Gangstarr's Guru Plans To Upgrade Hip-Hop On 'Guru 8.0'

Still in the midst of touring in support of his last project, the remix album The Timebomb/Back To the Future, Gang Starr co-founder Guru has announced the release of what marks only his second solo album in his illustrious career.

Guru has teamed up once again with producer Solar to create Guru 8.0 Lost and Found.

The album follows Guru’s 2005 solo debut Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures both in name, chronology and concept.

According to both Guru and Solar, it is to serve as an upgrade to contemporary Hip-Hop.

“It’s necessary to get upgrades to keep real Hip-Hop alive,” explained the legendary emcee. “8.0 represents that next level growth.”

Guru 8.0 finds both emcee and producer expanding stylistically, with songs like the Southern-inspired "Fast Lane," or “Divine Rule,” which revists Hip-Hop’s early days and finds Guru rhyming over a disco-inspired beat.

And staying true to form, the duo offers tracks like “Best of My Years,” which allows listeners to travel with Guru thru his years of experience.

“This is the next evolution of intelligent Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop on the next level," said Solar who co-founded 7 Grand Records with Guru in 2004.

He added that the album is a sign of Guru’s continued ability to command the Hip-Hop arena.

The album also showcases the talents of 7 Grand artists K. Born, Highpower, Doo Wop, and even the debut of Solar as an artist in what he calls a natural evolvement of who he is.

The only other feature on Guru 8.0 comes courtesy of British soul singer Omar.

While Guru has continued to number his album in succession with his critically acclaimed Jazzamatazz series, he cautions fans to remember that this is a distinctively different project.

“This is not Hip-Hop jazz,” Guru stated. “This is straight Hip-Hop. So lyrically you’re going to have that straight Hip-Hop element.”

Guru 8.0 Lost and Found is set to hit stores in March 2009.

Guru and Solar are currently on the last leg of their Jazzmatazz Timebomb World Tour, which they will rap in Europe this week with shows in Caen and Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Biel, Switzerland; Athens, Greece; and Antwerp, Belgium.