On May 19, 2009, legendary emcee Guru (GangStarr, Jazzmatazz) and producer Solar will release their latest collaboration Guru 8.0 Lost & Found(7 Grand Records).“Solar and I have produced three classic albums (Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures, Jazzmatazz Vol. 4 and The Timebomb / Back To The Future). It was necessary for us to follow-up with another classic to keep real hip-hop alive. It’s been lost and needs to find its way. Here at 7 Grand, real hip-hop can still be found. We are keeping it very much alive!” exclaims legendary emcee Guru. “Our new album, Guru 8.0 Lost & Found, produced by Solar is like your GPS navigating you towards a higher place.”” Solar adds, “8.0 represents that next level of growth; the next evolution of intelligent hip-hop.Lyrically and production-wise, it’s on another level.”
When it comes to taking hip-hop to the next level, Guru and Solar should know! After selling over 3.5 million records, releasing over 13 albums collectively worldwide as the front man for the revered Gangstarr, Guru, become the first artist to fuse hip-hop with live jazz, influencing the creation of Acid-Jazz and Neo-Soul sub-genres. An accomplished producer himself, Solar’s production discography includes the creation of tracks for Grammy Award winning artist and nominees like Damien Marley, Common, Caron Wheeler, David Sanborn, Dionne Farris, Angie Stone, Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Styles P, Slum Village, Blackalicious, Zion I, Aceyalone, and The legendary B- Real.
While Jazzmatazz fans are used to a number of outside collaborations on Guru and Solar’s previous works, Guru’s 8.0 Lost and Found, keeps it all in the 7 Grand family featuring artists from its roster: K. Born, Highpower, and Doo Wop with the exception of UK Soul Singer, Omar, who experiments vocally with the vocoder on “Ride.” The production on Guru 8.0 Lost and Found ranges greatly as Solar put his unique twist on a variety of styles from the classic hip-hop feel “Best Of My Years” to “Fast Lane,” a southern hip-hop inspired track that showcases Solar’s ability to rework southern bounce into his own playful creation. Usually behind the production console, Solar makes his first ever appearance as an emcee on “After Time,” an experience that the native New Yorker (not to be confused with Parisian MC Solaar) calls a “natural evolution.” Stretching sonically even further is “Divine Rule,” a throwback to hip-hop’s early beginnings when emcees used to rhyme over disco breaks. Guru speeds his flow up a notch for this song, proving he can still go toe to toe, flow to flow with anybody in the game.
While 8.0 experiments with everything from straight ahead hip-hop to disco and southern bounce, Guru is quick to point out that 8.0 isn’t another edition of the Jazzmatazz series. “This is not hip-hop jazz,” explains Guru. “This is straight-up hip-hop elevated to a higher plateau, so it shouldn’t be compared to the Jazzmatazz series. The jazzier side is a part of who I am as an entertainer, but doesn’t define who I am as an artist or as a lyricist.”
Together as business partners and co-founders of their own imprint, 7 Grand Records, Guru and Solar are creating a new blueprint for independent labels while elevating the art-form to a higher plateau. Their latest accomplishment, Guru 8.0 Lost and Found, is the Map quest that that lovers of real hip-hop have been searching for to find their way. So if looking for hip-hop’s new coordinates, turn off your radio, pop in Guru 8.0 Lost and Found, and you will find your way indeed.