NaPoWriMo #17: Eulogy – For Guru (1966-2010)


Guru.
Originally uploaded by Pieter Baert

I’m still workin through the deaths of Guru and Malcom McLaren. Two hip-hop pioneers with very little in common except for their desire to broaden their art. McLaren came to NYC to add some concrete to what was already a sensational (literally) career. Guru took it from BK to le Champs-Élysées to give hip-hop a deeper taste of jazzmatazz and did it with no apologies. Words manifest, indeed.

To help my figure it out on the page, I’ve created this collage poem from the titles of the Gang Starr and Jazzmatazz singles plus the names of the man himself. Soundtrack is embedded below. Peace.

Eulogy
For Guru (1966-2010)

[Poem was here.]

Rest in Power: Guru

From DJ Premier’s blog:

“I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options. I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.”

Another innovator has passed on to the next part of the journey. I recognize Guru for taking advantage of the opportunities the hip-hop community gave him and transforming those opportunities by extending hip-hop’s reach into the world. If we had stayed on Guru’s path, the collaborative possibilities would have massive. Instead, we let the record execs take over and chose to be myopic with our culture and birthright. I feel this tug of vintage hip-hop calling me back and asking to speak through the poetry. Word.

Peace to you, Guru. Spread the music on the other side.