National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day April 19 – Guru

0 Comments 19 April 2012


Today’s DPD is one of the greats. Guru was half of the rap duo Gang Starr. The pairing would lead to six influential and critically acclaimed albums, two of which, “Moment of Truth” and “Full Clip,” were certified gold. But for yours truly the true artistry of Guru shone through with his revolutionary hip-hop jazz fusion album series Jazzmatazz (the first of which came out in 1993).

Guru was a prolific storyteller. And as hip-hop was on a meteoric rise in the early 1990s it was changing. Rooted in the narrative of contemporary African American experience in America hip-hop started to change and glorify gang life and violence with the likes of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Gang Starr, and particularly Guru, stayed true to their roots and didn’t change to adapt to the – more commercially successful – flavor of the month. He was often a weary moralist describing the struggle in the ghetto but never glorifying. He became a pre-cursor to what is now dubbed the ‘conscious rapper’ such as Talib Kweli  and Common.

Either way the man made some solid music and for that The Shade commends him with a DPD

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Guru, Rapper Known for Social Themes, Dies at 48


Published: April 20, 2010

Guru, the gravel-voiced rapper who as a member of the duo Gang Starr was one of the most expressive rappers of the 1990s and a major figure in bridging hip-hop and jazz, died Monday in New York. He was 48. Continue

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