Guru / July 17, 1961 - April 19, 2010

Happy birthday to Keith "Guru" Elam, Boston native, great MC, excellent lyricist, founder of Gang Starr, creator of Jazzmatazz, with which he brought jazz samples into rap.

I got to meet him once, in Boston, in the mid-90s. Too bad Premier and he couldn't patch up their beef before Guru's death from post-cancer heart attack. Gang Starr were one of the great hiphop groups. And with his Jazzmatazz project he collaborated with Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, Lonnie Liston Smith and others, helping bridge jazz and rap.

Tagged: Celebrate Icons, DJ Premier, Gang Starr, Guru, jazz, lounge, rap/hiphop

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