It doesn’t make sense to have a hip-hop segment to this blog and not take the time to acknowledge Guru.
Stepping away from Gang Starr for a second, Guru should be recognized for two things in particular. One is being the ambassador for hip-hop in Boston. How many other popular rappers have come out of Beantown? Ed O.G. was moderately successful, but never had the sales or critical respect that Gang Starr had. After that, there’s…Marky Mark? So, yeah-pretty easy to see that Guru was the most influential rapper to come out of Massachusetts.
There’s also the successful “Jazzmatazz” series. Over the course of four albums and a little over a decade, Guru collaborated with some of the most interesting performers in other genres-legends like Chaka Khan and Donald Byrd and relative unknowns like France’s MC Solaar. All four albums are strongly recommended by me. Here’s the video for 1993’s “Trust Me”, which featured The Brand New Heavies’ N’Dea Davenport. R.I.P. Guru.