Moment of Truth (Gang Starr album)

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Moment of Truth
Studio album by Gang Starr
Released March 31, 1998
Recorded 1997–1998;
D&D Studios
New York City
Genre East Coast hip hop, Hardcore hiphop, jazz rap[1]
Length 78:37
Label Noo Trybe, Virgin
Producer DJ Premier, Guru
Gang Starr chronology
Hard to Earn
(1994)Hard to Earn1994
Moment of Truth
Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr
(1999)Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune4/4 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
Houston Chronicle4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[7]
The Source4.5/5[8]

Moment of Truth is the fifth album by hip hop duo Gang Starr, released on March 31, 1998 by Noo Trybe Records and Virgin Records. Gang Starr recorded Moment of Truth in sessions at D&D Studios.

Released four years after its previous album, Hard to Earn, this album could be perceived as a comeback, with a newer, updated style of the group's already-established jazz-tinged hip hop, as stated by Guru in the introduction. Lyrically, the album is more emotional and socially conscious than previous installments.

Recording and production[edit]

The album features more guest artists than previous Gang Starr releases. Collaborations include songs with Inspectah Deck, Scarface, G-Dep, Freddie Foxxx, K-Ci & JoJo, M.O.P. and more.

Production on the album features heftier, more melodic, and more mature beats from DJ Premier.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album 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.[9] The lead single, "You Know My Steez," became the duo's second Billboard Hot 100 appearance in 1997, peaking at #76. Spin magazine ranked it as the #16 album of 1998.[10]


The album's title track was featured in the 2011 Matthew McConaughey film The Lincoln Lawyer.[11][12][13] The title track also appeared in the soundtrack of the 2001 video game Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 as well as an episode during the third season of the television show Mr. Robot. The song Work appears on ESPN promos for SC6 with Michael/Jemele.

Track listing[edit]

# 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 Stax 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 (co produced) 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 (co produced) 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

Chart positions[edit]


Chart (1998) Peak
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[14] 14
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[15] 51
French Albums (SNEP)[16] 70
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[17] 94
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 28
UK Albums (OCC)[19] 43
US Billboard 200[20] 6
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[21] 1


Chart positions from Billboard magazine

Year Song Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Hot Rap Singles Dance/Electronic Singles Sales
1997 "You Know My Steez" 76 15 5 2
1998 "The Militia" 59 19 7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Moment of Truth – Gang Starr". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  2. ^ Baker, Soren (April 10, 1998). "Gang Starr: Moment of Truth (Noo Trybe)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ Tyehimba, Cheo (April 24, 1998). "Moment of Truth". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  4. ^ Jam, Billy (March 29, 1998). "Gang Starr, Moment of Truth, Noo Trybe". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  5. ^ Johnson, Brett (April 26, 1998). "Gang Starr, 'Moment of Truth,' Noo Trybe/Virgin". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ Batey, Angus (April 11, 1998). "Gang Starr – Moment of Truth". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  7. ^ McLeod, Kembrew (2004). "Gang Starr". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 322. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ "Gang Starr: Moment of Truth". The Source (104): 145. May 1998. 
  9. ^ "Gold & Platinum - Gang Starr". RIAA. May 7, 1998. 
  10. ^ "Spin Magazine's The 20 Best Albums of 1998". Rocklist. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  11. ^ Barone, Matt (March 18, 2011). "Review: "The Lincoln Lawyer" (Starring Matthew McConaughey)". Complex. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Lincoln Lawyer - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  13. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "'The Lincoln Lawyer' Soundtrack Features Erik B. & Rakim, Gang Starr, deadmau5 & More". IndieWire. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  15. ^ " – Gang Starr – Moment of Truth" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  16. ^ " – Gang Starr – Moment of Truth". Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH.
  18. ^ " – Gang Starr – Moment of Truth". Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Gang Starr | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  20. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.