Thursday, 11 October 2012

HIP HOP CLASSICS - Gang Starr/Guru - 'You Know My Steez' / 'Loungin'

Hip Hop Classics y'all.....straight outta Surrey Heath!!

Gang Starr - 'You Know My Steez' (1998)

Last week I just managed to catch the tail end of a fascinating radio biopic on BBC 1xtra, of the life and times of talismanic MC, Guru, one half of one my favourite Hip Hop groups, Gang Starr. Fascinating because I'm a big fan but it also gave an insight into controversial events (which I had no idea about) that what went on before his untimely death to cancer in 2010, aged just 43. 6 albums and a career spanning 15 years, DJ Premier was Guru's long time friend and DJ, becoming one of Hip Hop finest acts. So it was quite a shock to hear that from Guru's death bed, he had apparently written a letter requesting that DJ Premier be disassociated with his name. In the latter stages of Guru's career, he had started working with another producer called Solar (not MC Solaar) which he met on his Jazzmatazz side project. And it's this producer, that Guru's family believe penned this disputed letter, also claiming that Solar banned the family from visiting Guru in hospital. Which Solar claimed was all Guru's request, no one really knows the truth but same say it was a lovers tiff!? Bizarre!

Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal
The show ended with the vintage, straight head bobbing track, 'You Know My Steez', from the classic 1998 'Moment of Truth' album, which I immediately revisited the next day. Guru's intelligent and distinct monotone flow along with Premier's phenomenal skill as a DJ, made them a class above. Like a good wine, it has matured well and sounds as good now as it did 15 years ago. 

Guru - 'Loungin' feat Donald Byrd (1993)

The show mentioned that next year will see the 20th anniversary (yikes) of Guru's famed Jazzmatazz vol 1 album. Not only did he pioneer the idea of marrying Jazz samples in Hip Hop but he was also the first MC to flow over live Jazz. Unique and innovative at the time, 'Lougin' is a fine example of this, courtesy of horn blower Donald Byrd.

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HIP HOP CLASSICS - Gang Starr/Guru - 'You Know My Steez' / 'Loungin'
4/ 5


14 October 2012 at 10:45

Strange story....but top stuff!!