The passing of hip hop legend and Gang Starr front man Guru is, undeniably, one of the most significant events in recent hip hop history. Among the greatest – and in some’s view the greatest – MC’s of all time, the death of a true hip hop godfather and innovator was a massive event. Or, at least it should have been.
DJ Premier, Guru’s longtime partner in crime and beatmaker, has been relatively quiet regarding his friend’s death, amidst drama questioning his loyalty to the MC. As said drama subsides, Premier has grown a bit more vocal. He took to his blog, leveling at rap media outlets that have neglected the great’s legacy. After 22 years in the game, Guru was hardly honored in most major hip hop magazines, and did not even appear in a planned remembrance segment at the B.E.T. Awards, due to time constraints. Imagine if De Niro or Pacino passed, and the Oscars gave them no tribute. That’s equivalent to this, if not all the more offensive (they’re legends, but did they “change” acting? Guru advanced hip hop.).
“We are always watching what the industry does to pay homage and respect to our leaders of this rap shit…I will never forget it and there is no excuse…all I do know is this: when it’s your turn to be remembered, we won’t forget about you…,” were among Premier’s impassioned words. They’re words to consider and lament. While all are aware that hip hop moves at a speed all its own, ignoring the memory of Guru is not only an affront, but a grave signal of what’s to come as the classic generation ages. If we can’t even remember where we came from, I’m not sure what we’re doing here.