February 28th – After a nearly two year-long battle with cancer, Guru of Gang Starr suffers a heart attack and goes into a coma following surgery on this day in 2010.
Guru would never awaken from his coma and would pass away on April 19th of the same year.
Guru who was born Keith Edward Elam in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1961, graduated for Morehouse, College in Atlanta, Georgia with a degree in business administration.
Guru, an acronym for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal, began his career in music when he founded Gang Starr in 1987. Gang Starr whose lineup at the time included B-Down a.k.a. Mike Dee, D.J. 1, 2 and Guru who at the time was known as Keithy E The Guru released three 12 inch singles on Wild Pitch Records produced by Mark The 45 King, Donald D and J.V. Johnson.
In 1989, the group disbanded with Elam shortening his stage name to simply Guru and forming a new lineup with DJ Waxmaster C, who later became known as DJ Premier. That same year, the duo released their first single on Wild Pitch called “Words I Manifest”, followed by their debut album “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, which became a cult classic.
Gang Starr would go on to release five more albums on Chrysalis and Virgin Records that would become bona fide hip-hop favorites.
They also founded The Gang Starr Foundation musical collective that would help to launch the careers of Jeru The Damaja, Bahamadia, Freddie Foxxx, Afu-Ra, Group Home and Krumb Snatcha to name a few.
DJ Premier would also go on to become one of the most respected and sought after producers in hip-hop handling production duties on recordings by KRS-One, the late Notorious B.I.G., DAS-EFX, Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rakim as well as metal band Limp Bizkit and pop star Christina Aguilera, with a list that goes on.
Both Guru and DJ Premier have been instrumental in the development of the hip-hop/jazz fusion movement.
Besides incorporating jazz samples in his beat-making production, DJ Premier also collaborated with jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis on the 1994 album “Buckshot LeFonque” on Columbia Records where the two combined their talents working alongside great musicians like Roy Hargrove, Kevin Eubanks, Albert Collins and Greg Phillinganes.
In 1993, Guru released the first of his “Guru’s Jazzmatazz” series pairing the MC alongside jazz greats like Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Branford Marsalis as well as French rap star MC Solaar.
Guru released three more “Jazzmatazz” installments up until 2007.
Guru released his first solo album in 2001 called “Baldhead Slick & Da Click” which was mainly a hip-hop/r’n’b fusion.
Guru followed that up with his second and last solo album “Version7.0 – The Street Scriptures”, released in 2005. Guru has appeared in several films including “Who’s The Man?”, “3 A.M.”, “Train Ride” and “The Substitute 2 – School’s Out”, just to name a few.
Guru had one of the most distinctive voices in hip-hop and his contributions to the development of it as an art form can never be overstated.
you're doin great job man. peace RIP GURU THE TEACHER!!!
Capital H to the ip Capital H to the op
happy b lated to Methical who's born day was yesterday
April 2nd – Prince Paul was born Paul E. Huston in Amityville, New York, on this day in 1967.
Prince Paul began his career with Daddy-O, Wise, Frukwan, DBC, MC Delite and Bobby Simmons in the mid-1980’s as a part of Stetsasonic, one of hip-hop’s first live bands.
The band, originally known as The Stetson Brothers after the “Stetson” hat, released their critically acclaimed debut album “On Fire” on Tommy Boy Records in 1986.
Stetsasonic followed that up with their ground breaking sophomore joint “In Full Gear” in 1988. “In Full Gear” featured the classics rap hits “Sally”, “Float On” and “Talkin’ All That Jazz”, an answer song to an interview musician James Mtume gave on a New York City radio show in which he criticized rap music for sampling.
Stetsasonic released one more album; 1991’s “Blood, Sweat & No Tears” before calling it quits as a group.
Prince Paul, however, would receive his biggest acclaim when he stepped out as a producer and helped musically craft De La Soul’s debut album “3 Feet High And Rising” in 1989 on Tommy Boy.
The album was preceded by an EP released in 1988 which featured some of the classic singles and tracks that would appear on “3 Feet High And Rising”, like “Plug Tunin’” and “Jenifa (Taught Me).”
“3 Feet High And Rising” would feature unlikely music samples for hip-hop by artists such as Johnny Cash, Hall And Oates, Steely Dan and The Detroit Emeralds.
The album also popularized the “album skit” between songs courtesy of Paul collaborator Don Newkirk.
“3 Feet High And Rising” would be lauded by critics and fans alike as a bona fide classic.
Prince Paul would go on to produce two more albums for De La Soul; 1991’s “De La Soul Is Dead” , which received 5 mics in The Source Magazine and 1993’s “Buhloone Mindstate”, which would feature guest appearances by former James Brown sideman Maceo Parker and the late Guru of Gang Starr.
Both albums would continue to push the boundaries in hip-hop for production, creativity and innovation.
Prince Paul would eventually become one of the most sought after producers in the music industry working with 3rd Bass, Queen Latifah, Big Daddy Kane, Jaz-O, Boogie Down Productions, Groove B Chill, Cypress Hill, Slick Rick, MF Doom, J-Live, Souls Of Mischief, comedian Chris Rock and funk legend George Clinton on his 1990 remix for “Tweakin’”, which featured Yours Truly and Flavor Flav, just to name few.
Prince Paul has released five solo albums; 1996’s “Psychoanalysis; What Is It?”, 1999’s “A Prince Amongst Thieves”, a hip-hop opera which featured some of the biggest names in rap music, 2003’s “Politics Of The Business”, where I had the opportunity to again work with Prince Paul alongside Ice-T, comedian Dave Chappelle, Dave of De La Soul and The Beatnuts to name just a few and 2005’s “Itstrumental” and “Hip Hop Gold Dust” both released the same year.
Prince Paul was also a member of one of hip-hop’s first super-groups along with Wu-Tang founder The RZA, Frukwan and the late Too Poetic in Gravediggaz, who pioneered rap’s “horror-core” sound. Gravediggaz released three albums; 1994’s “6 Feet Deep”, 1997’s “The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel” and 2002’s “Nightmare In A-Minor.”
In 1999, Paul also collaborated with Dan The Automator and formed Handsome Boy Modeling School and released the album “So…How’s Your Girl”, which again featured contributions by some of the biggest names in hip-hop.
In 2004, Handsome Boy Modeling School released a second album called “White People” which this time along with featuring some of hip-hop’s big guns, also featured big names in pop, reggae, alternative rock and comedy.
Prince Paul has also been involved in collaboration projects and groups who released albums like The Dix, Baby Elephant and Dino 5.
Prince Paul continues to perform and produce music today and is considered one of the most innovative and creative minds in the history of the industry.
Back on my b.i.
Originally Posted by True Father Allah
September 1st – Seattle MC Sir Mix-A-Lot releases his debut album, “Swass”, on his own Nastymix Records, on this day in 1988.
The album would feature the hit singles, “Posse On Broadway”, “Gold”, “Rippin” (featuring Kid Sensation) and a hip-hop remake of the Black Sabbath metal classic “Iron Man”, featuring San Francisco’s Metal Church.
The title track’s hook would be used as the hook for the 2005 Pussycat Dolls chart topper “Don’t Cha” (featuring Busta Rhymes).