Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shout to Guru

So glad to hear Guru, who will always be known for Gang Starr, has pulled through this major crisis in his life. It's a wake up call for all of us, to take better care of ourselves.

In the early 90's hip-hop (da boom bap flava that is) was at its apex, Gang Starr was one of the groups that was taking things to the next level. This wasn't a couple of guys with dope beats and a marketing gimmick, these were two serious brothers who were dedicated to taking the music beyond its boundaries, but still have it grounded in its original form.

Keith, put a lot of thought into his lyrics. He understood how to match themes with the atmosphere of the beats Premiere supplied. They were one of few groups back then who's songs were "in the pocket" so to speak.

Even when he did "love rap" Guru was still hardcore!

My favorite Gang Starr joint is "Check the Technique", this Marlena Shaw based sample is Guru at his best lyrically. Guru and Premo forged the bridge between hip-hop and jazz like no one had ever done before. Jazzy Jeff's "A Touch of Jazz" was the first to cut breaks (Harlem River Drive, Change Makes You Wanna Hustle) but Premo turned the world upside down with his jazz and funk based samples.

Guru this is for you...

The first time I heard the name Gang Starr it was a group called Gang Starr Posse, it was Keithy E and a couple of others, that crew went nowhere, but once Guru and Premo hooked up and rocked the streets with "Words that I Manifest" it was over...

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