The whole Guru passing saddens me to such a degree that things are getting clearer. A numb feeling of understanding the truth of a legacy. Not just Gang Starr’s, Guru’s or Primo, but to hip hop’s.
It starts off for me back in the late 80’s when I first heard Gang Starr. The first video I saw was “Manifest” and I was a little confused at first. I’m not really sure as to why I felt confused but I listened and said “eh, okay it’s alright I’ll keep my ear on em.” Mind you I was a shorty then no more than maybe 10 at the time.
To clarify….. the confusion made sense later because I understood that the first time I heard them, I knew it wasn’t the normal hip hop I’d heard before. I would later learn they would be greats, that they would stand apart from the hip hop movement and be pioneers.
I grew with them partying to “Dwyck” and watching my man Scriv catch the hip hop holy ghost when it came on. “Ex Girl to the Next Girl” molded my insights to the dealings of women when I didn’t understand them. “Soliloquy of Chaos” made me understand that my favorite artists could get killed doing something that brought others joy.
“Did you come to see me, or to the stupid nigga play-offs
Killing you and killing me it’s the soliloquy of chaos”…Guru!
When I came of age doing my thing I was compared to Guru..mostly the voice. 😉
I didn’t like the comparison because I didn’t want anybody comparing me to anybody.
I felt like I was me he was him, but then I began to listen to my music and say damn, ok I do sound like this guy..whatever. I was still new to doing my thing so I didn’t sweat it I just did me because I knew we were different, people just found my voice reminded them of Guru.
I’d been a fan of the man we came to love as Baldhead Slick. He wrote rhymes that taught the black youth to be positive, to think, to grow, to teach, and to learn. I’ve seen alot of things going down while listening to the Gang Starr discography. I’ve driven away from shoot-outs while Full Clip was playing. I macked this cutie while Discipline was playing at a club. I realized hip hop made it when I heard Royalty on the radio in the middle of the day. Last but not least Manifest was a song that I later realized fathered my early rhymes (you get my point).
How do you salute a great rapper when he can’t see it? How do you say man we miss you when he can’t hear it. How can we show love when he can’t feel it? It’s crazy when I think to myself…there really will never ever be another Gang Starr album or song for that matter. They were a great group and nobody could hold down Primo producing an entire album like Guru. People may say Jeru did, and he did. People may say Group Home and they did depending on who you talk to. But we are talking about 20 years of holding down Primo. If Primo is who he is and he did all the albums for Guru what does that say about Guru.
I never thought about it until Guru passed. He was the Illest Brother to rep for one of the illest producers and dj’s the game ever saw. Together they made Gang Starr and if hip hop is a body they are definitely one of the main arteries.
Rest in peace Guru. It’s a shame that we humans never cherish anything until we can no longer be with it. I’ll say goodbye to a legend by doing what I do best. Writing!!!! Goodbye holmes, may the world know that we needed you brother and you served your people well.