Artist: GuruTitle: Guru version 7.0 The Street ScripturesRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Dev1
One of the most prevalent acts of the Hip-Hop musics Golden Age was and is Gang Starr; DJ Premier and GURU. After seven classic albums with Primo and the solo trilogy of Jazzmatazz, Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) has, once again, attempted to reinvent himself with his fourth solo LP, Guru version 7.0 The Street Scriptures (7 Grand). Known for his monotone flow and righteously geared raps, the Boston to Brooklyn transplant is able to maintain his political, social, and spiritual stances while adapting the message to todays listener. With production by Solar, the pair has created a pretty good album in The Street Scriptures.
On the intro No Time, Guru addresses the urgency of street awareness over the electric guitar and thick bass that is reminiscent of early nineties beats; No time to wait/ gotta make cake/ keep your burners bake/ cuz the streets aint safe. Following that, False Prophets, addresses the trickery of those who take advantage of the weak and those who fake jacks over eerie acoustic guitars, violins, and gothic wails. Don Status featuring Styles P is hardcore. Guru makes spiritual references regarding strength and preparation for mental warfare. Styles P strengthens the song by verse and by doing the hook, you aint really ready for war/ blow your head off when you come through the door/ thats the shit that happens when you fuckin with a raw nigga/ the ghost and the Guru getting ready for more. On Hood Dreamin he wants to help prevent the vicious cycle of youths utilizing negative means to achieve their dreams but usually experience a dream deferred. Most importantly, Guru expresses how he has been there. Feed the Hungry serves as a platform for child advocacy and he verbally exposes and attacks the warmongers while dropping science over the Solar masterpiece. This track is vintage Guru. The basic metaphor is SPIRITUAL FOOD as he spits, Feed the hungry/ house the poor/ we gotta save these babies and stop the wars. Another song that stands out is Talk to me featuring the soul artist, Jaguar Wright. This is a cool track that serves as a Hip-Hop love ballad and brings balance to the album.
The ultra-talented Jean Grae and Talib Kweli, who appear on Power, Money and Influence though overal the song does no justice to the collaboration. The track was too fast for Gurus flow while Jean Grae and Kweli were better suited at riding the track. Another song wasted by lack of cohesion with the beat is Real Life featuring B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Guru maintains his stance in the game but the album lacks MASS APPEAL, mainly due to todays listener being conditioning to the iced-out/rimmed-out jargon. Those who already know Guru will comprise most of the sales. Guru seems bitter throughout the album due to the nature of the game today and how artists are rewarded for wackness; when emcees important as he are forgotten by many. Overall, Guru version 7.0, The Street Scriptures is a formidable album worth a least flipping through.