When it comes to naming Hip Hop legends there are several names that make the list. Of those several, only a few still possess the same shine, realness and immense talent today, as they did back then. Hip Hop legend Guru is undoubtedly one of those few. Not only has he demonstrated his longevity in the game he’s also had groundbreaking success with the release of his previous albums Version 7.0 The scriptures, Jazzmatazz Vol.4 and The Time bomb/ Back to the future. Now his latest efforts see him teaming up once again with renowned producer Solar to release Guru 8.0 Lost and Found.Guru 8.0 is another example of Guru and Solar’s incredibly successful working relationship, which is also responsible for the success of their independent record label 7 Grand Records.
The album features few collaborations outside of the 7 Grand artist circle and boasts a range of classic hip hop tracks including Best of my years, Fast Lane and Divine Rule. This album has the power to take you back to a time when Hip Hop was in its truest form. Not only does it bring a sense of nostalgia it also demonstrates Guru’s diversification as a lyricist as well as Solar’s as a producer. For the first time we also see Solar emerge as an emcee adding to his already impressive musical resume. Guru 8.0 is an upgrade for true Hip Hop fans and when I caught up with Guru and Solar recently, I found out exactly why they felt it was needed.
You’ve been working together for some time now and you’ve produced some historical albums. What makes your partnership work so well?
Guru: Chemistry, respect, true friendship combined with a mutual concept of what the game is missing and how to bring it correctly.
Why did you feel that you needed to upgrade Hip-Hop?
Guru: Hip Hop has been getting “dumbed down”, the intelligence and the integrity demonstrated here along with the street cred and the OG factor makes this a necessary movement that can only inspire, influence and thoroughly entertain, thus raising the bar showing true dedication, hard work and undeniable genius.
Solar on this album we see your emergence as an emcee. How did that come about?
Solar: I have always been spitting with Guru live and I just felt it was time to put something down for this album.
What inspired your content for this record?
Solar: I am a born and raised thoroughbred New Yorker and the sound of 8.0 represents Real Hip Hop for right now not back in the day but right now. It is also a universal look at the times we are living in. This is legendary Street Hop! It is futuristic and at the same time it connects directly with the root of Hip Hop.
Guru you’ve been in the game for a while now. Do you feel certain contemporary artists have deviated too far from the true meaning of Hip Hop?
Guru: Yes, many have, a lot of the stuff is not Real Hip Hop at all, it’s Pop Hop as Solar says. Many of them do not even care about knowing the history and giving credit where it is due and some even go as far as being disrespectful.
What can the fans expect from your latest album Lost and Found?
Guru and Solar: it’s your favourite rapper, the Icon bringing it to your chest along with NYC’s brightest producer. Its pure Hip Hop through and through. Hip Hop has been lost but at 7 Grand it is found now!
Is there a tour coming up?
Guru and Solar: Yes, we have been touring since Jan 09 when we started out in The US at The Sundance Festival and moved on through Ski country in Utah into Colorado and ended up at the X Games in Aspen. Now we are touring Europe/ UK for 3 weeks and when we return to the us we will continue touring beginning in New York…
Guru 8.0 Lost and Found, the new album set to upgrade today’s Hip-Hop will be in stores from 27th April 2009. Don’t miss out!
Words by Daina Anderson