Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gang Starr

Lifesaver [Jazzmatazz]

What a surprise when I read this morning that Guru died yesterday from a cancer at the age 43.
Gang Starr was one of the pioneers of East Coast Hip-Hop. Guru himself reshaped the Hip Hop sound with his recordings Jazzmatazz, delicate blends of jazz and Hip-Hop.
I remember when I used to listen to Guru all the time when I first got into Hip-Hop a couple years ago.

This year has been terrible for the music world.

Gang Starr - Work

Paired to the producer DJ Premier, Gang Starr released 6 great albums.
Guru's flow is like no other and DJ Premier was at the time one of the most respectful producer on the East Coast.

Gang Starr - Next Time

(I thought a Best Of would be a good introduction)

Full Clip

Surprising event, Guru wrote a letter for his fans when he was in the hospital.
Here is the letter he wrote and surprisingly we learn that his relationship with DJ Premier was done for seven years and that he was extremely close to MC Solar (French MC who participated in the jazzmatazz series with Guru).
Reading commentaries on websites about this letter, some people find it strange that Solar's name shows up so many times in this letter, making it look like it has been modified for Solar to ensure a great exposure next to Guru's name.
I disagree with that.

Here is the letter he wrote:

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. - From http://allhiphop.com

Anyway, Guru was an amazing artist whose work won't be forgotten.

Here is a collaboration between Solar and Guru released on the first Jazzmatazz album:


  1. RIP!
    thanks for posting this music. it's golden.

  2. Hey glad to see you follow my posts.
    If you want any other albums lemme know