We Don’t Need Your “Tribute To” Anything, Thanks

As you’re all aware by now hip-hop lost another voice earlier this week, as one Keith “Guru” Elam lost his bout with cancer (where the hell did that come from?) on Tuesday. I’ll refrain from giving my own thoughts on the handling of the situation… scratch that, I’ll just say this: somebody from within Guru’s camp is handling things in a very bitchmade manner, and eventually it will all be exposed.

Anyways, with Guru’s death landing on the unofficial weed holiday, not only was I hit with an increased amount of marijuana-inspired music, but I was hit with Guru tithes as well. I’m sure this will be taken the wrong way (as is the case when it comes to these shits), but I feel that a plethora of tribute songs to Guru aren’t really needed right now in our lives. Not to say that all of them are done in poor taste, but let’s be honest: the last thing fans really need is a rush job “freestyle” over an old Gang Starr instrumental, especially given the curious circumstances surrounding his death.

Back before everything a simple click away (word to this copy of Kick Ass I plan on watching this weekend), artists were forced to sit in the lab to create a song to a fallen artist. Shit, Sauce Money… excuse me, Puffy danced his way into the public eye with that awful tribute to Biggie twelve years ago, and he hasn’t left since. Now all you need is Garage Band and an instrumental you can swack from the finest of message boards, and a couple minutes later you have a song ready to aurally violate the rest of the world with. News flash, rapsters: the world doesn’t want – and in some cases doesn’t care for – a Guru tribute from you. Most come off as a desperate cry for attention, with the truly genuine ones getting lost in the shuffle due to the dilution of tracks in the rap gene pool.

Plus, it’s not like anybody is going to really remember which rapster did what song 24 hours later. The Internets has made things so ADHD-esque I couldn’t even tell you what dropped in the past couple hours, much less last week. The only thing that comes to mind was the video for Ciara’s “Ride,” and that was for the obvious reasons.

Hell, I’ll even admit that while I maintained a level respect for Guru, I always preferred DJ Premier between the two. And once Guru split from Primo to start dealing with Solar, I never gave three-eighths of a shit toward that work. Primo’s work with Christina Aguilera and the Teriyaki Boyz of all people were far more interesting than anything Solar and Guru did together. Call me insensitive about it (among other things), but I know I wasn’t the only one who felt a little indifferent about Guru passing, particularly when this Solar shit popped up. I wasn’t aware of Baldhead Slick’s bout with myeloma, and the fact that it was just now revealed he had myeloma to begin with is indicative of some more slimy shit I really don’t care to put any thought into.

Yes, Guru’s passing was tragic and unexpected. But no, we shouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun and drop a tribute song after tribute song, especially when Mister Cee’s Guru dedication > every other Guru dedication thus far. At this point I’d listen to the poetical eloquence of my old junior high school classmate Ray J wax poetics on the science of tricking than that shit. Fuck Ray J.

  • Pingback: Slang Editorial: We Don’t Need Your “Tribute To” Anything, Thanks | 2dopeboyz

  • Yo Momma

    Dont make your boyfriend with the lip ring jealous by talking about fucking Ray J

  • http://K1ngEljay.com K1ng Eljay

    HAHA.

    I cosign.

  • LV

    You just gotta love Meka lmao

  • Heartbeat of 905

    Got Damn! Everybody need to go watch that Ciara video, holy phuck thats all a nigga can say rite now. I was reading the article, clicked on the link, and I forgot about the article. DAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMNNNNNNNn

    I got free health care bitches.

    • Arkansas

      Nigga, that ish aint free we all paying for that shit in some way via higher taxes dumb ass u probaby dont have a job!!!

  • MithritadesHD

    I’d hate to think my agreeing with u isn’t a trend but I do….I pray for the day that we don’t agree Meka lol(j/k)

  • numonics

    i feel the same way. if you want to pay tribute to Guru, listen to his work. Not MC WhoGivesAFuck drop a mush mouthed freestyle over “Moment of Truth”.

    Guru was an average rapper at best but still has a very solid discography.

    rip guru……

  • Lights

    Meka, I read your work, Im always on 2 dope boyz but will you please use correct grammar. It is anyway, not anyways. Thanks man

  • Chris

    Young dude.

    Do your homework.
    How did you get this job?

  • sealsaa

    “Guru was an average rapper at best but still has a very solid discography.”

    ^Well put. Lets not have another 2pac on our hands, with everybody exaggerating his level of skill. R.I.P. to the “King of the monotone flo”. Support real Gangstarr, Guru/Preem era. Anything else would be uncivilized.

    • dismathis

      you are out of your mind. tupac’s skill is exaggerated? and guru was an average rapper? how old are you? do you listen to the words of rap songs, or just the beat.

      moron.

  • J Roy

    i have to ether ur life for stunting on Gu. While maybe not top 5, dude was certainly top 10 or 20 ever to touch the mic. he dropped 5 bonafide classic albums as well as a host of other solid material. while i agree that we don’t need any guru tribute songs from noname MCs, belittling Guru’s contribution to hip hop culture and music, especially at this time, is not only in poor taste, but undeniably false. RIP Guru. We don’t need a fucking tribute track, and we don’t need some ignorant bloggers talking shit about a great man’s legacy. all we need to do is listen to DWYCK, step in the arena, above the clouds, mass appeal, full clip, or about 100 other classics to know why guru was important. fuck this n*gga meka…i cosign @chris

  • D

    There’s only one thing less necessary than a bunch of ill-advised tributes to Guru. A fucking article on why we don’t need a bunch of ill-advised tributes to Guru.

  • DJ ALL DAY

    Co-sign with D let the man rest in piece for real at least I kno he in a better place far beyond this shit hole world. Whether u like it or not ur still eating off him making an article like this, any body who knos the REAL hip hop culture knos where guru stands and how is artistic work helped alot of ppl thru the struggle leave it at that……

    Any body who don’t kno and reading this 2 get more info on homie read a fuckin book first and then study the art in Hip-Hop. Half of u young ass mutha fuckers are just gonna change the channel in about 5 mins anyway so theres no point on giving u articles or any info to ppl who careless or just use it to imitate and duplicate acting like its ur shit…..R.I.P. Guru

  • sealsaa

    @ J Roy

    I’m all for respecting the dead, but I gotta co-sign Meka’s shitting on Guru/Solar’s work. Solar ain’t worthy to carry Preem’s crates, and the shit in that letter got heads more than a little upset, cause either Solar’s a lying cock-sucker, or Guru shit on his own legacy by diminishing his work with Preem, just to take shots at the man from behind the grave. Either way, there’s some foul shit going on. Trust, “Hard to Earn” and “Moment of Truth” are gonna get some healthy spins this weekend.

  • daydeezy

    i dont co-sign that, you dont know what effect he had on that person or artist and if that is there way of expressing themselves to someone they have love for you can stop that and why would you , i know he was an artist but he was a man first and a son a brother , uncle a father maybe. So i say if a artist record or a poem for “GURU” please do , i want to hear it and Gurur does too, So really in this blog you should really say how you feel , its too many artist passing and your tired of everybody caring about it and it makes it worst because its all with in the last 6 months. I dont care if it happen everyday, and i pray when your time come someone will do something for you no matter the timely demise.Now This is a Heartless comment you made bruh for real and you should have more respect for a human being. I liek how you put the jokes in there too nice…smh

  • Anonymous

    @sealsaa
    FIRST OFF There is no exaggerating Tupacs level of skill the dude is a legend because of his life and his music.You cant exaggerate something that proves it self.

    SECOND This blogger needs to shut the fuck up with this bullshit.
    “Puffs horrible tribute to Big”? Gtfo, the song he did with Faith Evans was a classic and touching tribute to him and actually did a very good job sampling another great classic song for his use of the version he did. Puff might be a moron but the tribute was very solid.

    These bloggers are idiots that get paid to ruffle feathers, and speak against what people love, Im really starting to see a trend here. Looks like we have another idiot like BOL on here.

  • Worley

    I agree that we don’t need a million tribute records especially from MC Wack looking to get attention. But I disagree with being indifferent to Guru’s passing. Yes, the work he did with Solar was wack to say the least. But Gang Starr made an indelible mark on the rap game.

    I woke up on 4/20 bumping “Take Two and Pass” while blazing a fat one. Then I checked facebook and saw all the RIP Guru matter. That sh!t completely f*cked up my vibe. Plus the death of Guru meant there would never be another legit Gang Starr album. That in itself is reason to shed a tear which I did.

    Rest in Peace Gurizzy.

  • http://ihiphop.com Rashaan

    Any tributes should be left to the people most affected by the death of a person. All these random rappers dropping freestyles are just publicity stunts capitalizing off a tragic situation. It’s even acceptable if you are from that era and didn’t know Guru. But sheeit, if you were born after 1992, I would personally wonder why you even give a shit other than to get your name hot.

    When he was hot and he made great hip-hop. There were plenty of MC’s that garnered more of my attention, but dude held his own and was never on no clown shit. His aura was one that demanded respect, even if you didn’t fuck with the rhymes. He also set the standard for being on a Premier track – you had to be able to spit – plain & simple. That Jazzmatazz shit was ok, but the only song I ever liked was “Loungin” real talk. But, I applauded his efforts in fusing jazz & hip-hop.

    But yeah you are right, that microwave shit is fucking up the game in some ways. It’s like eating just strictly food that can be unthawed and cooked fast because niggas is hungry. Cook that food right, nigga! They gonna wait on it!

  • sealsaa

    Not to hijack the blog, but Pac fans have a tendency to confuse subject matter with skill. He was average. No doubt, he influenced alot of people, but putting him in the Top 5 (based on skill) with the likes of Rakim, Nas, G-Rap, ect, is pure pretension. Naturally, you’re going to strongly disagree, but whatever. It is what it is.

    As for “Missing You”, co-sign, that shit was corn, and that nigga Puff couldn’t dance to save his life.

  • sealsaa

    Not to hijack the blog, but Pac fans have a tendency to confuse subject matter with skill. He was average. No doubt, he influenced alot of people, but putting him in the Top 5(based on skill) with the likes of Rakim, Nas, G-Rap, ect, is pure pretension. Naturally, you’re going to strongly disagree, but whatever. It is what it is.

    As for “Missing You”, co-sign, that shit was corn, and that nigga Puff couldn’t dance to save his life

  • sealsaa

    Not to hijack the blog, but Pac fans have a tendency to confuse subject matter with skill. He was average. No doubt, he influenced alot of people, but putting him in the Top 5(based on skill) with the likes of Rakim, Nas, G-Rap, ect, is pure pretension. Naturally, you’re going to strongly disagree, but whatever. It is what it is.

    As for “Missing You”, co-sign that shit was corn, and that nigga Puff couldn’t dance to save his life.

  • Anonymous

    Missing you was hot, and Tupac is a deserved top 5 mc without a doubt.There was nothing basic about his skill.

  • yoprince

    everything guru did post-gang starr was crazy wack.

    why? b/c guru’s monotone and avg. rhyme skills were only dope over Primo production.

    i’m 24. i was first introduced to guru by way of my father who liked that jazzmatazz BS. i then limewired guru and discovered gang starr which was dopeness.

    but that jazzmatazz ish was wack, keep it real.

    and solar and guru are both undercover homos. which is also wack. not the gay part, but the undercover part.

    and fuck your tributes.

  • BG13

    HEY dude go fuck yourselve your a hiphop mag writer and you cant respect jazzmatazz i love dj primier and guru but why say who you liked more and dismiss a man who built a culture. one that you make your living on! i stay with the blogs fuck your mag and fuck your life your trash with no class
    wait a minut this is meka from 2 dope boyz
    damn man i just lost almost all my respect for u and your work thats disapointing i loved your site

  • BG13

    jazzmataz one is as classic as any album ever same with 4 fuck what you heard

  • BG13

    seriously this is some dumb ass shit you were or are more interested in preemo with christina aguillera or whoever the tereyaki boyz our then GURU you need to be on teen beat then dude

  • MF CHEF

    Hey Meka, I liked your previous couple of articles, but you don’t know what the FUCK you are talking about saying that his work with Solar isn’t good… Listen to the song “State of Clarity” or “Livesaver” before you say you don’t give a fuck about it.

    I do agree that most of the “RIP GURU” freestyles were done in bad taste… that’s obvious. With that said, why even draw attention to them by posting them all on 2DBz if you don’t like them?

    Anyways, good controversy you generated with this one… I agree with some of the message, but I think you went a little over the top. Guru wanted Solar to handle his situation in the manner that it was handled. You don’t know the facts so you assume it was handled in a shady way? GTFOH.

    Anyways, I like your columns, just think a little bit more before you randomly attack Guru’s camp and Solar.

    • yoprince

      life saver is wack as fuck homey. stop frontin.

      • MF CHEF

        You’re comment is wack as fuck homey, stop frontin.

  • R2D2

    you know it’s a shame the same ppl you talk about doing all these lame tributes are posted on your blog? hmmmm… just sayin

  • Champ

    Yeah this guy Meka is a cheeseball d**khead. If you dont have enough knowledge to know what Guru meant to the development of hip hop with or without Prem than you don’t know enough about anything related to rap music to speak on. You need to write script or some sh** really tho…….

  • sealsaa

    @dismathis

    I’ll be that, and Tupac will still be an average rapper.

  • Anonymous

    dude you know your just sayin that shit to be different.Its ok we know some people actually think its cool to be different but it doesnt always mean your right.millions upon millions of fans cant be wrong.Sorry but Ill go with the majority on that one.

  • sealsaa

    @Anonymous

    Notice how I made one reference to Tupac, and a few people decided to get all up in arms about it. There’s no pretension here. If you and the “millions” were being honest with yourselves, you’d admit that he’s no more a lyricist than say, Bun B.

    I get it, the man inspired alot of people, but deep subject matter doesn’t give him a pass on average wordplay. In terms of delivery and wordplay, Pun was far better than Pac. Eminem, light years ahead of Pac. Nas, no question. The guy just wasn’t in the same league and you know it. It’s the same with Guru. Gangstarr is forever. Hard to earn will always get spins in my car, but Guru just wasn’t going over anyone’s head with his lyrics/delivery, and that’s the truth. But you can’t say that shit cause you’ll make a couple of people mad. Oh well. And as for your “strength in numbers” arguement, Nelly has more platinum plaques than Mos Def and probably Nas, despite the fact that his shit is trash, so going by your logic, I guess he should be in top 5 discussions as well.

    • Hanch

      Honestly I think your an idiot and just want to get a rise out of people.

  • http://www.myspace.com/fearofadreadplanet Karma 360

    I feel a lot of what you are saying, but you sort of invalidate a lot of it by sayig you really weren’t much of a fan anyway. If Preemo made Gang Starr for you- nothing wrong with that- if you weren’t all that into GURU, why would any of this even matter to comment on? Personally, I don’t want to hear a bunch of shitty tributes either, but GURU is one of the most important MCs in HipHop music, one of the most important poets of the Nation of Gods and Earths and 2 generations of rap fans and HipHoppers are feeling pretty torn up by now.

    BTW… fuck Solar. He’s a snake, period. And I put that on 6 Gang Starr albums, the Ill Kid comp and 3 Jazzmatazz joints.

  • sealsaa

    “Honestly I think your an idiot and just want to get a rise out of people.”

    @Hanch

    Here’s a tip, the next time you plan on insulting someone’s intelligence, make sure that your sentence doesn’t contain grammatical errors, otherwise, you’ll look like an idiot.

    your>you’re

    And again, I made one reference to Tupac, and said something that I and many others believe to be true, and a couple of stans decided to get up in arms about it(sensative thugs, yall all need hugs). You think i’m just trying to get attention? That’s your opinion. The man was an average mc, as was Guru. I never questioned either one of their impacts on people, just stated an opinion about their level of skill. If an opinion upsets you that much, then you need to take a step back, and reexamine what you’ve been doing with your life thus far.

  • holdupniggasholduphos

    Meka -

    Don’t hate cuz you can’t duplicate…

    Felt “indifferent about Guru’s passing?”

    You’re just a black asshole who should know better. Fuck XXL, your mag is average at best.

  • Technique

    “In terms of delivery and wordplay, Pun was far better than Pac. Eminem, light years ahead of Pac. Nas, no question. The guy just wasn’t in the same league…”

    Co-sign to the fullest, actually I co-sign everything sealsaa said.

  • http://rockcandydiva.wordpress.com Jaz

    the problem w/ jazzmatazz is that you took the king of the monotone flow and blended it w/ mellow jazz. bad combo if you’re not into jazz. bad combo in general. but just because i wasn’t a fan doesn’t mean Guru was in any way average. he was definitely above average. not the best. but worthy of a tribute. now….mc’s rhyming over primo’s beats is not, in and of itself, a tribute. a tribute event where people can pay homage by getting together for a night of actual GangStarr makes sense but….other dudes rhyming isn’t really paying tribute to the man.

  • Anonymous

    Im not tryin to take anything from you, but there is one thing you didnt touch on and it was his obvious strength.My argument is this,
    Pac made you feel what he was sayin and delivered his lyrics with a passion.He could get you to go through emotions in songs, he took you some where with his story telling, he moved people. Thats what was so special about him as a lyricist.Thats why I dont see him as average, some artists that you mentioned are far better than him with their craft but not all of them can touch you with what they are sayin.He had a gift and used it well, and I dont know about you, but there where a few songs he had where his wordplay was crazy,but your right just not every one of his songs.

  • TYBO2020

    WHATEVER..REST IN PARADISE KEITH E THE GURU..

  • http://www.historyofmixtapes.com dj mars THOMAS

    now i usually dont read articles such as this,and for good reason. most bloggers are here to just offer there negative opinion. how can u feel indifferent about this man’s passing? fell indifferent about the clouds around the ‘solar’ shenanigans but to feel indifferent about the death all together,sheesh! we all know that as a group Gangstarr is what we wanted,but to ish on his work after primo is disrespectful. guru was a rapper to be proud of,he always had a dope thought process in his verses. there would be no gangstarr if it werent for him. i didnt sell drugs,i went to college. in fact i went to clark atlanta university,right next door to morehouse(guru’s alma matter). i related to him. he wasnt the ‘best’ but he was a part of one of the best groups ever. im twisted over this because he took a road less travelled before it was cool to be a rapper. not only that,he actually had meaning and merit in his lyrics. his music was something i could listen to around my son and not feel as though i had to censor him. above and beyond,its kind of weak and wack to judge a man for what you didnt like after he is gone. especially someone that was considered a cornerstone of this thing we call hip hop. in my eyes guru has put in so much work that i dont even count the ‘solar” related projects against him. we treat our legends like trash man…yer comments were so unfair dude!

  • Outkastedfromhaters

    This is some sad shit

    RIP to the Gifted Unlimited

    Props for the blog it gives him light
    Fuck the rest, let him rest.

    • PHD

      agreed

  • http://hotasballs.wordpress.com steezolini

    nah….it’s not ever disrespectful to tell the truth.

    gang starr were great, guru was average at best, but over preemo’s beats, even lil dap sounded good.i could pick you wack lines galore from guru.and it seems that home(o)boy may have been keeping a secret…so.
    sad to see anyone die young, but i bought jazzmatazz with real money…
    and it was wizzledilzack.

    • yoprince

      finally.. honesty

  • http://11KAP@MAIL.COM Anonymous

    this just added insult to injury. smh. i mean it was just kinda unnecessary, because you should be more worried about what you’re doing, not some clown out there.

  • 11KAP

    ^I’m not anonymous. wth? lol

    like I said:

    this just added insult to injury. smh. i mean it was just kinda unnecessary, because you should be more worried about what you’re doing, not some clown out there.