Guru (also known as “Bald Head Slick”) is one half of the legendary hip hop group Gang Starr.
Guru, an acronym for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal, originally
began his hip hop career in Boston but due to lack of local support
moved to New York where Gang Starr
then blew up. Guru is well known for his smooth voice; socially
conscious and hardcore lyrics; and an effortless, confident delivery.
Founded in 1987, Gang Starr built a sizable following in the early 90’s, releasing classic albums like, Step in the Arena (1991) and Daily Operation (1992). Guru’s lyrical style is based on battle rhymes delivered smoothly, modestly, and with sly wit; he typically avoids using overwhelming charisma, focusing instead on his rhyming ability. Over the years he has even taken on younger rappers, including Jeru the Damaja, as proteges. He is credited with DJ Premier for executive producing Jeru’s debut, The Sun Rises in the East (1994).
In 1993, he released his first solo album, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1. The album featured collaborations with Donald Byrd, N’Dea Davenport and Roy Ayers, while his second LP, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality, featured Ramsey Lewis, Branford Marsalis and Jamiroquai. The Jazzmatazz albums are commonly considered some of the best rap of the early 90s, Guru’s reputation was also bolstered through the continued success of Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul (2000) and Baldhead Slick & Da Click (2001).