In Appreciation of: Guru – The Overlooked Great

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This month will mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Keith Elam, better known as Guru, one-half of the legendary group Gang Starr. Unfortunately, Guru, who was already one of the most underrated emcees in hip-hop history, has had his memory and legacy besmirched and exploited in recent years by his last musical associate, Solar, a man that controlled much of his life, both professionally and personally. Rumors about the relationship between the two are rampant, to the point that the drama and speculation in Guru’s final days have threatened to overshadow his impact on – and contributions to – the hip-hop culture.

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In Appreciation of: “Once Upon a Time in America” – The Best De Niro Gangster Film You’ve (Probably) Never Seen

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This was a murdered movie.

So begins Roger Ebert’s home video review of Once Upon a Time in America, the final film from legendary director Sergio Leone.

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In Appreciation of: Kool G Rap

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“Hearing me is like hearing G Rap in his prime”

– Jay-Z, “Encore”

If there were a Mount Rushmore of pre-’90s, Golden Era hip-hop, the four heads would belong to Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap. While the first three are often referenced, it unfortunately seems like many casual fans are unaware of how truly great and important G Rap was, even though he has been mentioned as an influence to an entire generation of emcees, including the greats like Nas, Eminem, Big Pun, Jay-Z, and others.

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In Appreciation Of: Stephen King

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“I had a period where I thought I might not be good enough to publish.”

– Stephen King

Stephen King’s latest collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, comes out tomorrow (November 3rd). It is his sixth collection of short stories and tenth collection in total. At 68 years old, with millions in the bank, and almost 60 books and 200 short stories to his name, it would be natural for King to retire or slow down.

Instead, he’s still cranking out at least two books per year, adding to his legacy.

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In Appreciation of: “Young Guns II” – I’ll Make You Famous

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From the ages of about twelve to seventeen, I was alone for much of my downtime. I didn’t have a girlfriend, so if I weren’t at basketball practice, I was lounging around the house, either listening to hip-hop or watching my favorite movies over and over, quoting dialogue, imagining being a different person in a different world.

That all began with Young Guns II.

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