Author Topic: Guru Interview  (Read 90 times)

Dj Eskimo

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Guru Interview
« on: April 18, 2003, 09:06:57 AM »
ThaFormula - Primo feels that Hip-Hop was in a coma right now. Do you feel the same way?

Guru - Yeah, but I think that there is some promising signs, its just that money needs to be spent in those directions. Money is only being spent on certain type of stuff and back in the day it was a variety of styles and **** that made Hip-Hop shine as a music and as a culture. So originality is important. Right now bitin' is cool and it ain't supposed to be. Bitin' is legal now. That ain't right. People ain't playin' by the rules and A&Rs are scared to stick their neck out for talent they believe in. A lot of A&R's might not do what they're supposed to do because they aren't the one that signed you so they don't get nothing out of it.

ThaFormula - So if they're not the one that signed you that could be a problem?

Guru - Hell yeah. Cause they ain't getting no perks. If you sell more or less it don't matter, they still get their check. So basically to me a lot of these new artists ain't gonna be around unless they learn about the origin of the culture. They think they can just come in the game and blow up and think it's all about them. They're wrong, 'cause next year they might not be at that spot no more. So it's all about knowing where the **** came from. You ain't gotta kiss nobodies ass. You ain't gotta know every name or every song or whatever, whatever, but you should know who Kool Herc is and Afrika Bam and Grandmaster flash etc. You should know some ****. Even from the Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap era. You should know some **** about that. So if cats ain't acknowledging nothing they ain't gonna be in the game for long. Also a lot of these brothers are sellin' a lifestyle that a lot of cats can't afford. People are getting tired of that too. Everybody can't afford all that ****.

ThaFormula - Now Guru, did you ever get caught up in that high profile lifestyle?

Guru - First of all, what keeps Gangstarr grounded is that we got jerked a lot. We never went platinum. I got in arguments with cats who thought that we went platinum and we never went platinum. We never got the right promotion and we always been on Rock & Roll labels. We were one of the only, or the first rappers ever on a Rock & Roll label. For us all the frustrations of getting jerked and all that **** we just put back into our music. We got in the game to get signed to a major cause that was the thing back then. There was no independents that were blowin' up. The independent we were on, we didn't get no front money. We didn't even think about it cause we just wanted to make records. The era was different but we don't hate on the young entrepreneurs now. Cats are comin' in the game now and showing how it's supposed to be put down. They get the whole hood behind them. They sellin' 100,000 or 200,000 or more in their own area in their surrounding hoods and that's crazy you know, out down South and Midwest and that was being done like that in New York. Since then we seen a lot of eras go by. How we maintain is we play the game by the rules. It's a culture and it has rules to it and principles. It's like New York has lost its sound. When we came to New York we came on a mission and like I said, I've been in New York since '83 and I'm an honorary New Yorker I guess. I still rep Boston too, but its like the New York sound and East Coast sound was something that we proud of and a part of, so we want to preserve that. It seems like in order to compete, New York MC's or a lot of them left that sound and decided they wanted to go to the bounce tracks or do the more gangsta **** and so forth and that's o.k., but we're trying to bring that New York sound back. There are still some New York producers that are doing it. But for the most part everybody is trying to do the other thing. Where as Gangstarr is more like that New York head jerker.

ThaFormula - How does it feel to see more and more people doing this bull**** Hip-Hop everyday?

Guru - It's funny 'cause Premier calls it Tinkerbell rap. I mean, Premier plays instruments. He plays keyboards, he plays bass and drums, but he is a sample artist as far as his production is concerned. He comes from that grimy DJ point of view and that's what we love. We like that and we want to preserve that. Of course his style has elevated. It don't sound like the Premier from a few years ago, 'cause now *****z bit that ****. So the new album has a new sound like the single "Skills." It sounds like a Gangstarr track but its that new millennium Gangstarr ****, so it shows that you can be quote, un-qoute "old school," but you can still have music that relates to the new school. You don't gotta be stuck. Another problem is that a lot of the old school cats got stuck in their eras and couldn't evolve. They can't make a good record now and they're mad about it. But it ain't nobodies fault but theirs. We never wanted to be like that and I think what keeps us humble and grounded and hungry is that we got jerked a lot and we had to find different ways to keep above water. That's why we talked earlier about the separate projects, and then also we're fans and we do it for the love as well as being honest. We roll with the same brothas that we laid our foundation with in the beginning like my homeboy Big Shug. That's my man from Boston. He's still with me and he's Gangstarr Foundation for life, so it's a blessing to still be in the mix cause like I said, a lot of cats ain't. So many groups broke up over petty **** and that's wack. I mean me and Premier have had disagreements but we ain't trying to break up. I mean we almost had fistfights and ****, but we ain't trying to break the group up. You got to be a man and you got to be able to see the bigger picture.

ThaFormula - Will we ever see Jeru on a Gangstarr album again?

Guru - Most likely no, because that was his decision. He wanted to step and do his own thing. We're still friends, but he let something personal get in between the business between him and Premier.

ThaFormula - Yeah, I wanted to ask Primo that cause he told me what went down but I didn't get to ask if he thought they would ever work together again.

Guru - I mean I don't know. I'm not gonna say its not, but its not a priority. Unfortunately last time I seen him was at my man Headquarters wake. So we didn't get to really talk.

DJ Lord Ron - Rest in Peace to Headquarters!

Guru - Yes Sir!

ThaFormula - No doubt, RIP to Headquarters. Speakin' of him, a lot of people don't even know who Headquarters was...

Guru - A lot of people don't know who a lot of the real soldiers are out in the streets that are losing their lives. They are the unsung heroes and now we in this war and we didn't even know what it's about and we got wars in our community. Its ****ed up! That's why we really got to get our **** right. You know how they say it takes something bad to happen to bring people together? Headquarters, for those that don't know was our boy who was a street promoter. He would drive the van and everywhere he would go he would be like "yo, get that new Gangstarr and MOP, ahhh!!" He was a gully ass street dude man, and he had been through mad **** and basically raised himself. He was one of our realest homies and actually really changed his whole life. He stopped drinking, he stopped smoking, he was taking classes in school and all that. He was working for Rawkus as well as Head of Street Promotions.

ThaFormula - So what happened Guru?

Guru - They shot up his van outside of a roller-skate spot in the Bronx 'cause he's from the Bronx. We're still trying to find out what's the deal with that. We're still trying to find out what happened cause that was 2 days after Jam Master got killed and we were all together on a flight to Puerto Rico with 50, G-Unit Jam Master Jay, Rusty Waters, Supercat and Gangstarr all on the flight right before that. That's why you will see Headquarters in 50's DVD. He's in there talkin' about him and Jam Master Jay is in there. That was a week before they both passed away. Its just sad man, all that ****. It makes you think especially with Jam Master Jay. It's like, "Yo, what kind of respect does that killer get amongst killers even? Like what the **** type of props do you get for doing that!!" Fight a mutha****a or something. You don't gotta murder him in cold blood. It makes me say, "damn I done worked all this blood sweat and tears to try to achieve something that you could get killed doing." I want you to definitely put this in the interview. On this tour we've been filming our own DVD and going behind the scenes and all that. I been the type of dude with a lot of stress behind us not being where were supposed to be. Like the popularity versus the sales. With the rep I got *****z wanna get at me in all type of ways.

ThaFormula - I've been hearing you guys have really been going off on some people on this tour man and it's like you guys being the last real original Hip-Hop group. Why not just say **** like, "Yo, so and so, you're wack! Stop ****ing things up!" Why not call any names on these wack mutha****az who are killin' this hip hop ****?

DJ Lord Ron - Y'all lucky I ain't in this game deep 'cause I'll let them mutha****az know man.

Guru - I feel you, but as far as MC'ing my message is too universal for me to name names. If I got to name names, I'm coming to see you aside from this. **** the music and that's what I'm sayin'. My real life aside from this music is way more gully then any record anybody ever made and that's the pressures I deal with. That's why on this tour, I watched myself on the films like another person. Yeah you can have a drink and chill, but me if I'm already frustrated about **** and I have too many drinks and somebody say something slick, then the ill kid comes out. But that's not good, and then what happens is everybody is not gonna understand my stress, and that's why ever since the Seattle show, and I put this on everything, I haven't had no drinks. I don't even want that in my life no more. I cut off mad *****z I don't want around me. *****z that be scheming. *****z trying to straight get me murdered six feet you know what I mean? **** that's not right for you and don't work, don't **** with it.

ThaFormula - So then you heard about people talkin' about you trippin' at the shows?

Guru - Yeah, I heard.

ThaFormula - In fact I was told that one kid saw you at one of the shows walkin' around the room talkin' about, "who called me rich and wack?" He stepped to you to ask about some Gangstarr news and you told him, "Get the **** away from me&#8230;"

Guru - (Laughs) Yeah, because I was dealin' with somethin' else. Let me tell you something. I done seen a million other artists diss mutha****as more than I did and a lot of them don't even care about the forums. I do! So I'm makin' a public apology through you. I mean you will only hear that about me maybe a couple of times but before it gets out of hand or anything and even more so, what troubles me is that I might flip on some of my boys. 'Cause we had another homeboy who was actin' up towards the bouncers at the House of Blues, we had to tell him to chill because we still gotta do the show and these are things that happen. The question is do you correct them? My father always told me, "if it needs to be fixed, fix it." That's all I'm sayin'. I'm a grown ass man. I could really give a **** what somebody really thinks, but at the same time I do give a ****. See what I'm sayin'? Not on no ***** ****, but on some "yo, my bad I was drunk," give em a pound and you know I also quit drinking on top of that. That's it and we will see. The same way Snoop said he had to stop smoking weed for a while. Straight up. That's what happens in the entertainment industry 'cause you be travellin' and ain't nothin' but liquor and *****es around and different ****. Some guys is chasing hoes all the time. They got that as a hobby. It happens in this business. I'm a real person man. I ain't makin' no excuses either. I mean I got songs about this ****. All of this is real is what I'm trying to say. See I don't run with no "yes" men. It's more important to me what they think then what that kid said on the Internet, that's what I'm trying to say. But at the same time, I do got love for my peoples, 'cause I don't like to call them fans, I say "my peoples." So them being my peoples&#8230;my apologies on everything.

ThaFormula - Yeah you know I just wanted you to know what some people were saying&#8230;

Guru - Yeah I know, I mean Freddie Foxxx called me in the room the other day 'cause he saw the **** on the Internet. It's just I should not drink when I'm mad about something. I shouldn't even drink at all cause right now its very crucial. This is it for Gangstarr. I got a son, I got mad ****. This is all **** they was yellin' at me on the bus, like "what the **** are you doing? People love you Guru," and that's real.

ThaFormula - So you ain't livin' large after all the work you put in this bull**** business?

Guru - Nah, **** no! Hell no! Absolutely not. No. I mean I'm livin' better then I was and I'm grateful and blessed, but not the way we should be for all the hot **** we put out. No ****in' way. It's like because we didn't go platinum is the reason why they won't sign Krumb or somethin'. That's another reason why instead of complaining and being like how I was and wildin' out, I be focused and I'm gonna start kickin' in these mutha****in' doors on some real ****. It's gonna happen this year for us.

ThaFormula - It has to man&#8230;

Guru - Yeah, it has to and like you said, **** has got to change and somethin' has got to give. On top of that we should have a union, adding on to what you said Primo always says, there should be a union that shuts down the wack ****, but we got to have some of the rappers who are powerful and rich involved in the union. Because there is some dope *****z that are paid and are dope. Everybody that is getting that paid, and radio play ain't wack, but a lot of *****z with backpacks around the underground are wack to me!

ThaFormula - Straight garbage!

Guru - Yeah, so don't think its just cause if you don't sell this or that, nah if you're dope you're dope. If you're nice, you're nice.

ThaFormula - That's another big thing also. The underground scene has completely gone to ****&#8230;

Guru - Because you got a million mutha****as into the **** now. You got skateboarders (laughs), you got snowboarders and all this ****. I mean I ain't got nothing against them, but do they really know what's up?

ThaFormula - Man! We are gettin deep now Gz. Now that we have warmed up, it's time to get deeper with Gangstarr then ever before. Oh yes, it gets better as we continue later this week with Day 2 with Guru and take our journey with Gangstarr to the next level. We are gonna take you on a trip with "The Ownerz" that will never be forgotten! Stay Tuned!!!

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