Hip hop pioneer Guru chatted to Skrufff this week about London’s escalating gang culture and suggested violence obsessed rappers are contributing to the problem.
“I have seen it grow and grow and there are not enough people committed from the community taking the time to connect with these young people,” Guru suggested, “Plus the messages in the music are glorifying the wrong elements.”
In Gangstarr’s best known song ‘Just To Get a Rep’, the New York collective told the tale of Shorty, a teenage wannabe gang member who shoots a rival ‘just to get a rep’, sparking a spiral of violence that leads to his own killing. Rather than glamouring gang violence though, the classic track detailed its futility and destructiveness,echoing the stark reality depicted by fellow hip hop pioneers KRS-One and Grandmaster Flash
“Unfortunately they influence others immensely and most haven’t even lived such lives,” Guru continued on today’s gangsta rappers.
“What we need is Og’s (original gangstas) and Y’gs (young gangstas) connecting on some real man to man dialogue that does not glamorize but deals with real truths,” he said.
“The bling era did that and the bling era is dead now,” Guru continued, “So now we need to get back to the business of Real Music and Real Hip Hop.”
Chatting about his latest Jazzmatazz album ‘Jazzmatazz the Mixtape: THE TIMEBOMB (Back To The Future)’ he made clear that’s exactly their intention.
“Solar say’s ‘it’s triggered to explode in your mental at a later date’; ‘Back to the future’ means just that; we can’t go back but we can go back to the future,” Guru explained.
“This is the first ever Jazzmatazz mixtape that brings underground heads and Jazzmatazz heads together under one roof, 7 Grand. It was Solar’s brilliant idea. The production is genius; it’s a throwback to Jazzy Hip Hop elements but with no samples,” he said.
New Yorker Solar has also contributed on Guru’s upcoming artist album ‘8.0 Lost and Found’ which is out in March 2009 on Guru’s own 7 Grand Records.
http://tinyurl.com/567q87 (Gang Starr: Just To Get A Rep)
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)