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rapper GuruSadly, the world has lost a talented artist–the groundbreaking rapper Guru, a.k.a. Keith Elam, who died from cancer at age 43.

I listened to his Jazzmatazz albums over and over in college in the 90’s–they were a soul-bopping fusion of happy hip-hop and jazz. As the world of rap become more about guns and ho’s and cash, his message started and stayed positive. His name was an acronym for either “Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal” and/or “God is Universal; he is the Ruler Universal.” And Guru’s lyrics included lines like these, from The Lifesaver, about street violence:

Too many blood red streets with bodies layin there
The systematic fanatics are at it again
Tryin to kill me and all of us my friend
But don’t bend to the mental strain
Against all odds, we must strive for essential gains
Be true to the life the Lord gave ya

 

Here’s a link to “The Lifesaver,” a Guru video that’s a plea for less violence, more peace. And here’s a lovely prayer to Guru from Beliefnet “Prayer Plain and Simple” blog.

Thanks, Guru.

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