musings…over *cool* random ish

Updated*** RIP Guru – 4/20/10 – Leaves Letter for Fans,Friends ?

Posted in MuSaK, News, Scene by msdisdain on April 20, 2010


The legend and founder behind the hip hop group Gang Starr passed this morning at the age of 43 following an epic battle with cancer.  I’m sure as with any illness, passing and its intersection with business, there was a bit of drama behind this whole mess.  The peace that comes with rest after a long battle through the night will bring a morning so eternal and blessed.  Rest in peace, sir, your beats, your legend and your badassness (alongside your character, flavor, warmth and humanity) will be remembered forever more!

And now, for the drama…

Allegedly, Guru left a letter to his family and friends penned by a third person (Solar) expressing his wishes, his gratitude and…his hatred?  It’s received mixed review and is questioned in its authenticity (mostly because that’s a lot of hate to let out on your deathbed).  Posting it for readers to see and decide for themselves (more links below).

Letter to his fans reads:

“In the letter, seen below, the rapper explains his illness, expresses gratitude to supporters and offers some parting words for DJ Premiere.

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.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.”


Here is another view:

As posted on DJ Premier blog citing a letter from Guru’s sister recounting unfortunately the extent of Guru’s disease.


I am truly sorry to see such drama persist mostly because it has allowed a spectacle to brew over an artist revolutionary who died a humble death from a most awful disease most privately and underhandedly all to publicly.

Regardless, like my homie did say:
So i guess whatever happened there, we can say, “charge it to the game.”

some links:

Reaction and criticism over Guru’s “last letter”:

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    Team Translation

    Posted in Audio, MuSaK, Scene, TRNSL by msdisdain on November 10, 2009

    Brought to you by Honolulu’s own (and awesome) photog! Check out: for more pics from some of Honolulu’s better night life!

    Hawaii, the haps and Subphonix

    Posted in Audio, MuSaK, Scene, travel, TRNSL by msdisdain on November 5, 2009

    I’m going to Hawaii the day after tomorrow. I’m excited. So excited to feel the familiar vibe, energy so strong, so brilliant and bewildering on my pores again. As much as I’m happy to venture, I can never stay away. Click your heels three times, Dorothy, and home I am. So if you’re in the area, as in on O’ahu, come and party with me. You can do so this Friday at one of the bestest monthlys Honolulu has to over:

    First Fridays and Subphonix, the November09 edition, thrown by the excellent Pacific Jungle crew. Featuring DJs Toki, Zecha, MC Enemy and my very own Rogue State, not only will this nite be filled with awesome DNB, but I’m expecting good company, ultra-good vibes, enlightening bliss and celebratory madness.

    See you this Friday:

    What Made the 80s

    Posted in Audio, hmmm, Random?, Scene by msdisdain on November 2, 2009

    Saw Michael Jackson’s This Is It last night (pause) a moment of silent for the King (end pause) and broke out all the gold from the treasure chest, songs from the Jackson 5, more from the late 80s & early 90s like We’ve Got a Good Thing Going and Lady in My Life . So much has been sampled from Michael Jackson be it in beats or in dance, and for some reason, while off topic and on a distant tangent, as usual, we came across this clip from Breakin’ and decided that this is why living in the 80s was bomb-tastic:

    And of course, we had to add the rebuttal:

    Splenda 10/6/09

    Posted in Audio, Scene, TRNSL by msdisdain on October 7, 2009

    Last night, we went out to way-the-fuck-out-there Sterling, Virginia and were surprised to find tucked in the third strip mall in the middle of nowhere, a lovely lounge called Zaaza. Rogue State spun with fellow comrades Insulin, Locks and ODJ filling the lounge with big bass, sexy tunes with room for dancefloor rollers. It was lovely to hear drum n’ bass played out late on a Tuesday night in nowhere, VA, who knew? All these pleasant surprises. The turnout was definitely full of vibe and energy. Much respect to all those who came out!!!

    I spent most of my time sitting by myself across the DJ booth. I go out just to hear good music. Serendipitously ran into a friend: CJ WEAVER who came out to see Rogue State play – much respect to you, for coming out homie! You can check his guest_dj spot: Translation Sound ft. CJ Weaver live on bassdrive 10/5/09 (this past Monday) at! Should have the audio up real soon on that one. Got some special love on that set from a bunch of peeps across the world – big.

    As for icing on the cake DJs were backed live with musical accompaniment by one truly inspired space cadet on the congas.

    Much respect to Tim Insulin for having us out.
    A good reminder to folks playing out on Serato: it’s a BITCH to set up. Our bad.

    My apologies for not capturing photos of Locks; he played late for a lame dorky girl like me who had to go home and sleep in time for work in the early AM.

    Sending the good vibe.


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    all my satisfaction

    Posted in Scene by msdisdain on July 18, 2008

    I’m beginning to dig this whole relocation thing already:

    On Tuesday, I accidentally got dragged out to see Amos Lee open for Al Green at Wolf Trap (Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts – and fell in love with the venue, its surroundings and the loads and loads of sauced up happy people straight up enjoying music for its merit. Dancing under the stars with Al Green sounding the same and sensuous when he sings “I-I-I-I…I’m sooooo in love with you” captures generations over years and well yeah, everyone was up dancing, dialing their cell phones, taking video, pictures and well, the Rev still sounds just as sexy as he did years ago.

    Since then have discovered the following upcoming events!

    July 27 ~ Roots, Rock, Reggae Festival 2008 ft. Stephen, Damian Jr Gong & Ziggy Marley, Barrington Levy & Soja // July 30 – August 7 ~ Les Miserables // August 5 ~ Face of America: Hawai’i Revisited featuring Halau o Kekuhi, The Brothers Cazimero and Ledward Ka’apana // August 10 ~ B.B. King // August 11 ~ Herbie Hancock

    The Filene Center - Indoor/Outdoor Theatre

    The Filene Center - Indoor/Outdoor Theatre

    Wolf Trap is a National Park for the Performing Arts and sits on approx. 100 acres of Virginia farmland (Vienna, just outside of DC). The Filene Center is an indoor/outdoor theatre with lawn seats (that are, in my opinion, much more comfortable not to mention cheaper) overlooking a large stage surrounded with decent in-house seating all of which can fit a max capacity of 6,800 people. The Center’s season runs from the end of May to the beginning of September and includes a range of events from theater, opera, dance, and folk music, to blues, soul reggae, pop and even orchestral performances (~90 events/yr). The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, which maintains the grounds. The Foundation does all the ticket sales, publicity, marketing and fundraising for these events and keeps tickets at a fairly decent price. Averages are around $25 for lawn tickets and mid-$40s for in-house seating.

    I mean work happy hours with $2 Coronas at The Front Page in DuPont is nice, but quality concerts where you pay less to sit on a lawn under the stars on your own blanket with your own booze, food and good company are simply that. Priceless.

    it’s also really funny to be sauced on the shuttle back to the metro station [$1.50 one-way / $3.00 roundtrip] with other really sauced grown up men and grown up women; a decent reminder that things are ingenious and synchronistic, and all we really need to do is hop on for the ride.

    peace! :]

    ps: do you know how many babies have been made since Al Green started singing

    Al Green

    Al Green

    …and on the way to the bathroom, I ran into Amos Lee. He says Hi.

    Steph Disdain & Amos Lee

    Steph Disdain & Amos Lee