I spent all of Tuesday in a tizzy, trying to research and write that obituary for Guru (not to mention juggling that with teaching two classes). I’m especially grateful to all the folks who gave me testimonials, including Joe Schloss, Jeff Mao, Bob James, Jeru, Kurupt (even though I received it too late to get it into print) and especially Harry Elam Jr. who was extremely gracious to speak to me on such a difficult day for the family.

I’ve been running on adrenaline this whole week since, besides the LA Times, obit, I also prepared this Gang Starr Music List for and the piece I’m most proud about, an appreciation for Guru that aired on All Things Considered on Friday. It really hasn’t been until the tail end that I’ve slowed down enough to realize, f—, Guru is dead, Gang Starr is never coming back. What I mourn is not only the loss of the man, but I suppose I’m also mourning the permanent passing of an *idea* from possibility into memory. Continue reading GURU: IN MEMORY OF


I wrote a cover story on Gang Starr for URB in 2003, in anticipation for The Ownerz, the group’s first album in five years. I flew out to NYC and interviewed the two men, separately, in Studio B of D&D Studios. People had asked if I wouldn’t mind printing some of it so I went back to my transcripts; unfortunately, much of what I had actually transcribed was specific to the album or my piece. There were long parts of our conversation I taped but didn’t transcribe because I assumed it wasn’t immediately relevant to the story. That includes Guru talking about his father, which I would have liked to hear (maybe I can find the original tape somewhere). However, I culled a few parts that I thought folks might enjoy.

Here is Guru on… Continue reading INTERVIEWING GURU IN 2003