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Guru

Rapper/composer Guru (real name Keith Elam) first rose to prominence as the "lyrical half" of the hip-hop duo Gang Starr, one of the first outfits that attempted to fuse jazz with rap. After three albums by Gang Starr hit record store shelves (1989's No More Mr. Nice Guy, 1991's Step in the Arena, and 1992's Daily Operation), Guru launched his own solo career, issuing Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 in 1993. The album featured guest appearances by the likes of Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, and N'Dea Davenport of the Brand New Heavies, and was followed up two years later by a sophomore solo outing, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality, which again featured a variety of special guests (including Ramsey Lewis, Branford Marsalis, and members of Jamiroquai).

Despite his solo career, Guru remained true to Gang Starr as well, continuing to contribute to further albums such as 1994's Hard to Earn and 1998's Moment of Truth. In 2000, five years after his second solo outing appeared, Streetsoul (the third in the Jazzmatazz series) was issued, again featuring a stellar cast of supporting characters: Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, the Roots, Erykah Badu, and Macy Gray. Wasting little time, Guru returned directly to the recording studio, issuing a follow-up one year later, Baldhead Slick & da Click.

It took four years for the next Guru release, Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures, to come out, the first on his new label, 7 Grand Records, with beats by Solar (who became a vital force on 7 Grand's subsequent releases). The MC used the same producer for his next installment of Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4, which, as always, included a number of guest vocalists and instrumentalists and was released in the summer of 2007, along with the "raw" companion disc Guru's Jazzmatazz - The Timebomb: Back to the Future Mixtape. Guru 8.0: Lost and Found, the rapper's fourth full-length release on 7 Grand, followed in 2009. In addition to the aforementioned artists, Guru collaborated with some of rap music's best-known producers, including fellow Gang Starr member DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Ayatollah, and DJ Spinna, as well as Ice-T, Naughty by Nature's Treach, Killah Priest, and Ed O.G. After battling cancer, Guru suffered a heart attack on February 28, 2010 and fell into a coma from which he later emerged; however, he died on April 19, 2010 at the age of 43. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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ETERNALLY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE ARTFORM! YOU'RE PAINFULLY MISSED! REST IN PEACE GOD!
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Forever dope R.I.P to one of the Masters square business much love and respect GURU
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Word... RIP... Missed... :(
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RIP :(
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R.I.P. GURU! YOU WERE TRUE!! KNOWLEDGEABL E , INTELLIGENT, '5 8" KEPT IT STRAIGHT!! LOVE YA BROTHA!!
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R.I.P Guru. One of my favorite artists of Gang Starr. Love his Jazzmatazz Albums. No Time To Play 1993
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Most High Bless, Rest. In. Power. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal...
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allintent
Guru was one of the most intelligent MC's ever ! Tong 'o' Gunz is one of their all time best. R. I. P Guru
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Guru & any body associated with them better be watching their back. Never know what may be in the shadows waiting to smoke you, KING......
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Guru was a very intelligent and creative artist. May He Rest In Peace.
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I met guru, primo,freddy f o x , h a n n i b a l stax,big suge...all of them were the most down to earth brothas ive ever met,.espc.as hiphop artists. But that was beyond the fact...c u when I get there gu!
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urbestlook
Guru. Dj Premier changed the game with songs like Manifest. Jazzmatazz will be a classic as long we have ears to appreciate real music.
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In my opinion Guru is and will ALWAYS be one of the greatest lyricists of all time! Why is nobody making REAL Hip-hop anymore weak lyrics and even worse beats it's like they don't even try anymore!
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Imagine a track with Guru Biggie and Big L. Brooklyn connects with Harlem. Kcuf it put Finesse on it to make official. Ahhhh hip hop needs creativity
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Guru thank you. Id say hip hop has a dent since your departure . But you left a crater. Until its filled I'll keep you on blast
Love is love
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lachoniasnat u r a l s
Love Guru..I used to watch his music videos after school. RIP!
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sdbolts7601
Rest In Peace Guru The Best MC In All The Rap Game Idgaf Wat All U Haters Got To Say But Its True Guru Is The Realness & The Sickest His Raps Are Unstoppable. I Will
See U Up There One Day G If I Ever Do I Will Like To Rap With U That Real S**t Not No Fake S**t Like Now A Days F**k The New Skool Its All About The OLD SCHOOL
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One of the best mc's ever. The good die young and unfortunatel y 50 cent will live forever
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Crazy beat
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my fav MC ever!! RIP baby pa
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Point of clarity: GURU was forty-eight when he passed.
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RIP
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One of the all time best:.
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R.I.p
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absolute legend
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A true mc I believe that never really got the recognition he deserved r.I.p big homie
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One of the Greatest MCs of all time. Gone but never forgotten, Rest in peace, Guru.
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amanhaile00
Damn I miss this man's music! May his soul rest in peace!!!
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RIP GURU...Trues t to life
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xolani3
R.I.P. No dout there is a mass drought in Hip Hop.. We have enough rap music....... . . . . . . . . .
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garybookman
Legend
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Why f**k solar?
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f**k Solar! RIP GURU
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cheesutin
F**K SOLAR!
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treesteven9
Yes the realest R I P
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A FOUNDING FATHER OF TRUE HIP HOP. REST IN PARADISE GURU
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Definitely a true fact, No one tries to be intelligent anymore.
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Hip-Hop was truly dented when Guru passed, no one spit knowledge like him
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R.I.P
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da713hustla
One of the best to EVER DO IT!
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R.I.P
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S**t man you'll always be remembered. Why couldn't it have been Lil'Wayne?? R.I.P. Guru
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Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.
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RIP man
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Damn I miss this guy rip to a pioneer music undescribabl e
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One of the greatest vocalists of all-time!
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R.I.P guru
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The berry best salutes Guru, Gang Star!
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GANGSTARR!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Respect due to Guru. Definitely one of the must influential Emcee in the Hip Hop game Ever..... NO DOUBT.... R.I.P. GURU his work will be forever Classic because it's timeless.... One!
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