Monk Higgins - "A Good Man is Gone"... / by Randy Ortiz

...scratched and sampled in "Next Time" off of Gang Starr's Moment of Truth album.

Clearly one of the saddest days of my life. I already knew that Guru had a serious health condition, but didn't know (especially if Solar said he was recovering a few weeks ago) that he would die. What was more serious than this was the fact that he died of cancer. Many of my family members have died from cancer so I know how sad and serious the process of dying (from cancer) is. Why would they want to keep this a secret? Why does Solar get everything? Why does Solar get to raise Guru's son? Why is Solar now saying that he was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and they knew "this disease was going to be terminal," but didn't say it before when he previously said that Guru was going to be fine and is recovering?

These are all the questions I had flooding my brain once my girl sent me the text message saying that my favorite public speaker has now passed away. Earlier that morning, I contemplated putting on a Gang Starr shirt she got me for Christmas, my initial decision was a Rugby, but after she gave me the bad news, I had to show some love.

On my way to school, I had "No More Mr. Nice Guy" on blast and unfortunately shed a tear for yet another fallen teacher. I accepted his death as what it was but the "questions" is what hurt me the most.  I would never hide anyone's death away from ones family. It's totally unacceptable to me and is a form of lying in my eyes.

Class was over early, I had to rush to drop my car off and catch the bus. The iPhone is fully equipped with literally EVERY Gang Starr (Guru and Premiers work) ever publicly released, so my bus ride to work was "bittersweet" some may say.  The first few tracks played; fine. Then comes "Eulogy" off of The Ownerz album; here we go again. To hear this man then say "The emotions that one goes though, over a loss of a loved one, Or friend then, knowing the cost of rebuilding and carrying on" really did it for me again. I'd never think to ever be on a bus in tears knowing that one half of my favorite rap  group is gone.  Shit, my favorite rap group is gone forever and I will never get to see them in concert. I had hope.

Off the bus, I go to catch my train. What train? The A train. Take a guess where. Yea, Brooklyn.

We do know that Guru was from Beantown, but moved to BK to pursue a rap career and touch the lives of students who seek information such as myself.  Please listen to "The Planet" off the Hard to Earn album to understand why "it took the last of his loot to make this move troop...cause he ain't tryna work in a suit"

The train was crowded as usual, but luckily I got a chance to get a seat. Threw on my headphones and zoned out. "Discipline" came on and it just reminded me not only did he give men information, but he flipped the shit for females to obtain some knowledge then as well.

From the train, to the walk to work, I stopped to pick myself up some tea. The sun was shining bright over the Brooklyn bridge, and I honestly then felt that my teacher was finally in class about to give another lesson. I'm blessed to be working at a job where our line of business is music, so we all decided to continue on and listen to Gang Starr tracks for the entire day. We reflect on him and he reflects on us.

Rise in Peace Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.

To the WGM staff:

Thank you for (1) allowing me to get at least some personal closure on this matter, and (2) for welcoming me to the staff and involving me in what you have going on.

Marcus Anderson