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Gang Starr - Mass Appeal

Verse one: guru

No way you'll never make it
Come with the weak shit, I break kids
Step into my zone, mad rhymes will stifle ya
Lines like rifles go blast when I kick some ass
A lot of rappers be like one time wonders
Couldn't say a fly rhyme if there was one right under
Their noses, I hate those motherfuckin posers
But I'm so real to them it's scary
And with my unique skills nag you can't compare me
And no we don't make wack tracks
And all the suckers get pushed back when I'm kickin real facts
I represent set up shit like a tent boy
You're paranoid cause you're my son like elroy
And you'd be happy as hell to get a record deal
Maybe your soul you'd sell to have mass appeal

Verse two:

Oh yes I'm greater than all mc's when I breeeze give me room please
I be like fascinatin when I be updatin
Cuttin off wack kids, pullin their trump cards
I thump hard, and mak eem say that I'm god
Niggaz be pretendin they hardcore
Never know the meaning of [real hardcore]
But I get props like a slogan and no man
Could ever try to diss when I kicks my jam
Lyrically def and connecting complete mic wrecking
No double checking vocals kill like weapons
But if I have to I go all out with no mic
Yeah that's right cause I survived mad fights
And for my peeps I truly care
Cause without some of them I wouldn't be here
And they all know how I feel
Cause suckers be like playin themselves to have mass appeal

Verse three:

I know I'm dope but don't wet that
I've suffered setbacks but now I'm makin greenbacks
Just like baggy slacks I'm crazy hip-hop
Check one two and you don't stop
Your head'll bop when I drop my crop
Of pure bomb, just like the seashore I'm calm
But wild, with my monotone style
Because I don't need gimmicks
Gimme a fly beat and I'm all in it
Word is bond I go on and on
For you it's tragic I got magic like wands
So i'ma end this lecture and I betcha
Those who kick dirt and do time I'm gonna get cha
Cause I be kickin the real
While they be losin the race tryin to chase mass appeal

A critique of the sellouts watering down their sound for mainstream success. Even though Guru and Primo did more commercial projects separately, together their output was always 100% hardcore Hip Hop. Any wider success Gang Starr achieved was due to the mainstream crossing over to them rather than vice versa. DJ Premier said the following about “Mass Appeal”: "We were really making fun of radio, and it became our biggest radio record. And to this day it’s one of my favorites ever." DJ Premier via Complex: "It was recorded as a joke. We just wanted to make fun of the radio on what it sounded like to get airplay. That’s why I made the background melody real simplistic. I was making fun of the radio, but I’m going to make a funky version of making fun of it. Everything’s a vision, and your brain has to be that intense to be able to capture that. What the radio played, when it came to hip-hop, it sounded too watered down. That was making fun of it, but that record did real good for us. We shot the video in Riis beach out in Far Rockaway, but don’t mention that video, man. It was cold, too cold."

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