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Music Review: Guru – 8.0: Lost & Found

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I must confess that prior to listening to 8.0: Lost & Found, I had never heard of Guru. Does that make me a musical ignoramus? Some would argue yes. After all, Guru was a key pioneer in creating a fusion of hip-hop and jazz (to say nothing of his work with Gang Starr). I happen to love jazz, but consider myself a mere dilettante when it comes to hip-hop appreciation. By way of research, I checked out key tracks from his earlier Jazzmatazz albums. I found the music intriguing and was excited to hear the new 8.0: Lost & Found.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm dimmed as I listened to the album. Much of 8.0: Lost & Found is a crushing bore. The beats, unimaginative with only a few exceptions, sound like something a child might have programmed on a toy synth. Too many of the songs hooks are forgettable. In fact, among the best aspects of the entire album is that the individual songs are short. Not one track out of seventeen even hits the four minute mark. Each song gets in, does its thing, and gets out.

There are a few clever samples weaved into the strongest moments on the album. The title track, also the opening cut, incorporates the main riff from The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" and proves to be a suitable match to the atmosphere of the song. On "After Time," a portion of Queen's "We Are the Champions" is used to evocative effect. Plus, the stuttering, herky-jerky beat commands attention and elevates the song. But again, these are interesting surprises that serve as interruptions to the overall monotony. While "Divine Rule" is a sprightly track, the pacing of the album is dull as dishwater. From cut to cut, the tempo doesn't change significantly.

Guru's flow is crystal clear, with precise enunciation. But the lyrics don't do much to elevate the uninspired feel of the entire project. "Like Pacino I'm a unique hero/Still bringing you the heat like De Niro," he raps in "Best of My Years." Isn't referencing those particular actors, having long ago descended into self-parody themselves, a little passe at this point? Lines like "The new millennium's here/It's virtual and digital" are about as inconsequential as it gets. "New" millennium, really? After nine years does that still warrant a mention?

A couple decent tracks emerge along the way, joining "After Time" as highlights. "Stop Frontin'" is a tirade against "corporate crap" and fake "gangstas." Not especially original subject matter, but delivered with enough conviction to make it believable.

"It's A Shock" imagines a society in which the movie Robocop has proven prophetic. The song, which opens with actual dialogue from the Paul Verhoeven classic, is amusing mainly because of how dated the reference is. Yes, it remains a great satirical film to this day, but it came out twenty-two years ago. In a way, that's how old 8.0: Lost & Found feels.

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About The Other Chad

Hi, I'm Chaz Lipp. An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."
  • night

    umm if you didn’t know who Guru was, how do you know he was in Gangstarr? you’re obviously not telling the truth.you claim to know nothing about hip hop(i won’t argue with you there).then you give us your “expert” assessment:”like a child might have programmed on a toy synth”.you’re not really expecting to get over with this are you?that shows a total lack of respect for this art,and shows you are not to be taken seriously i.e. you are full of it.yet another hack job review by some shill;3 out of SEVENTEEN tracks mentioned in name only.no quotes,no real description of the music.there are all kinds of tempos on this record.this article could have been written by a five year old.but i wouldn’t tell that child he did a good job.people are much too intelligent to take in your whitewashing.what’s your real motive?this album is great front to back-peace

  • Not Solar

    Wow how does Solar find the time to comb the internet and defend his lackluster beat making. With all these poor reviews you’d think he’d already have typed himself into exhaustion. Every blog has a post from this superclown always signed – peace

  • night

    what’s your mo “not solar”? what’s your name(i’m sure you’re thinking “well i don’t have to tell you that”)?who are you?you’ve been all over the internet for years under different pseudonyms.i could be mickey mouse, you STILL HAVEN”T ADDRESSED ANYTHING I BROUGHT UP .then you use the word “reviews”.i haven’t read any reviews yet.only a bunch of weak one liners and subterfuge.this is your latest gamble,anything not to address the issues that have been brought up to you haters.you’re a “superclown”,your comments are “lacklustre”, and you’ve been “combing the internet”.answer me why please?otherwise please just be quiet. you’re not to be taken seriously under any circumstances…and i won’t say “peace” to you this time if it makes you feel better- signed -ronald reagan

  • night

    oh my bag .i didn’t notice there was a page 2 to this “review”.he mentioned six songs out of seventeen,that’s still not comprehensive in any kind of way.actually page 2 of this thing is a bummer.he has the nerve to call Guru uninspired.not true.any one can say that.it’s just too damn vague.where’s your evidence? yes the millennium is new.it’s old?really?we’re not even out of the single digits yet.what are you talking about? deniro and pacino can’t act anymore?really?yeah robocop is prophetic.that’s the point.prophecies don’t come after the fact.this guy ‘s never heard of Guru ,and all of a sudden he’s talking about flow and “gangstas”.his whole tone is disdainful from the get.why?he mentions nothing of the guest appearances on the album.did he really listen?he’s obviously looking for stuff to nitpick at.it’s an old tired technique,used here to fool people into thinking they shouldn’t check out this whole album for themselves.then he sums up with some flowery vague quasi reflective prose “in a way…”what way?that’s an outright lie to say this album sounds 22 years old,blatant.this guy’s not on the level,he doesn’t want people listening to this album…very poorly written sir,better luck next time…

  • Jordan Richardson

    very poorly written sir

    Oh brutal irony!

  • night

    fact:the “other craig’s” “review” was poorly written.i’m not joined at the hip with this man.let his pap stand on it’s own.don’t try to compare the writing in my “comment” and the scribblings in his “review”.you’re comparing apples and oranges.i noticed you didn’t claim that this hack(“other craig”) can write,because at present he surely lacks skills to do so,he’s a work in progress.let him live with himself.”jordan” you’re terribly vague yourself.i thought i told you cats to cease and desist with the tepid one liners… great album from front to back :)

  • NYC’s Brightest Superreviewer

    “great album from front to back?” of course you’d write that, you produced it. We would expect nothing else from a coattail riding wanksta claiming real hip-hop, like he has anything to do with it. Guru should drop you back off at the orphanage he found you in.

  • night

    “there you go again”-ronald reagan. that’s who i am and will always be(to you)… but who are you? you’re “the other craig” under yet another pseudonym! we still haven’t heard “the other craig” justify his hackjob directly.at least i don’t change my pseudonym every single comment i make.you’ve gone from “other craig” to “not solar” to “jordan richardson” to “nyc ‘s brightest superreviewer”.that last one’s a straight giveaway(how could you be so obvious?!)that’s obviously how you see yourself, or how you’d like to see yourself that is.you’re kind of competing directly with Solar in your mind in some kind of twisted way aren’t you? but you can’t write very skillfully thus far or explain yourself in any kind of articulate way(i don’t see a parallel between you and Solar ),and frankly you sound very bitter about the whole thing,lashing out at others indiscriminately from left field where you now reside.anything to deter from discussing the music itself intelligently, which is supposed to be your job.you’ve dug yourself a hole,but i can’t offer you a helping hand at this time.good luck with yourself in the future;don’t come flimsy next time….

  • Fab 5 Eddy

    Guru stop bullshitn and call Premo!

  • RobTeller

    It’s soooo obvious that this dude Preemo is waging a campaign against Guru on the net. Guru put that dude on and never hated on him when he was making moves producing other rappers and shit. I can tell yall are working for this Preemo. It’s the same comments everytime Guru does something new on all the same sites. I notice because I am a real GangStarr/Guru/Jazzmatazz fan so I follow Guru’s shit. I like all the shit old and new. Guru doen’t speak on that negative shit because he is bigger than that and GangStarr was always about positivity not hate. Yall are fake as hell!

  • 2drum

    i listened to 8.0 and its Fire! hip hop lives…

  • Bgirl

    the album is nice but GURU NEED TO LEAVE THAT T PAIN SHIT ALONE! guru still got it though