Earlier this week, the sixth anniversary of Guru’s passing allowed for a community-wide opportunity to reflect on the still-reverberating effects of the loss of such an influential MC and celebrated producer. The Gang Starr member and accomplished solo artist passed away on April 19, 2010 but his voice continues to bellow from speakers around the world, and frequently re-released throwback material gives Heads a chance to relive the genius and poetic nature that was Keith “Guru” Elam. In February, previously unreleased Guru-produced demo cuts for Jeru The Damaja came to light, and today a jumpin’ freestyle featuring Common is the latest unearthed gem put out in a show of posthumous honor.
Common and Guru famously collaborated on the latter’s fourth installment of his Jazzmatazz series in 2007 on “State of Clarity,” but years before that the two visited Tim Westwood in the U.K. to get busy over a Dr. Dre track. Namely, Common and Guru spit over “The Next Episode,” from the Compton icon’s 1999 album 2001. To set it off, Guru mixes it up with parts of a verse that would end in “Collectin’ Props” off Baldhead Slick & Da Click (which wasn’t released until a year later). Common goes off the top, and the two go at it for nearly ten minutes. Several moments of shoutouts, breaks of laughter, and times when the two MCs big up one another make this freestyle session feel like a glimpse into a true friendship.