Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Guru - Jazzmatazz Voume 3: Streetsoul - 2xLP


Virgin (2000)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years. 

The third volume of Guru’s Jazzmatazz came out in 2000, which is way past my usual hip hop cutoff year of 1994.  It’s always been my feeling that anything that came out in 1995 or later wasn’t really worth my time.  As I’ve been digging deeper into albums thatI missed the first time around, I’ve realized that while that is true in thevast majority of instances, it’s also incorrect in quite a few cases as well.  Jazzmatazz Volume 3: Streetsoul is one of those exceptions. 

My beef with most records that came out after 94 is that the production just seemed to change so drastically.  It rarely lives up to the Golden Age beats that I love so much.  While I can’t say this record is quite as strong as Volumes 1 or 2, it’s a hell of a record to have come out in 2000.  The beats are still smooth and jazzy, not too dissimilar from the prior volumes.  Gang Starr always had a pretty unique sound and they kept that sound more consistent than most over the years.  I will be writing about their album Moment ofTruth in the upcoming weeks, as that was also one I didn’t really pay attention to the first time around.  But as far as this one goes, I really cannot complain about the production or Guru’sexcellent rhymes and delivery. 

The one thing I don’t love is the fact that more songs have R&B crooning in them than I would prefer.  I realize it’s a staple of jazz, but it’s never been something I’ve really been a fan of.  Give me a nice hook, but I don’t really need much singing in my hip hop.  That said, I am glad I was able to hunt down a copy of this LP at a decent price.  It tends to get kind of pricey, though I’m not sure there’s a huge demand for a reissue.  There is a Volume 4 that I have listened to online, but it’s not really a priority for me to pick up. The production takes a pretty steep nosedive between this record and that volume. 

Guru - Jazzmatazz Voume 3: Streetsoul:

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