RIP Guru

One of the true pioneers of hip hop, Keith Elam, otherwise known as Guru, died on Monday of cancer. Along with DJ Premier, his group Gang Starr made slick, funky, jazz-inflected records, and he went on to produce the great “Jazzmatazz” albums.

Guru stood out from the crowd by rapping about the troubles urban America was bringing upon itself, with as much resignation as anger, as well as making sensitive love songs, something somewhat frowned upon in the rapping community. The Jazzmatazz albums brought his love of jazz to the fore, and were hugely influential. His easy, conversational style made him a superb orator.

He will be sadly missed.

MP3: Just To Get A Rep by Gang Starr

Amazon’s Gang Starr Shop

Buy “Jazzmatazz Vol.1” (CD/MP3)