Originally this was to be posted this evening with the usual Stereotoid reviews but we've decided it's more appropriate to give it's own post.
One of the unique things about great artist is in a way they are immortal. When their souls do leave they leave behind an impression of themselves so deep that they become unforgettable. One such artist who passed away this week was rapper Guru who died only at the age of 47 this past Monday from cancer.
Stereotoid Remembers is an opportunity for us, along with the community, to be sure great artist like these are not forgotten but are rather spread into the world so that they can strike an even deeper impact through us, the fans, than they ever could have alone. It is our job to make sure we don't just remember the death of the artist but the art they left us with in life.
The following words are not mine, Xzyliac. Instead this wonderfully written memorial was given to us by Dtoider Kraid.
Artist: Keith "Guru" Elam
Born in: Roxbury, Masschusets
Birthday: July 17, 1966
Died: April 19, 2010
Genre: Hip-hop, Jazz-Hop
Best known albums: *With Gang Starr: No More Mr. Guy, Step In The Arena, Daily Operation, Hard to Earn, Moment of Truth, The Ownerz
*Solo: Jazzmatazz Vol. 1-4
“Who's the suspicious character strapped with the sounds profound similar to rounds spit by Derringers?”
A perspicacious and monotone style is what defines Keith Elam to me. Guru was a young graffiti artist from Massachusetts who took Brooklyn by storm and created along with his long time partner DJ Premier a decade worth of stellar albums. A match made in heaven combining the masterfully crafted beats of Premier and the raw lyrics and conscious style of Guru. A style carried later on in his Jazzmatazz album series where Elam took the foundations of Hip-Hop and mixed it with the help of great contemporary jazz musicians to an innovative new sound.
Gang Starr is a milestone in Hip-Hop music, even thought there hasn’t been an album released in quite a while since Guru and Premier parted away after 2003’s The Owners hearing the untimely death of its flag emcee was a shock. We lost a great man last Monday to cancer and there’s is no other way to pay respect to the behemoth of the underground that to cherish his music and let everyone know that lyrical craftsmen like Guru will be eternal in our culture and minds.
His flow was insane, his lyrics conscious and crude and he was Hip-Hop. It’s hard not to over glorify Guru especially now that he’s no longer with us but mark my words when I say that he was and still is one of the greatest emcees in the history of Hip-Hop. Some of you might not have enjoyed his music before his death but every since I heard No More Mister Nice Guy five years ago, I loved and analyzed Gang Starr and Guru with a passion. Every albums, singles and collaborations made by this man are synonym of quality. He was one of the first American emcee to experiment with French rappers and jazz, he brought a new perspective to a genre highly gangsterized by the west coast and kept the old school feel of poetic yet self-aware style that Hip-Hop as lost over the years.
We lost the man but his music will always be cherished, I will share his music with my peers as long as I can breathe; R.I.P. Guru, Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.
“Your head'll bop when I drop my crop of pure bomb, just like the seashore I'm calm; But wild, with my monotone style.”