To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Guru‘s passing today,SOHH highlights a few hip-hop elites who consider the lyricist as one of the Top 5 best rappers of all time.
Naming Guru in his Top 5 list, DJ Premier recently told SOHH he felt his late Gang Starr group member was highly underrated.
“Sh*t. If you take the music out, his voice and flow would be there. It’s not even just that, his wordplay and everything about him was so unique. That’s why you gotta wonder how is this motherf*cker overlooked. He’s got so many f*cking flow patterns that are insane.” (SOHH)
M.O.P.’s Billy Danze said Guru’s cadence alone made him one of the all-time greats.
“We can’t forget about Guru,” Billy told SOHH. “His voice alone? I wish I had that man’s voice. His voice alone was bananas. And he never changed his voice. He never got on a rap and tried rapping another way. The same way he talked was the same way he rapped. He would preach to you, not trying to feel like he was smarter than you the way a lot of other rappers try to do when they’re preaching to you thinking they’re smarter than you. Guru would preach to you and teach you things that kids today don’t even get. He was a smart dude. Lyrically, on the stage he was magic.” (SOHH)
Famed hip-hop photographer Mike Schreiber told SOHH Guru’s passing last year made him reflect upon and appreciate Gang Starr’s legacy.
“Guru was one of the greatest. Gang Starr was one of my favorite groups in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Since he passed away, I’ve gone back and started listening to Gang Starr again and he was really a great emcee. Intelligent, great flow and great voice. His work with jazz musicians was also dope.” (SOHH)
Guru passed away last year leaving decades of music to his legacy.
One year ago today, the gravelly-voiced front man for legendary rap duo Gang Starr, a group formed alongside DJ Premier, Keith “Guru” Elam passed away at the age of 48 due to complications following a cardiac arrest. Guru’s death sent shockwaves throughout the hip hop community, sparking many fitting tributes dedicated to Guru’s valuable musical contributions over the years. For fans of Guru, his death continues to serve as a grim reminder of mortality and also how fragile our existences can be. (RapFix)
Check out Raekwon reflecting on Guru’s life below: