Click Link Below To Read
Click Link Below To Read
Guru & Solar – The Carey Sisters Interview (Audio)
Guru Aka Mr. GangStarr And Producer Solar On PNC Radio Today At 4-5pm
7 Grand Records
HMV Chat With Guru and Solar
With a 13-album/20-year career that has seen him sell over 3.5 million records worldwide, East Coat rapper Guru found fame through his collaboration with DJ Premier as part of the iconic hip hop duo Gang Starr. He went on to form Jazzmatazz, a compelling fusion of jazz and rap, which saw his lyrics and vocal abilities pushed to new heights. Teaming up with new partner Solar, the duo went on to establish 7 Grand Records, which now owns the rights to both Gang Starr and Jazzmatazz.
Hip-Hop Vets Guru and Solar On Southern Rap and Why the Game Needs Them
Recently, hip-hop veterans Guru and Solar released their latest album, 8.0 Lost & Found. They also sparked some controversy with an interview where it was suggested that Southern rap isn’t real hip-hop. Ro recently spoke with the legends while they were on tour in the Netherlands about the misunderstanding, the death of urban radio and why 7 Grand Records is the label that’s going to save hip-hop. –jacinta howard
Click Here For Interview
Listen To Audio
Rap legend Guru and producer Solar rolled into the UK last week on their Lost and Found 8.0 European Tour. They talk to us about their new album, hip hop and fondness of British films…
Check Out Interview At
Hip-hop loving ladies crushed on Guru for classic Gang Starr tracks like “Nice Girl, Wrong Place,” “Royalty” and more. However, thanks to his understanding of self-worth and determination, he has since moved on while managing to stay relevant in the ever-changing hip-hop game. He and Solar, his creative and business partner, didn’t like the music they were hearing, nor did they appreciate shady business practices, so they controlled their own destiny by forming 7 Grand Records. Since 2004, they have released projects like Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures, Jazzmatazz Vol. 4 and The Timebomb/Back to the Future, as part of their mission to elevate the state of the culture. That mission continues with the release of their latest effort, Guru 8.0 Lost & Found.
The vanguard duo describes Lost & Found as the next evolution of intelligent hip-hop lyrically, and in terms of production. But don’t think they’re being elitist. Guru and Solar don’t mind other people getting some shine they just want to restore balance to the game so that there’s something for everyone. They explained to Honey how they make the rapidly changing hip-hop industry work for their brand.
Guru, I read somewhere that the album was called Lost & Found because you felt like East Coast hip-hop lost the intelligent element it used to have so what can people expect from this project?
Guru: There’s a general track on there called “Lost and Found” that sums it all up. It talks about the sell outs getting rewards, and about people that have absolutely no knowledge of hip-hop who call themselves critics—that’s not good for the culture either. Hip-hop has been lost but now it’s found with 7 Grand and Guru and Solar, and through our outlook and our grassroots approach. Through our travels everywhere, we’ve seen where it’s lacking or as Solar likes to say, “It’s been kidnapped,” so we’re here to save it.
Both you guys were artists first so how do you balance being bosses with your artistic careers, and how was it to make the transition?
Guru: It was something I’ve always wanted to do but it’s definitely been a challenge. It’s challenging on a daily basis because there are so many things that we have to be on top of at all times, especially with running a company that’s global. But at the end of the day, the buck stops here. That’s the rewarding part because we know we’re in control of our creative spot.
Solar: There’s a level of freedom that’s necessary for the growth of Guru and Solar, for us to grow as artists. I don’t think we would have done well under an A&R system—under someone telling us what we need to do. We enjoy taking chances and letting people hear our expression. I can’t see the machine working for us [because] we like pushing the envelope.
Can we expect to see more from the Jazzmatazz series?
Guru: Volume 4 came out in ’07 and it was a situation where the legacy was rejuvenated by Solar’s production work as the first Jazzmatazz on 7 Grand. The fact that we were able to assemble such an illustrious group of artists is very rewarding so we definitely want to do it again.
Solar: I think the world wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re going to have to come up with another, even better Jazzmatazz. It’s such a brilliant concept that Guru came up with [because] it’s so universal and can go so many different ways.
What artists would you work with this time around?
Guru: We could be here for another 35 minutes talking about that but at the top of my list would be Prince.
You guys have been in the game for a while so I want to ask you some random questions based on classics. How do you successfully make the transition from the ex girl to next girl?
Guru: [Laughs] That sits right with something I was going to bring up. Last year, we did “Cupid’s Chokehold” by Gym Class Heroes. Solar did the production and he asked me to rhyme on it. It got Solar his first platinum plaque and I got my first platinum plaque ever in my entire career—not to mention that Gym Class Heroes won the 2007 MTV Group of the Year Award, so when we perform live, we do “Ex Girl to Next Girl” and then we go right into that because the subject matter is kind of similar so that answers that question.
Solar: “Cupid’s Chokehold” is a continuation of the whole ex to next thing and the fans love it. It drives the point home about the old fan base and the new fan base. I don’t think we could demonstrate any clearer, from working with MTV award winners, that we got a new fan base and they’re checking for us.
What are the top three ways that each of you treat your lady like royalty? Guru: Definitely, listening to where she’s coming from and really understanding her. Next would be, fly her somewhere exotic. I would take her to one of the places I’ve been on my travels, and the other would be since I’m a writer, I would write her something nice, not necessarily a poem but just some prose.
Solar: I wouldn’t treat her like royalty because I would see her as royalty. My demonstration of affection and dedication would be respect—and have her respect me. As man and woman, we’d come together and respect each other’s intelligence. I love a very attractive woman, but I definitely want her to have an intelligent mind that we can build on. I’d also get her lingerie and sexy underwear, and last but not least, I’m a chef so I’d cook up something special.
Going back to your album, why can people ride out to this throughout the summer?
Solar: It’s hard to say because it depends on what your mood is. I’ve had some people say the first half is one way and then the second half of the album is another way, so it depends.
Guru: It’s something you can listen to from front to back. You can listen to it when you’re hanging out on the beach, you can listen to it when you’re sitting in traffic or when you’re partying on the weekend.
Sounds good. Is there anything you want to add about the album?
Guru: Big ups to all the positive progressive and hard working ladies out there.
Solar: A lot of times, I’ve found that the female fans in hip-hop don’t get as much credit as they deserve so I just want to say peace to all our female fans and we strive to make music that everybody can enjoy and we appreciate your support.