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Gang Starr MC Guru in a Coma.
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Gang Starr MC Guru in a Coma. - March 1, 2010, 07:28 PM

Definitely one of my TOP 5 MCs.


http://www.spin.com/articles/gang-st...s-heart-attack

Gang Starr MC Guru Suffers Heart Attack



Keith "Guru" Elam, the MC for Brooklyn-based, jazz-tinged outfit Gang Starr, suffered a heart attack over the weekend and is receiving treatment in a New York City hospital.

The news about Guru, 43 -- first reported by hip-hop blogger and Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info -- broke late Sunday night. According to reports, he slipped into a coma and is scheduled to undergo surgery today.

"Guru is struggling with a serious health issue," said Solar, the rapper's longtime friend and producer. "We, the whole 7 Grand Records family, appreciate all your love and well wishes. We continue to hold out hope that Guru will make a full recovery from this."

The impact of Keith "Guru" Elam transcends quotable rhymes or dope records or his notable outreach between hip-hop and jazz musicians. Starting with his and Gang Starr partner DJ Premier's stupendous 1989 debut single "Words I Manifest" (watch the video below), which profoundly flipped a sample from a Miles Davis and Charlie Parker recording of "A Night in Tunisia," the resolutely adult murmur and boom of Guru's lyrics gave the group a vast authority.

A Boston transplant, he has a husky, yet intimate monotone that, as much as any other voice, bespoke the multifaceted, boho African-American arts upheaval coursing through Brooklyn's boroughs (and beyond) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. No one ever rapped about "cultural awareness" (as he did on "The Place Where We Dwell") and sounded less like an herb. He could juggle Newports and forties and W.E.B. Dubois volumes with an aplomb that inspired others to a defiantly mature hip-hop demeanor that remains uncommon to this day.

In one of SPIN's most memorable pieces, Danyel Smith wrote exuberantly in a May 1993 "Dreaming America" column about the deep complexity and sheer joy of a live Gang Starr show: "As the duo went through its stellar set I reveled in the way it explored, mostly on purpose, sometimes subconsciously, the hip-hop dichotomies of power and powerlessness, 'negative' ghetto and 'positive' Afrocentricity, obsessive self-love and manic self-hate."

And more specifically, she honed in on Guru's appeal: "I felt Elam's lips as they flowingly formed around his poetry, wet (as I'd hoped) on my ear, my neck, and they lingered, heavily, on my mind."

You can read Smith's 1993 story here. For a classic taste of Guru at work, watch the video for "Words I Manifest":


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March 1, 2010, 07:30 PM

Guru and Black Thought are not only groundbreaking, but the message in their music is profound. Def. a rarity and a show that's worth seeing any time they're around.

Sucks that he's in a coma. My prayers go with him.


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Last edited by YaoMatt; March 1, 2010 at 08:14 PM..
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March 1, 2010, 08:12 PM

I hope he gets better. Hip hop is no longer what it was and he is what it was.


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March 1, 2010, 09:00 PM

Heard about this. I was a huge Gangstarr fan. Sux.
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March 1, 2010, 09:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Definitely one of my TOP 5 MCs.

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March 1, 2010, 09:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker View Post
Hip hop is no longer what it was and he is what it was.
In a nutshell yes...
I mean, this cat wasn't bling bling...wasn't about pleasing all, wasn't about worshipping himslef and/or shiny things like most of these hump paid fuckers nowadays.

Back then the record co.s rode the wave and allowed the artist(most artists) to dictate their thing. Guru was one of them

He would flawlessly rhyme about conscious shit. Sometimes w/ a third person point of view, talking about those that fall victim to themselves and their environment.
queue in "Just to get a Rep".. "Arena"..etc..

Back then any major play WAS grassroots hiphop, 80s and early 90s hip hop was pioneering. There really wasn't an underground, that many would like to lay claim to in order to feel special, unique and anti-establishment like nowadays.
Hip hop was just a way of life back then, w/ nothing to prove.

It was Punk back then, it was anti-status quo.
It wasn't cool. It wasn't the norm. It was edge.

I remember being made fun of for listening to Gangstarr, NWA, Kid Frost, Tribe, De La Soul, early Cypress...etc... b/c folks just didn't get it.


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March 1, 2010, 09:36 PM

I mean... DJ Premiere backing you ?!

Mass Appeal, DWYCK, Ex to the Next, Arena, Just to get a Rep, Gotta get Over, Words I Manifest, You know my Steez, Tonz o' Gunz....and on and on....

You kiddin me ?!


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March 1, 2010, 09:37 PM

You just named several of my favorites and the greatest to ever be in the game.


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March 1, 2010, 09:46 PM

Code of the Streets..
Can't not mention that one!


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March 1, 2010, 09:49 PM

Premo majorly contributed to the sound of that time. I remember listening to Jeru Da Damaja over Premo's beats too. Sick. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Guru Jazzmataz projects though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
I mean... DJ Premiere backing you ?!

Mass Appeal, DWYCK, Ex to the Next, Arena, Just to get a Rep, Gotta get Over, Words I Manifest, You know my Steez, Tonz o' Gunz....and on and on....

You kiddin me ?!
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March 1, 2010, 09:54 PM

"It wasn't me it was the papahs."


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March 2, 2010, 09:44 AM

Moment of Truth is my songggggggggggggg


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March 2, 2010, 09:46 AM

ohh no...love some GangStarr. Hope he gets better. 43 is pretty friggin young for heart attack though.
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March 2, 2010, 01:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker View Post
I hope he gets better. Hip hop is no longer what it was and he is what it was.
I think its the opposite with rap 'being no longer what it was'.

Hip Hop & Rap are two different things with lots of similarities. They both grew out of that B-boy culture.. but for instance I would call Soldier Boy a hip hop artist but not a rapper. I would consider Beanie Siegel a rapper but not a hip hop artist. I believe what we are hearing now.. the 'ring tone' music is definitely hip hop. I consider hip hop the 'pop' movement of the rap's culture that made the music more acceptable and appealing to those outside 'hood', the inner cities, and the black community.. And why you see so many stations/venues call the music Hip Hop & RnB. Not Rap & RnB.

Guru was a true definition of an MC, the Master of Ceremony who was able to rap and also do just about anything else well to keep the part going. Because he could do so much more than rap, I dont consider him a rapper.

No matter how you define it.. Guru is still a very talented artist, loved and respected by most. And its sad to see him with such significant health problems as such a young age.

Last edited by Daekwan; March 2, 2010 at 01:07 PM..
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March 2, 2010, 01:17 PM

Whatever he represented, this makes me sad.


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