Friday, April 30, 2010

New Classics: Slum Village w/ Dwele-Tainted

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gang Starr's DJ Premier Comments On Guru's Death


...."It was a sad day for me to get confirmation on the death of a man who I will continue to call my brother, Keith Elam, better known as Guru of the legendary Gang Starr," the statement reads. "From 1988-2004, we experienced so much success together that we were able to expand our businesses independently and give each other what Guru called 'creative space,' before planning to reunite for our seventh LP when the time was right. Tragically, we will never reach that day.

"I've been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days. All I will say about it is that our time together was beautiful, we built a hip-hop legacy together, and no one can re-write history or take away my love for him. One thing I would never do is play around with the truth about his life.

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Guru's Farewell Letter Scrutinized

Right after Guru's death, a letter appeared that has caused a firestorm of controversy because many feel that Guru did not write the letter.

Here's the letter in its entirety, tell us what you think:

I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options.

I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do!

As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gangstarr's Guru Dead @ 43 Years Old

(Via Yahoo)

Hip-Hop Luminary Guru Succumbs To Cancer

Hip-hop icon Keith "Guru" Elam died Monday as a result of cancer-related causes, MTV reports. He was 43 years old.

Guru was hospitalized in March, and while some outlets reported that he suffered a heart attack, it was never confirmed.

Guru's friend and partner Solar released a statement following his passing. "The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time-my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru," Solar wrote, according to MTV. "Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man a true genius."

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What is your favorite Guru song or moment?

E.W.COM's favorite songs by Guru

7 things about rapper Keith “Guru” Elam of Gang Starr

(Via News Provider)

1. He was a member of Gang Starr, together with DJ Premier. In the 90s they helped shape the sound of hip hop’s sound.

2. He was born in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury.

3. In his later years he partnered with Solar and wanted nothing to do with DJ Premier.

4. With Gang Starr, he released some albums considered classic in hip hop, like Step In The Arena (1991) and Daily Operation.

5. His solo records were acclaimed too. The first one, and possibly the best known, was called Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 and was released in 1993.

6. His last album was called Guru 8.0: Lost And Found and was released in 2008.

7. He was 43 years old when he died after losing his battle with cancer. He had previously suffered a cardiac arrest following which he went into a coma. He woke up from the coma, but unfortunately died two months later.

Notorious B I G Performs One More Chance on Shwotime at The Apollo

Monday, April 12, 2010

3rd Annual Hip Hop Showcase: Rakim Allah Comes To Lock 3 Park in Akron, Ohio September 4th

(Akron Beacon Journal)

....If you call yourself a true hip-hop fan and you don't know who Rakim is, you suck.

Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true.

Way back in the stone age known as the 1980s, Rakim and DJ/producer partner Eric B upped the lyrical ante for all emcees with their watershed debut album Paid in Full. It featured classic tunes I Ain't No Joke, My Melody, the title cut, Move the Crowd and of course their biggest hit Chinese Arithmetic (that's a joke).

While many rappers were still using the simple, old-school, Run DMC style, Rakim brought imagery, different flows and a pre-gangsta seriousness to his lyrics that shifted ''the game'' from the basic, last line of the verse is the rhyming word to more complex schemes that featured rhymes within rhymes.

Eric B & Rakim followed up that classic banger with another, Follow the Leader, featuring Microphone Fiend, the Funkadelic-sampling Lyrics of Fury and the kinetic title track.

Eric B & Rakim broke up after Don't Sweat the Technique, which featured the uptempo Know the Ledge, a first person narrative of a street hustler who realizes he's destroying his community and is living on borrowed time.

Rakim has a new album, The Seventh Seal, that was released last fall after nearly a decade of recording, rerecording and generally taking his time. The album is just OK, but worth checking out. Hopefully, Ra will give us a nice mix of old and new.

Go to for more information

Sunday, April 11, 2010