Stylus Awards pay tribute to Guru [Review]
Toronto, ON – The Stylus DJ Awards is dedicated to honouring the often-unrecognized importance of DJs across Canada. With new and veteran DJs, artists, industry executives and hip-hop heads present, the 2010 Stylus Awards paid special tribute to not only DJs but a hip-hop legend lost this past April. Guru, an acronym for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal, was a member of the duo Gang Starr alongside DJ Premier and paved the way for rappers starting in the late 80’s. To commemorate Guru’s unmatched influence in hip-hop, a montage of performances, past interview and video footage, and speeches by those he’s closely affected were harmoniously pieced together.
The tribute started with a demand for anyone with a lighter to hold it in the air for the legendary Guru. Kicking off the performance aspect was Toronto’s own JD Era, staying true to his surefire flow and doing justice to the late Guru’s verse in “Full Clip”. The first performance of the night to get the crowd’s heads bobbing, the screens played the corresponding music video creating a reminiscent vibe of old-school hip-hop and culture.
Following JD Era in a plaid jacket and sunglasses was Famous who spit Guru’s verse in “Mass Appeal” with undoubted swagger. Not only did this get a hyper crowd reaction, people starting getting up out of their seats to enjoy the full experience of the tribute.
The third performer was quite special considering he is the first Canadian rapper Guru took notice of and worked with. Rapping to Gang Starr’s “You Know My Steez”, Bless passionately hit the stage, being sure to make use of every inch. He then proceeded to give a heartfelt speech he’d written, paying homage to the fact that Guru had taken him under his wing and provided him with an unforgettable experience in both hip-hop and his personal realm.
The last performer was Brownman – the trumpeter who played with Guru on the later volumes of Jazzmatazz. Sending a hush over the crowd as he performed a trumpet solo, Brownman also followed with a speech honouring Guru’s legacy. He spoke highly of the time he’d been granted to share with Guru, providing the audience with anecdotes that could make someone feel as if they knew Guru personally.
The tribute finished with an interview Guru had done where he spoke intelligently about taking responsibility for your lyrics. He broke down his respect for rappers who can explain their rhymes and back up their significance, which is what he said he was always proud to do. Further clips and photos of Guru within the community played as the lights dimmed and the audience applauded in grateful remembrance of a hip-hop prodigy. The life and music of Guru was certainly respected and celebrated at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards and was by far the most responded to and well-deserved performance sequence of the night.
July 16, 1961 – April 19, 2010. R.I.P Guru
Written by Chantle Beeso for HipHopCanada