Hard to Earn
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Hard to Earn
Hard to Earn
Studio album by Gang Starr
Released March 8, 1994 (US)
Recorded 1992-September 1993
Mid 1992("DWYCK")
D&D Studios
(New York, New York)
Genre East Coast Hip Hop,[1]Hardcore Hip Hop[1]
Length 58:57
Label Chrysalis/EMI Records
7243 8 28435 2 8
Producer DJ Premier (Producer)
Guru (Co-Producer)
Gang Starr chronology
Daily Operation
(1992)Daily Operation1992
Hard to Earn
Moment of Truth
(1998)Moment of Truth1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
RapReviews 8.5/10 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (neither)[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[6]
The Source 4/5 stars[7]

Hard to Earn is the fourth album from the hip hop duo Gang Starr. It was released in 8 March 1994 and featured the singles "Mass Appeal", "DWYCK" and "Code of the Streets". Guest appearances on the album include Group Home, Jeru the Damaja, and Big Shug. At the time, all were part of the Gang Starr Foundation, which made the album a stepping-stone for future DJ Premier-helmed projects by Group Home and Jeru. The single "DWYCK" recorded in 1992 also featured hip hop duo Nice & Smooth. The track "Now You're Mine" originally appeared on the 1992 Soundtrack "White Men Can't Rap".

Hard to Earn is also the duo's first album to carry the "Parental Advisory" label.

Track listing

# Title Songwriters Producer(s) Performer (s)
1 "Intro (The First Step)" DJ Premier, Guru *Instrumental*
2 "ALONGWAYTOGO" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
3 "Code of the Streets" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam Guru, DJ Premier (co-produced) Guru
4 "Brainstorm" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
5 "Tonz 'O' Gunz" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
6 "The Planet" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
7 "Aiiight Chill..." Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru *Skit* featuring Nas, A.G., Masta Ace, MC Eiht, DJ Scratch, Mister Cee
8 "Speak Ya Clout" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam, Jeru Kendrick Davis, Heath DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Lil Dap, Jeru the Damaja
9 "DWYCK" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam, Greg Mays, Daryl Barnes DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Nice & Smooth
10 "Words from the Nutcracker" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam, Felder DJ Premier, Guru Melachi the Nutcracker
11 "Mass Appeal" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
12 "Blowin' Up the Spot" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
13 "Suckas Need Bodyguards" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Melachi the Nutcracker
14 "Now You're Mine" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
15 "Mostly Tha Voice" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru
16 "F.A.L.A." Keith Elam, Cary Guy DJ Premier, Guru Guru, Big Shug
17 "Comin' for Datazz" Christopher Martin, Keith Elam DJ Premier, Guru Guru


Intro (The First Step)


Code of the Streets


  • "Comic Strip" by Mikey Dread
  • "Community Auditions Theme" by Dave Maynard

Tonz 'O' Gunz

The Planet

Aiiight Chill

Speak Ya Clout


Words from the Nutcracker

Mass Appeal

Blowin' Up the Spot

Suckas Need Bodyguards

Now You're Mine

Mostly Tha Voice


Comin' for Datazz


Chart (1994) Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[8] 29
US Billboard 200[9] 25
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[10] 2

Singles chart positions

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
1994 DWYCK - - 25 12
Mass Appeal 67 42 10 3
Code of the Streets - 83 33 5
Suckas Need Bodyguards - - 44 18


  1. ^ a b Jason Birchmeier (1994-03-08). "Hard to Earn - Gang Starr | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Hard to Earn - Gang Starr". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013. 
  3. ^ Doggett, Tom (May 24, 2005). "GangStarr:: Hard to Earn :: Chrysalis Records". RapReviews. Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ "CG: Gang Starr". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2013. 
  5. ^ Nelson, Havelock (June 2, 1994). "Hard To Earn : Gang Starr : Review". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on November 20, 2009. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard. "The New Rolling Stone Album Guide". Books.google.co.uk. p. 322. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "Classic Review : Hard To Earn in The Source (1994) | Press Rewind If I Haven't". Ifihavent.wordpress.com. 2010-04-20. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Gang Starr | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  10. ^ "Gang Starr Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2013.

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