Over the years some of the most famous rappers have made their name while being linked with a specific producer. Missy and Timberland, Cypress Hill and DJ Muggs, the Wu and RZA to name but a few. All these artists dropped there best rhymes over one producers beats and the collaboration between the lyrics and the track created songs and albums which rose above all their other work.
Added to this list is Guru and DJ Premier a duo who together as Gang Star made album after album of classics from No More Mr. Nice Guy in 1989 to The Ownerz 2006. But times change, partnerships end and Guru moved on. This leads us to his latest release in collaboration with a new producer Solar, who also produced the entirety of Jazzmatazz Volume 4, entitled The 8.0 Lost And Found EP.
At first the 14 tracks on the CD make it look more like an album until you realise the E.P has Dirty, Clean and Instrumental versions of each song cutting the number of original tracks down to 5. The E.P itself is a taster of the full album 8.0: Lost & Found which dropped earlier in the year. So is this the beginning of a legendary new partnership?
If this E.P is anything to go by absolutely not. Guru seems to have totally lost his way each song desperately trying to please a new generation of hip-hop fans and failing every time. The tracks are totally forgettable and weak from the fake gangster swagger of Fastlane to the club-lite pop-hop of No Gimmick Shit. After Time loops a Queen sample badly and the inoffensive Ride features British soul legend Omar whose superb voice is wasted by being run through a vocoder. Worst of all is Divine Rule where Solar pulls one of laziest pieces of production ever by simply playing what seems to be the whole of French dance producer Cerrone’s brilliant Supernature unaltered while Guru raps over it.
Guru used to have something to say but now it seems he is out of ideas and it is the unoriginality both lyrically and in the production which is the biggest crime of this E.P. It is a sad state of affairs when a once legendary rapper is reduced to simply copying trends desperately trying to fit into a rap world which has past him by.
My advice to you is to avoid this E.P at all costs. Fans of Guru will be extremely disappointed and anyone who has never heard of him should head straight for his back catalogue as this will not impress.
My advice to Guru is to get back to his roots, stop trying to keep up with new trends, write rhymes about what he knows and once he has some solid material give Premier a call.
By: Alex Humphrey