GURU Tribute

By Ralo

There have been many recognizable voices in the history of recorded rap music, Q-Tip, KRS-ONE and Chuck D are some of those notable voices. One voice that is sure to endure is the distinct and raspy voice of GURU. I'm proud to say that I introduced the music of Gang Starr to my circle of friends in the late 80's. I discovered Gang Starrs' first single "Gusto" backed with "Knowledge", because it was produced by DJ Mark The 45 King. I bought that single because I was fascinated with the production style of The 45 King. What seemed like just another vinyl record purchase, turned into a 20 year relationship of enjoying the progressive approach to Hip-Hop that is Gang Starr.

GURUs' lyrical content was conscious and socially relevant at times, yet still remained raw to the street. He always demonstrated his remarkable ability to tailor his message to his audience. GURU talked about everything from world events, on songs like "Who's Gonna Take The Weight", to relationships on songs like "Love Sick" and "What You Want This Time". GURU also touched on the topic of black on black violence on "Just To Get A Rep", and still managed to maintain his street credibility. GURU released about 13 albums in total and left behind a legacy of music and respect that will not be matched for years to come.

DJ Tiger did an Off The Corner tribute to Guru this week that was well done and very well received. It was two hours of music and conversation about the life and times of GURU, the day before the third anniversary of his passing. I got an opportunity to share some of my own personal stories about my experiences with the music of Guru, as well as tell of the good fortune I had to meet GURU on three separate occasions. The Archive of that tribute can be heard here at Off The Corner.

Talib Kweli paid lyrical homage GURU in a new song called "GURU", which was produced by Marco Polo and features DJ Premier. This tribute to GURU will be  on the forthcoming album "NewPort Authority 2" by Marco Polo.