Felt inspired this week to bring this back.
Really hard to put into words what Guru meant to me on a personal level.
Throughout high school and college, I had dreams (some might say delusions) of one day having a career as an emcee. My original name was The Furious One, which then became Josh Diggedy, which then became the Lyrical Jester, which then became Josey Wales. Yeah. I don't know wtf I was doing/thinking. While I wasn't awful, "don't quit your day job" definitely applied here. When I was 16, I used to make people "pause" tapes (i'd stay up all night taping Club 89 and Stretch & Bobbito, dub the good sh*t, and pass 'em around to people who gave me blank TDK's). To try to make them a little unique, I'd drop some verses that I'd record using headphones as a mic. Someone recently sent me an mp3 from one of those mixes they found. The first four and a half minutes of this mp3 are a 16 year old Diggedy rapping about all sorts of nonsense. What the f*ck does this have to do with Guru? You listen to those 4:30 and tell me that this 16 year old kid didn't spend all of his time listening to Gang Starr records and think he was Guru.
Any time I thought to myself "there's nothing unique about my flow, I should put the pen down", I looked at Guru and his "monotone style". There was nothing fancy about Guru. No behind the back passes. No windmill dunks. No double nickel nights at the Garden. If rap is basketball, Guru was that dude with12 points, 14 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 steals... He brought that Charles Oakley style to every track. And his team always won.
I'd be lying if I said I was still checking for any and everything he put out now. But throughout my childhood, all the way through to adulthood, Guru was "that dude" to me. I hear a Gang Starr record and i have vivid memories of where I was when I was listening to those albums. He may be gone, but his music - and the memories - will live on forever. RIP Guru. And more importantly.... thanks.
So hard to choose tracks, but here are just a few:
Gang Starr - "Ex Girl To The Next Girl"
This is still my favorite Gang Starr record ever. When I was dealing with women problems, THIS is the song that I would play. If I was allowed to walk through this life with theme music playing in the background, this track would be choice numero uno. Next!
Gang Starr - "Gotta Get Over"
This track was off of the Trespass
soundtrack (underrated flick I haven't seen in maaaaad long). Back in high school, my boy Drew and I would get up at 6am, take the bus and the train from Queens to the Village, and sneak in as someones guest so that we could ball at the NYU gym. Drew would bring a boom box, and on this one trip, I supplied the latest Diggedy pause tape. It was the weekend after I heard "Gotta Get Over" on Stretch and Bob for the first time. It was the second song on the tape. It was a 60 minute commute. Without any exaggeration, we never made it to song 3. Drew and I ran back this song the entire trip. Will never forget that sh*t.
House of Pain featuring Guru - "Fed Up" (remix)
I always loved how the two of them started their verses by using the others notable quotables...Not many speak on this one, but I always loved it. Download it!
Gang Starr - "Moment of Truth"
This was the last great Gang Starr record to me. This is the one that right now I'm playing it, with a Heineken in my hand, and it's really starting to hit me again.