20
Apr
10

Who’s Gonna Take The Weight?

wow. Can’t believe that it’s been nearly a year, and in that year, I’ve only posted two new posts. Damn. I have GOT to do better. We won’t even get into how INEXCUSABLE that shit is. pardon self. Moving on…sadly, on this blessed day of greenery partaking, 4/20, I must say Rest In Peace to Keith E Elam aka GURU of the famed, legendary, Golden Era tandem of him and DJ Premier; GANGSTARR. I could turn this into a history lesson for the unenlightened but time won’t permit AND IF you’re really a citizen of this HIP HOP UNIVERSE and call yourself a connoisseur, you already know his many contributions to the culture. If not… Do your research. It will be rewarding. Few have been as influential as GURU has been to me, personally. The early 90s was when I was just starting to get some knowledge of self and so much spiritual empowerment and nationalistic pride was infused in HIP HOP then that it was a truly beautiful time to be living and CONSCIOUS. I WAS/AM/ALWAYSWILLBE about that jewelry. GURU and Primo produced classic, timeless, quality material. Primo on the cuts and production, fuhgeddaboutit. GURU. That nicca, GURU. Raspy, monotone and loquacious. As an emcee who wasn’t very in love with his own recorded voice, I found comfort in knowing that that didn’t deter Baldhead Slick from stepping into the arena. Between his collaborative efforts and his own JAZZMATAZZ series of recordings, you have tons and tons and tons of jewels. INTERESTING NOTE: Gangstarr repped BROOKLYN heavy but neith GURU or PREMIER were from NEW YORK. Preem is from Texas and attended Prarie View A&M and GURU is from Massachusetts and attended MOREHOUSE. Two HBCU GRADUATES! Preem’s parents were educators and GURU’s pops was a judge. This speaks on behalf of my argument about the actual intelligence quotient and capacity needed to do THIS HIP HOP THING. I remember the summers of 1991 and 1992 because of how DAILY OPERATION and STEP INTO THE ARENA were the soundtracks of my young life. To this day, I still HAVE TO have those two cassettes, yep, that’s right, I said cassettes, in rotation on long road trips or extended stays from home. If you knew me back then and was bearing witness to my comeup, you knew me by the grey hardtop SUZUKI SAMAURAI and the HIP HOP that was always boomin in my, boomin in my, boomin in my jeep! Few knocked or KNOCK like those two albums. HARDBODY! I’m talmbout headnoddin, make that ugly face, camoflauge and timberland, phillie blunt muzak!!!!! aight, I’m startin to get teary-eyed over here….I LOVE a lot of things. People. beauty. freedom. creative expression and music. I feel like I’ve lost a teacher and mentor. I can’t front. I went off to college. Joined the Marines and basically became a LISTENER of HIPHOP music. GURU and GANGSTARR INSPIRED ME to become active in the culture and pick my pen back up. I never put it down again. As I put this one in the air, I want to give a sincere, heartfelt THANKS and PEACE, GOD to my man GIFTED, UNLIMITED, RHYMES UNIVERSAL. You did not die today, you acsended. My world is a better place because of your contribution and gift. ONE

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5 Responses to “Who’s Gonna Take The Weight?”


  1. April 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    These words in the second verse from Moment of Truth by Gang Starr seemed quite prophetic and eerie, but Guru said it best:

    But they can’t take the respect, that I’ve earned in my lifetime
    And you know they’ll never stop the furious force of my rhymes
    So like they say, every dog has its day
    And like they say, God works in a mysterious way
    So I pray, remembering the days of my youth
    As I prepare to meet my moment of truth

  2. April 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    he had actually gone through some things during the recording of the MOMENT OF TRUTH album. The patented GANGSTARR sound SOUNDED MORE MATURE, the collabos with JODECI and REBEL INS,Inspectah Deck. That was a gear shifter in their catalog. New label. Money. Recognition. I could go on….damn, you miss the water till the well is gone, right?

  3. April 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Right, it was pretty much the turning of the tide.

  4. 5 bigshorty
    April 21, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Peace to my Brother Esteem for this tribute to the legendary emcee GURU; legendary status is sometimes given too freely, and it is truly a title that is HARD TO EARN! Guru can rest knowing his legacy is FIRMLY entrenched in the historical record. I can’t add anything to your memorial to this brother, do the research if you are unfamiliar, if you know like I know, you have the archives to reminisce on the time when skills and principles mattered in Hip Hop.

    I will say that I am disturbed that Preme and Guru were not on speaking terms before Guru’s death; I don’t know what caused this schism between them but the art they created together is stronger than the last years where they drifted apart. The letter Solar released (among all the other suspect letters) should be examined closely.

    My lasting memory of Guru will be one of a cat who was a student and teacher of Hip Hop and left a blueprint of how to maintain integrity in one’s art. Esteem pointed out in his tribute piece that Gangstarr, and Guru in particular, pioneered the jazz/genre of Hip Hop along with Tribe, as well as giving us that good ol’ boom bap! Peace to Guru and his family, gone in the physical but here forever in spirit and sound.


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