Livin Proof (2 LP)
One of the more unsung talents that came out of the Gang Starr Foundation was the Brooklyn-based duo Group Home, consisting of MCs Lil Dap and Melachi The Nutcracker. Dap was first showcased on the Gang Starr posse cut “I’m The Man,” on 1992’s Daily Operation; Melachi appeared on “Words From The Nutcracker” from 1993’s Hard To Earn. The early Group Home song “So Called Friends” was also featured on 1993’s now-legendary Gangstarr Foundation Sampler, which also gave the world Jeru’s “Come Clean.”
By 1995, Dap and Melachi had paid their dues and finally got their own full-length: Livin’ Proof. And it was everything that Gang Starr and any true school hip-hop fans could have wanted, produced almost entirely by DJ Premier (with two exceptions: “Serious Rap Shit” helmed by Guru himself; and “4 Give My Sins,” produced by Jay-Z mentor Jaz-O (aka Big Jazz).
Beyond the album’s classic singles – “Supa Star,” “Livin’ Proof” and “Suspended In Time” – there are Premier-overseen classics all over, including “The Realness,” “Inna Citi Life,” and “Sacrifice.” In fact, many Gang Starr scholars agree that the beats on Living Proof are in the Top 5 of all Premier-produced albums – no small boast, but certainly hard to disprove.
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