As a true
What You Want This Time?
It's with a heavy heart that I write this piece. I'm stepping away from my usual “thing” and talking about a completely different passion. Something that's been my obsession way before I was Lovesick for girls. Unfortunately, I'm not here showing off my shiny Hip-Hop Name Tag. Today, it's lost some more luster.
Keith “Guru” Elam passed and while he left behind classic joints that were the perfect combination of Precisely the Right Rhymes over beats that personified the Boom Bap in its purest form, he took a piece of my foundation with him. And amidst the drama that is quickly unfolding surrounding his untimely demise, I do my best to stay on subject and not join in the chants calling for the Execution of a Chump. Anyone familiar with the latest developments, knows what I'm referring to.
See, I was in high school when Step in the Arena came out. I already knew The Meaning of the Name, Guru from the first joint Gang Starr introduced themselves with. For this tape (yeah, as in cassette), I was the student and he was the teacher. The LP was a certified classic. The album was my personal, portable Street Ministry.
The effect of losing so many is Beyond Comprehension. For all the rappers that our self-indignant selves claimed to no longer be ‘relevant’…what's the Game Plan now? For all the records that told me to have 'Knowledge of Self', what record is preaching the Word 2.0 to the youth today? For all the records that kept me keen to the 'stick-up kids' who were 'out to tax' like Just to Get a Rep warned me about, what song is opening the eyes of the young dude minding his own and just trying to make it to 21?
Take a Rest. Sleep on it. Get back to me. I'll wait patiently. Sitting here As I Read My S-A, checking for errors. Making sure I dot my i's and cross my t's. Me? I got all day. These kids? They don't. As fast as a 'rap star' comes into their heads, he's gone like the last fad. Say Your Prayers for them. For starters.
I can easily hop atop my soapbox and tell you about the beauty that is Hip-Hop. I can stand up there, moving with a breaker's grace all while never losing my footing. I can shout about it until the most resistant minds give in. But I can't do it alone. Hip-Hop was always a collective. From the start.
For every Hip-Hop group that broke up. From Run DMC to even the Fat Boys, a part of my foundation crumbles. For every MC to every background dancer that has left this planet far too early, the ink on a page in the book that is simply titled, Me – fades. To black.
So, if you have kids, expose them to a musical Form of Intellect. Let 'em Check the Technique for themselves. You can't find fault in that which is beautiful. Trust me. The copyright date on this tape is 1990. Do the math. It's still classic. Timeless – like the memories I hold.
They are all missed. Dearly.
“So lemme ask you, is it too late? Eyyo…Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?” - Guru.
He was so moved.