their previous album, Hard to Earn, this album could be perceived as a comeback, with a newer, updated style to their already established jazz-tinged hip-hop, as stated by Guru in the introduction:

"We have certain formulas, but we update 'em (oh, right)
Sith the times and everything, you know
So you know the rhyme style is elevated
The style of beats is elevated, but it's still Guru and Premier."

Stylistically, Premier's beats, while maintaining the signature two-measure loop and scratched chorus formula, expand their range of samples. Not only does he use more orchestral (ie, less funk/soul-based) horns and strings, but he also features more atonal, non-melodic samples, a style he had first explored on Jeru the Damaja's The Sun Rises in the East. Guru also grows somewhat on the album: he focuses more openly on social issues, and attempts to embrace his status, which had grown considerably during Gang Starr's hiatus to the point where many already considered him a hip-hop legend. Of course, his trademark battle rhymes are also in full force on many tracks.

Despite being overshadowed by more mainstream artists, the album has gained immense respect within the underground hip-hop circuit, and is the group's most commercially successful album to date. Moment of Truth debuted at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It went on to sell over 500,000 copies and was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 7, 1998. The lead single, "You Know My Steez," became the duo's second Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1997, peaking at #76. Spin magazine ranked it as the #16 album of 1998.[1]

The album features a lot more guest rappers than previous Gang Starr releases; collaborations include songs with Inspectah Deck, Scarface, G-Dep, Freddie Foxxx, K-Ci & Jo-Jo, M.O.P. and more.

The title track also appeared in the soundtrack of the 2001 video game Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2.

Track listing

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s) Length
1 "You Know My Steez" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 4:07
2 "Robbin Hood Theory" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 3:44
3 "Work" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 2:57
4 "Royalty" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, K-Ci & JoJo 5:11
5 "Above The Clouds" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Inspectah Deck 3:41
6 "JFK 2 LAX" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 3:34
7 "Itz A Set Up" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Hannibal 3:49
8 "Moment Of Truth" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 4:07
9 "B.I. Vs. Friendship" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, M.O.P. 4:37
10 "The Militia" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Big Shug, Freddie Foxxx 4:48
11 "The Rep Grows Bigga" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 4:55
12 "What I'm Here 4" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 2:45
13 "She Knowz What She Wantz" Guru, DJ Premier Guru 3:00
14 "New York Strait Talk" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 4:14
15 "My Advice 2 You" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 2:31
16 "Make 'Em Pay" Guru, DJ Premier Guru, Krumbsnatcha 4:21
17 "The Mall" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, G-Dep, Shiggy Sha 3:40
18 "Betrayal" DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Scarface 5:29
19 "Next Time" DJ Premier, Guru Guru 3:06
20 "In Memory Of…" DJ Premier, Guru DJ Premier, Guru 3:50


You Know My Steez



Above the Clouds


Itz a Set Up

Moment of Truth

  • "Let's Fall in Love All Over" by Billy Paul
  • "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" by Gang Starr

B.I. Vs. Friendship

  • "Come Live With Me" by Isaac Hayes
  • "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" by Gang Starr


Rep Grows Bigga

What I'm Here 4

She Knowz What She Wantz

New York Strait Talk

My Advice 2 You

  • "I Love You More Than You Will Know" by Cold Blood

Make 'Em Pay

  • "Livin' Proof" by Group Home
  • "You're Something Special" by Five Special


  • "Deliver the Word" by War

Next Time

In Memory Of...

Album singles

Single information
"Royalty" [Promo Only Single]
  • Released: 1997
  • B-side:
"You Know My Steez"
  • Released: November 18, 1997
  • B-side: "So Wassup?"
"The Militia"
  • Released: July 28, 1998
  • B-side: "You Know My Steez (Three Men And A Lady Remix)"

Chart positions



Chart (1998) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 6
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1


Chart positions from Billboard magazine

Year Song Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
1997 "You Know My Steez" 76 32 5 2
1998 "The Militia" 68 38


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