DJ Premier shocked the Hip Hop world last month when he dropped a new Gang Starr song featuring unreleased Guru vocals. Titled “Family & Loyalty,” the track boasts an assist from J. Cole and the iconic duo’s signature ’90s boom bap feel.
Now, Preemo has returned with a visual for the aforementioned single. Directed by Fab 5 Freddy, the video kicks off with old footage of Preemo and Guru getting off a tour bus. From there, we are catapulted to 2019 where Preemo sits in a corporate office as Guru’s last will and testament is read.
“The most important aspect of this will per Guru’s wishes is the distribution of these rare, uncut diamonds given to him by an African chief,” the lawyer says. “Also, the playing of this cassette tape.”
As he presses play, vintage photos and old footage of Guru starts to roll across the screen as the late MC’s voice is resurrected.
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) October 1, 2019
Shot on location in Harlem and Fayetteville, North Carolina, the video features Guru’s son Keith Casim and serves as the first Gang Starr video ever filmed without Guru being present in physical form.
“Everything is very emotional and raw, because he’s not here, but his spirit is here,” Preemo said in the press release. “We shot the first half of this video on Cole’s turf and we had a very limited window in North Carolina.
“Fab 5 Freddy called me and he was really worried he would not be able to fly in from New York due to Hurricane Dorian. I told Freddy that Guru was piloting the flight and he would get him here safely and on time — and he did.”
Before shooting began, Premier had a crystal clear vision of what he wanted the visual to look like, which he shared with Fab 5 Freddy.
“We have so much unused footage together [Guru and Premier] and with Guru’s lyrics,” he added. “I visualized him in the video as a picture book, a photo album that would capture our journey.”
Casim is also an integral focus of the video.
“Keith was nine when his father passed away and he is now 19,” Preemo explained. “I used to babysit him. He made me feel like Guru was there with me. I told him he has the same look in his eyes as his father and everyone on set commented on how striking the resemblance is. It was real important to me to have Guru’s son be a major focus of the video.
“Keith is starting to really understand the legacy his Father left behind and the whole team is sharing so many stories with him. We are honest with him — [we share] how much fun Guru and I had, the bad times — we are not sugarcoating anything. We want him to know his father.”
More is expected from Gang Starr in the near future.
Until then, watch the “Family & Loyalty” video above.