DJ Premier Talks Working With Guru’s Son For Gang Starr’s “Family And Loyalty” Music Video Featuring J. Cole
Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
(AllHipHop News) Following the death of Keith "Guru" Elam in 2010, many Gang Starr fans looked forward to eventually hearing more unreleased vocals from the late emcee. Last month, DJ Premier delivered a new single titled "Family and Loyalty," the first official Gang Starr record in 16 years.
“Family and Loyalty” also featured a guest appearance from North Carolina-based rap star J. Cole. The Dreamville Records head informed his 13 million Twitter followers that this would be his final featured verse.
Thankfully, there is a visual to go along with Guru and Cole’s bars on "Family and Loyalty." Hip Hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy directed the music video which was filmed in Harlem, New York and Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“Everything is very emotional and raw because he’s not here, but his spirit is here,” says Premier about the absence of Guru. “We shot the first half of this video on Cole’s turf and we had a very limited window in North Carolina. Fab 5 Freddy called me and he was really worried he would not be able to fly in from New York due to Hurricane Dorian. I told Freddy that Guru was piloting the flight and he would get him here safely and on time, and he did.”
While “Family and Loyalty” is the first Gang Starr video created without the group’s Boston-born founding member, the theme of the record plays out on screen with a descendant of Guru. His son, Keith Casim, stars in the clip as well.
“Keith was nine when his father passed away and he is now nineteen. I used to babysit him. He made me feel like Guru was there with me,” states Premier. “I told him he has the same look in his eyes as his father and everyone on set commented on how striking the resemblance is.”
The production wizard adds, “It was really important to me to have Guru’s son be a major focus of the video. Keith is starting to really understand the legacy his father left behind and the whole team is sharing so many stories with him. We are honest with him, how much fun Guru and I had, the bad times, we are not sugarcoating anything; we want him to know his father.”