Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Uncommon Valor

One of the best verses of all time, no contest. NO CONTEST.



True story
Call me Thorburn, John H., staff sergeant
Marksman, skill in killin', illin', I'm able and willin'
Kill a village elephant, rapin' and pillage a village
Illegitimate killers, US Military guerrillas
This ain't no real war, Vietnam shit
World War II, that's a war, this is just a military conflict
Soothin' drug abusin', Vietnamese women screwin'
Sex, gambling and boozin', all this shit is amusin'
Bitches and guns, this is every man's dream
I don't wanna go home where I'm just an ordinary human being
Special Op, Huey chopper gun ship run shit
Gook run when the minigun spit, won't miss
Kill shit, spit four-thousand bullets a minute
Vic the Charlie, hit trigger, hit it, I'm in it to win it
Get it, the lieutenant hinted, the villain, I been it
The killing, I did it, cripple, did it, pictures I painted is vivid, live it
A wizard with weapons, the secret mission, we 'bout to begin it
Government funded, behind enemy lines
Bullets is sprayin', it's heatin' up a hundred degrees
The enemies the North Vietnamese, bitch please
Ain't no sweat, I'm told, "Be at ease"
Until I see the pilot got hit, and we 'bout to hit some trees
Nail the road, it broke, crash land
American man in Cambodia, right in the enemy hand
Take a swig of the Whiskey to calm us
Them yellow men wearin' black pajamas, they wanna harm us
They all up on us, bang, bang, bullet hit my chest, feel no pain
To my left, the captain caught a bullet right in his brain
Body parts flyin', loss of limbs, explosions
Bad intentions, I see my best friend's intestines
Pray to the one above, it's raining, I'm covered in mud
I think I'm dyin', I feel dizzy, I'm losin' blood
I see my childhood, I'm back in the arms of my mother
I see my whole life, I see Christ, I see bright lights
I see Israelites, Muslims and Christians at peace, no fights
Black, Whites, Asians, people of all types
I must've died, then I woke up, surprised I'm alive
I'm in a hospital bed, they rescued me, I survived
I escaped the war, came back, but ain't escape Agent Orange
Two of my kids born handicapped
Spastic, quadriplegia, micro cephalic
Cerebral palsy, cortical blindness, name it, they had it
My son died, he ain't live, but I still try to think positive
'Cause in life, God take, God give

Saturday, 24 April 2010

DJ Premier - Guru Tribute

All you need to know about the Guru situation is here, pretty much. Highly recommended. Massive, MASSIVE props to the (fan-run) DJ Premier blog for the link.



DJ Premier's Guru Tribute.

Rest In Peace Guru.

Keep fighting the good fight, Premo.

Fuck Solar. He ain't keeping it real, he's "keeping it WRONG." I'm waiting for the moment of truth.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Solar

Read the full article over at MTV, if you can be bothered. Fuck Solar. I include a picture of him only because you shoukd all know your enemy.



Solar says: "The friendship got close fairly rapidly... I think the reason why it got close is that I wasn't interested in a record deal. I wasn't interested in him as Guru. Me and him just hit it off as men. I got to know him as a man, he got to know me as a man. We were both going through tricky periods in our lives. I was working with homeless children at the time. It's a heavy problem ... Guru was dealing with certain situations. We started hanging out, hitting the clubs in New York. We needed to lighten it up a little bit. Once that trust developed, he was able to tell me about certain things within his life and career that was leading him to feel extremely frustrated that I believe contributed to his problems with substance abuse.

Anybody who knows him knows that it was a very serious situation at the time. I wasn't judgmental. I just listened and became a friend...

Once 7 Grand was started, certain aspects of Gang Starr kept holding onto him and he felt that it was dragging him down or holding him from getting to where he wanted to get... It was influences around the industry that he felt was contributing to that. It was a source of frustration for him and also for myself."

Guru maintained a consistent touring schedule around the world. According to Solar, in early 2009, he started to experience pain in his back, which he at first attributed to vigorous gym workouts. After the pain carried on for a couple of months, Guru sought medical attention, which resulted in an MRI and a cancer diagnosis. "He was upset and distraught," Solar added.

Guru went in for further testing and it was confirmed that he suffered from myeloma, a cancer that affects the white blood cells. He had an operation in July 2009 that was unfortunately unsuccessful.

"It wasn't long before we realized the operation wasn't a success — by the end of the summer we knew the cancer was spreading." Still, Guru and Solar continued to tour around the world — Guru was able to get onstage and perform as long as he took his medicine.

However, despite the setbacks, Solar insisted Guru didn't want to tell his family about his situation, as he was still optimistic that he could overcome the diagnosis.

"When I met Guru, his situation with his family was somewhat of an estrangement," Solar explained. "I was an advocate of meeting his mom, meeting his dad — developing a strong, good relationship with them."

Solar said that Guru and his parents eventually became close again and he got back in contact with his brother as well, however he still wasn't close with his sister Trish and her children. In March, Trish's son Justin said that Solar — who had become Guru's medical proxy — was keeping info from the family about Guru's condition.

"My family has no way of knowing what is going on with Guru's situation," Justin said via his YouTube vlog. "[Solar] also has primary control over the decisions made for Guru's health in the hospital. Solar has complete control of the flow of information. I know that Solar has been his right-hand man, day-in and day-out for the last six years, but that does not give him the right to make decisions about whether his family is to see Guru or learn about his status. The fact that he is acting like this lets me know that he does not have Guru's best interests in mind."

Solar denied that he took advantage of Guru while he was in a weakened mental state. "He doesn't fit the profile of someone that is mentally unstable," Solar said calmly. " ... He knew exactly what he wanted to do, not only his business but his personal life."

He also denied rumors that he used to physically abuse Guru while he was sick. "Me and Guru, we used to play fight," Solar answered. "Roughhouse. Not only with him, but other members of the band. These are all accusations without Guru being here to look you in the eye and saying that's just ridiculous. That's just idiotic."

Solar also denied widespread rumors that he was involved in a romantic relationship with the MC. "That's untrue, completely unfounded," he said. "Guru is a family man, I'm a family man. I don't want to say anything against anybody living a certain type of lifestyle — everybody is free to live their life how they choose to live it — but that's not my lifestyle or Guru's lifestyle. We're straight men. He dealt with women and family. I dealt with women and family. There's never been any blurring of the lines whatsoever."

Between last summer and February 2010, Guru's focus shifted to his health, and his condition worsened to the point where Solar had to temporarily move into Guru's New Jersey residence to help the rap legend with daily activities.

"It was getting bad," Solar said. "His mobility was starting to worsen. I was staying in his home with him to help him with his day to day. I did it as a brother — I looked at him as a brother. I did that to preserve his dignity, even in those times."

I call BULLSHIT.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Premo Speaks

This just in oourtesy of Escobar, who found it over at XXL.

“It was a sad day for me to get confirmation on the death of a man who I will continue to call my brother,” Preemo said.

“From 1988-2004 we experienced so much success together that we were able to expand our business independently and give each other what Guru called ‘creative space,’ before planning to reunite for our seventh LP when the time time was right,” he continued. “Tragically, we will never reach that day.

“I’ve been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days,” he added, addressing a press release delivered by Guru’s business partner Solar. “All I will say about it is our time together was beautiful, we built a hip-hop legacy together, and no one can re-write history or take away my love for him. One thing I would never do is play around with the truth about his life.”

“I will celebrate Guru’s life…I will honor his memory…I will grieve with the Elam family over his untimely death…I will remember the Gang Starr foundation and all of the original members of the Gang Starr who came before me…mostly, I will cherish everything we created together as Gang Starr, forever,” he concluded. “I’m gonna miss hearing his signature monotone voice when he walks in the room, but the songs will always bring it back to me…his rhyme flows were insane, and I will never remove him from my heart and soul…rest in peace to the man who felt ‘satisfaction from the street crowd reaction’…I love you Goo.”

Statement from Guru's Family

PRESS RELEASE

The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith aka GURU for the outpouring of love, concern and support.

Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence.

GURU suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness. Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.

GURU died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.

The family is not aware of any foundations established by GURU. We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available.

from The Elam Family



EDIT:

For what THIS is worth, Solar has spoken to MTV News in the US.

"I mean, it's ridiculous, Guru knew this time would come. The great artist he is, us being intelligent people, we knew there was going to have to be a statement relating to this... Unfortunately, there are those who have the wicked agenda, and just can't accept that Guru and I have handled this thing as men and not children, and this is how men of honor handle their business. He arranged his press release.
I'm the repository of Guru's life story. I recorded his life story for book and for movies. We're not foolish. He was diagnosed with cancer well over a year ago. It's been operations and so forth. It would be ridiculous for him to not be prepared.”

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Gang Starr has gots to be the sure shot

Moment Of Truth

Actions have reactions, don't be quick to judge
You may not know the hardships people don't speak of
It's best to step back, and observe with couth
For we all must meet our moment of truth

Sometimes you gotta dig deep, when problems come near
Don't fear, things get severe for everybody everywhere
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Seems that life is just a constant war between good and evil
The situation that I'm facin is mad amazin
to think such problems can arise from minor confrontations
Now I'm contemplatin in my bedroom pacin
Dark clouds over my head, my heart's racin
Suicide? Nah, I'm not a foolish guy
Don't even feel like drinking, or even gettin high
Cause all that's gonna do really is accelerate
the anxieties that I wish I could alleviate
But wait, I've been through a whole lot of other shit before
So I oughta be able to withstand some more
But I'm sweatin though, my eyes are turnin red and yo
I'm ready to lose my mind but instead I use my mind
I put down the knife and take the bullets out my nine
My only crime was that I'm too damn kind
And now some scandalous motherfuckers wanna take what's mine
But they can't take the respect that I've earned in my lifetime
And you know they'll never stop the furious force of my rhymes
So like they say, every dog has it's day
And like they say, God works in a mysterious way
So I pray, remembering the days of my youth
As I prepare to meet my moment of truth



.......there's not often been truer words spoken in hip hop.

RIP.

RIP Keith Elam aka Guru (1966-2010)



I hate to write this, but it seems as though the sorry state of affairs of Guru being in a coma (as blogged about on here before, and as reported on many other blogs) is over.

As confirmed by Freddie Foxxx, Statik Selektah, Puffy, and others, he passed away after what transpires was a year long battle with cancer.

Sadly, a letter has been published that has been credited as written by Guru - between the alleged waking from his coma and before he died.

The controversial content is reprinted below. There is a strong opinion online that this letter was not written by Guru, but by Solar - but this will never really be known.

I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options.

I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.


Whatever has happened, or people would like us to think has happened, Rest In Power Guru. I'll remember your work with Gang Starr as my favourite material that you released. I have listened to your music for the last 20 years, and you will be missed.

RIP.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

THROWBACK SATURDAY!

Man, I used to LOVE this track.



PROPS. Good vid as well.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Charlie Brooker strikes again.

Well, I know it's lazy of me, and I intend to put some more stuff up here soon (that's normally the kiss of death for a blog - but trust me, it's all good, I've just had a lot on my plate the last couple of weeks), but until then here's a partial cut and paste from here (check the whole article!).

Charlie Brooker, you are a feckin GENIUS.

"...if I've learned anything, it's that I don't much care for mood-altering substances. But I'm not afraid of them either. With one exception.

It's perhaps the biggest threat to the nation's mental wellbeing, yet it's freely available on every street – for pennies. The dealers claim it expands the mind and bolsters the intellect: users experience an initial rush of emotion (often euphoria or rage), followed by what they believe is a state of enhanced awareness. Tragically this "awareness" is a delusion. As they grow increasingly detached from reality, heavy users often exhibit impaired decision-making abilities, becoming paranoid, agitated and quick to anger. In extreme cases they've even been known to form mobs and attack people. Technically it's called "a newspaper", although it's better known by one of its many "street names", such as "The Currant Bun" or "The Mail" or "The Grauniad" (see me – Ed).

In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge. Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often "cut" the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out. The hapless user has little or no concept of the toxicity of the end product: they digest the contents in good faith, only to pay the price later when they find themselves raging incoherently in pubs, or – increasingly – on internet messageboards."


Man, you really need to read this rest of this article. Trust me. If you don't check for Brooker regularly then you need to.

PROPS.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Erykah!

Well, EVERYONE knows that I love Erykah Badu, especially her first two (studio) albums. Baduizm is a classic, up there for me with any soul album you can name. Mama's Gun = classic. The rest have their moments, but I've not given them as much attention for whatever reason.

Anyway, Erykah's new album is DOPE. "New Amerykah Part Two - Return Of The Ankh" is a real return to the old Erykah, but with samples. It's amazing.

To publicise the new album, she shot - no pun intended - this (now) infamous video on Dealey Plaza, where JFK was shot.



Dope vid, right? YES. Well, some people think so. Others.... less enthusiastic.

According to the Dallas Observer (link here)...

It's Official: The Dallas Police Department Has Charged Erykah Badu With Disorderly Conduct For Public Nudity

At some point in the next few days, Erykah Badu will be sent a letter from the Dallas Police Department. Inside that piece of mail, she'll find a ticket charging her for a Class C misdemeanor, which could cost her $500 in fines.

"The City Attorney's Office and the Dallas Police Department have decided to charge the entertainer known as Erykah Badu with disorderly conduct," Sergeant Warren C. Mitchell of the Dallas Police Department announced shortly after 4:30 p.m. today at a news conference. To a small crowd of reporters assembled at DPD headquarters, Mitchell further explained that the R&B singer and Dallas native born Erica Wright acted with "disregard to individuals nearby" while stripping nude at Dealey Plaza as she filmed the one-take, guerrilla-style music video for her new single "Window Seat."

The charges are being filed based on the lone complaint that the police department has so far received, filed yesterday morning by Ida Espinosa, 32, of Vernon, Texas. The DPD report of the complaint states that Espinosa and her mother, who is listed as a witness in the affidavit, "were present at the video shoot... in which... Badu shed her clothing."

Says Mitchell: Espinosa said she was "disgusted" by what she saw. He also said that Espinosa came to them with the complaint -- and not the other way around. Today's announcement of charges against Badu comes seven days after the video's release on Saturday, March 27, and a full 21 days after the video shoot on Saturday, March 14.
Without Espinosa's complaint, Mitchell says, it was "unlikely" that police would have pursued charges against Badu.
"She came forward and provided us with the information," he said.

Mitchell could not confirm, however, if Espinosa appears as one of the people seen in the background of Badu's music video as she walked around the plaza.

"We're basing it off her testimony," he said. "We base a lot of our reports on first-hand witnesses."
The charge comes as a result, Mitchell said, of the public nudity involved. He admitted an unfamiliarity with the specifics of the code but said that it involves "displaying any part of your genitals and things like that."
"We've looked at other charges but we felt like this is the only one that fits with the concern," Mitchell added. It is still possible, Mitchell said, that City Hall may also fine Badu for not acquiring the proper permits for filming at the location. That much, he said, is out of the DPD's hands.
When asked if he thought Espinosa stepped forward and filed her complaint because of the media uproar over the clip, Mitchell smiled.
"I have no knowledge of that," he said after taking a quick breath. "But it would be a fair guess."
Mitchell himself admitted to having seen the music video before quickly changing the subject.
"I don't want it to appear as if the Dallas Police Department has an opinion one way or another," he continued. "It is against the law, and we will cite you."

Badu has already responded to the charges via her Twitter account. Writes the singer: "Are you watching, America?"

Hilariously, someone calling themselves "Arthur Espinosa" has left the following comment:

"I don't know who this Ms.Badu is and I really don't care. This is not about adults seeing a grown woman strip naked in public. It's about my nine year old grandaughter being subjected to it! Emphasis on IT! Did'nt Ms. Badu or anyone on her team have the foresight to think that there just might be children out there on event day! What, no plan B? What, no permit! Who needs permission when you obviously have no morals, no ethics, and definitely no common sense. I guess she defines ART by what she can get away with. I say charge her with child abuse! Then maybe next time, there won't be a next time! Sign, OG - Original Grandpa"
Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 3 2010 @ 11:02PM


Anyway, the album is amazing, go and cop it now. Awesome stuff.