Hip Hop Wiki
Hip Hop Wiki
Hard to Earn
Hard to Earn.jpeg
Studio album by Gang Starr


8 March 1994


July 1992 - June 1993


D&D Studios
(New York City)


Hip hop, East Coast hip hop, hardcore hip hop, jazz rap




Chrysalis/EMI Records


DJ Premier, Guru

Gang Starr chronology


Daily Operation (1992)


Moment of Truth (1998)

Hard to Earn is the fourth album by American hip hop duo Gang Starr, released in March 8, 1994 on Chrysalis Records. Musically, the album is constructed around a harder, more stripped-down sound that is distinctively less melodic than the duo's previous work. Guest appearances on the album are supplied by Gang Starr Foundation members Group Home, Jeru the Damaja and Big Shug. It also features the single "DWYCK", which features hip hop duo Nice & SmoothHard to Earn is the duo's first album to carry the "Parental Advisory" label.

The album peaked at #25 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Track listing

All songs produced by DJ Premier and Guru.

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Time
1. "Intro (The First Step) - - 0:54
2. "ALONGWAYTOGO" Guru Elam, Martin 4:13
3. "Code of the Streets" Guru Elam, Martin 3:29
4. "Brainstorm" Guru Elam, Martin 3:02
5. "Tonz 'o' Gunz" Guru Elam, Martin 3:55
6. "The Planet" Guru Elam, Martin 5:16
7. "Aiiight Chill..." - Elam, Martin 3:13
8. "Speak Ya Clout" Jeru the Damaja, Lil' Dap, Guru Davis, Elam, Heath, Martin 3:35
9. "DWYCK" Greg Nice, Guru, Smooth B Barnes, Elam, Martin, Mays 4:03
10. "Words from the Nutcracker" Melachi the Nutcracker Felder, Martin 1:29
11. "Mass Appeal" Guru Elam, Martin 3:41
12. "Blowin' Up the Spot" Guru Elam, Martin 3:10
13. "Suckas Need Bodyguards" Guru Elam, Martin 4:05
14. "Now You're Mine" Guru Elam, Martin 2:44
15. "Mostly tha Voice" Guru Elam, Martin 3:38
16. "F.A.L.A." Guru, Big Shug Elam, Guy 4:17
17. "Comin' for Datazz" Guru Elam, Martin 4:02


Intro (The First Step)

  • "Scarlet Woman" by Weather Report


Code of the Streets

  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
  • "Little Green Apples" by Monk Higgins


  • "Comic Strip" by Mikey Dread

Tonz 'O' Gunz

  • "Breakthrough" by Isaac Hayes
  • "Woman" by Three Dog Night
  • "Fire & Fury Grass Roots Speech (Side One)" by Malcolm X

The Planet

  • "The Cuckoo" by Taj Mahal
  • "It's All Because She's Gone" by Steve Davis
  • "Lyte as a Rock" by MC Lyte

Aiiight Chill

  • "Love and Happiness" by Monty Alexander
  • "Dynomite - Part I" by Tony Camillo's Bazuka

Speak Ya Clout

  • "Cucumber Slumber" by Weather Report
  • "Up Against the Wall" by Quincy Jones
  • "Shack Up" by Banbarra
  • "Funk It Down" by Caesar Frazier


  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
  • "Hey Jude" by Clarence Wheeler and The Enforcers

Words from The Nutcracker

  • "Journey From Within" by The Crusaders
  • "Lock It in the Pocket" by Grover Washington, Jr.

Mass Appeal

  • "You're a Customer" by EPMD
  • "Horizon Drive" by Vic Juris
  • "Pass Da Mic (Remix)" by Da Youngsta's

Blowin' Up the Spot

  • "I Didn't Come Rhythm" by George Clinton
  • "I Didn't Come Bass" by George Clinton

Suckas Need Bodyguards

Now You're Mine

Mostly tha Voice

  • "Time Will Be Your Doctor" by Fuzzy Duck
  • "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy
  • "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" by James Brown


  • "Get Up and Dance" by Freedom
  • "Hard Like a Criminal" by Das EFX

Comin' for Datazz

  • "Blind Alley" by The Emotions
  • "Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse)" by Run-D.M.C.