Monthly Archive for May, 2010

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The Voice

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“It’s mostly the voice, that gets you up/ And mostly the voice, that makes you buck/ Some got flavor, and some got skills/ But if your voice ain’t dope, then you gots to CHILL”

“Mostly tha Voice” (1994)

The recent passing of Keith Elam, a.k.a. The Guru (1961-2010 RIP), reminds us of an era in hip hop, that for all intents and purposes has also passed. A time when the culture was still underground, but standing on the verge of Planet Rock. Gang Starr was a transformative act, bridging the gap between hip hop’s second—“golden”—generation in the late 80s, and the music’s explosion onto the world stage as a defining pop phenomenon of the 90s. And in the beginning, Guru’s was manifestly the voice of change.

His warm, burred monotone had an inherent authority, revealed an acute intellectual foundation, and built upon the broader thematic claims for hardcore rap at the time being staked out by the triumvirate of Rakim, KRS-One and Chuck D. Where these masters challenged the format of rap, Guru’s consolidation of their innovations became a proposition for the future of the form, a statement of its viability and versatility, a formula for longevity. It made of an MC of somewhat limited technical skill one of the signature voices of hip hop, but the constraints it imposed on the ambitious and apparently somewhat unbalanced Guru seem also to have contributed to his sad decline as an artist over the last decade. Continue reading ‘The Voice’

Art first at Fumetto

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So, I spent the weekend at the Fumetto festival in Switzerland. Check out my report over at The Comics Journal.

Comics and Beats featuring Ron Regé Jr. – Flix!

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Check out Frederik Høyer-Christensen’s great photos from the recent comics and beats event in Copenhagen, which featured Ron Regé, Jr., Rasmus Bregnhøi and Christian Skovgaard, with DJ M. Dejean on the 1′s and 2′s and Thomas Thorhauge on the mic. There was even a guest appearance by Thomas Christoffersen, as seen in the set above.

Flickr set here, Facebook stream here.