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DJ Premier Opens Up About Guru's Death, Solar, Gang Starr Reunion & More

DJ Premier wants the truth to come out. After days of questions surrounding the death of his former Gang Starr partner Guru (who died after a long bout with cancer), the respected producer is setting the record straight. From his thoughts on Guru’s controversial associate Solar and rumors of his old friend’s sexuality to his strained relationship with the man born Keith Elam and the future of Gang Starr, a candid Premier didn't hold anything back. —Keith Murphy


VIBE: Do you feel like your relationship with Guru has been misrepresented by Solar?

DJ Premier: Well, I’ve always held down Guru… His spirit knows this. He used to get upset about so much stuff when we were dealing with the label all the time. We both would be upset. But I would take the calls because when he was upset he would flip [Laughs], where you might not be able to handle him when he’s wilding out. With me, although I had a temper, I was much calmer about it. But I always remember whenever I would tell him, “Yo Guru, don’t worry about it, they are going to take care of it,” he would be happy as fuck. He would be like, “Yo, let’s go out for a drink.” He was the go-out king. That was his routine. He was definitely a celebratory guy. Anyone from our era knows that Guru was in every club and every bar and every spot. He could go all night, all day. And he would never be tired!

When was the last time you spoke to Guru?

It was March 30, 2004. April 1 was the last email I received from him and I just found it in my computer. We were pretty much going at it about him straightening his life up with the drinking and everything… just getting himself together. Because talent wise, drinking or sober, he was always on point in the lab. He could lay down his vocals with no problem and he always wrote his rhymes dope. When he wrote his rhymes on page they were so messy [Laughs]. I used to ask him, “How can you even recite the verses and flow?” He would be in the booth turning the paper upside down while he’s still rhyming and without having to punch in.

Was there ever a time when you felt Gang Starr was going to break up during your successful run in the ‘90s?

Yes. That was with the Moment of Truth album, which was the most emotional album for both of us. I had actually left the group before that album came out. I’ve never really told that story, but even Guru knew although he’s not here to defend that—but I had left the group. We were not getting along over stupid shit so I straight up said, “I’m out of here.” He was going through his gun trial and facing a five-year bid. I have to thank our tour manager who I went to college with and who is a major part of my life to this day. Even with his own problems with Guru, he was like, “Yo man, you need to go back to him. Y'all were meant to be a duo, man.” Then the trial was about to happen and I called Guru and said, “I want to do this.” We made up, everything was cool and I went to his trial everyday with his parents and our Gang Starr lawyer and our criminal lawyer. We were there every day. Guru was so scared that he could have gone to jail for five years, so that’s why that whole time was very emotional. I had just had a major death in my family. I was not really focused. I just remember our lawyer telling us, “If Guru goes to jail, you are going to have to promote the album by yourself.” That entire time was crazy.

How ironic was it that the Moment of Truth ended up becoming your first gold album?

Guru used to always say from every album, “All I want is a gold album…we deserve it; we are as hot as all these platinum artists.” So when we got that one he was the happiest guy in the world. He even designed the gold plaque. I remember we spent almost $10,000 on buying plaques for everybody that we knew deserved one [Laughs]. There was a DJ who taught me how to scratch—I brought him one; I brought my parents, my sisters, all my friends who was hanging with us from day one. That’s real talk. That’s why that album is so special.

What kind of sense did you get of the future of Gang Starr from your conversations with Guru?

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Snoop Dogg To Appear On ‘Red Table Talk'

On Feb. 26, Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk will host Snoop Dogg in a conversation that’s sure to make headlines. The “Signs” rapper will join Jada Pinkett-Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith for a conversation surrounding his rant toward CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.

The discussion will tackle “the culture of disrespect between black men and black women,” according to Smith’s Instagram notification. The feature arrives weeks after Snoop Dogg spewed his disdain for King’s early February interview with Lisa Leslie where the journalist asked the former WNBA player for her thoughts on the late Kobe Bryant's 2003 sexual assault case. The moment appeared insensitive to several spectators, leading Snoop to refer to the King as a “funky dog head b**ch."

 

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@snoopdogg is coming to @redtabletalk Wednesday, February 26th to have an in-depth and insightful conversation about The Culture of Disrespect Between Black Men and Black Women. Join us❣️

A post shared by Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapinkettsmith) on Feb 21, 2020 at 7:00am PST

Since that moment, Snoop Dogg has apologized to King, taking responsibility for acting “in a derogatory manner based on emotions.” According to the Associated Press, King accepted Snoop’s apology and noted that “as a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times”

 

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Had a talk with my momma thank u mamma 💕🌹 2 wrongs don’t make it right time to heal 🙏🏽💙 @gayleking Peace ☮️ n love Praying for u and your family as well as Vanessa and the kids 🙏🏽✨🌹 🕊

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Feb 12, 2020 at 1:35pm PST

Snoop Dogg’s episode of Red Table Talk will air on Facebook Watch on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET.

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Scott Gries

Whitney Houston’s Hologram Gears Up For European Tour

Whitney Houston’s hologram is hitting the road for a European tour, eight years after the music legend's death. Earlier in the week, Houston's hologram popped up on the British TV show This Morning to perform “The Greatest Love Of All” and fans are already shuttering at the teaser of what the show will look like.

Video of the performance has been circulating the internet and appears to show a grainy ghost-like holographic droid belting out one of Houston’s best known hits.

Whitney Houston’s Hologram video pic.twitter.com/Lfwh00U7ue

— WHITNEY HOUSTON daily (@AllAboutWhitney) February 19, 2020

The production is a collaboration with BASE Hologram and features dance routines from choreographer Fatima Robinson.

Houston’s sister-in-law and former manager, Pat Houston, asserts that the tour will be exactly as the late music legend would have envisioned. “Now is just the right time,” Pat told the Associated Press. “In the spirt of Whitney, I know we’re doing all the right things right now. This is something that she wanted to do. I get very emotional watching this because it is so, so close to what she wanted. The only thing missing is her, physically.”

Fans are less than excited about the jaunt.

I'm not saying the Whitney Houston hologram tour will be a hot mess, but they are suggesting she had as much grace as a malfunctioning The Sims character wafting away a fart on #ThisMorning pic.twitter.com/9uJJCnCfTZ

— Mr Adam Remain 🇪🇺 (@MrAdamR) February 19, 2020

Whitney Houston hologram on This Morning. Looks nothing like her, and doesn’t look at all real. Just looks like a big TV screen playing a slightly laggy video of a lookalike.

— Charles Thomson (@CEThomson) February 19, 2020

I wish I WOULD see on somebodies snapchat story of them being at a Whitney Houston hologram concert . https://t.co/JxQVVm71BK

— Trevor Norris (@trevor_norris0) February 19, 2020

Houston's digital doppelgänger joins holograms of Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard. An Amy Winehouse hologram tour was expected to launch last year but never got off the ground.

“An Evening With Whitney Houston: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour” will include hits like “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know,” and “I Will Always Love You.”

The tour launches in England on Feb. 25 and runs through April. U.S. dates are expected to be announced at a later date.

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The USC Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism Celebrates Commencement at The Shrine Auditorium on May 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

USC Will Offer Free Tuition For Students From Families Making Under $80,000

USC announced a new effort to make attending the university affordable to students from middle and low-income families. The school will offer free undergrad tuition for families making less than 80,000 a year, USC president Carol L. Folt announced on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Thanks to the new policies, owning a home will not be counted in calculating the student’s tuition needs.

“We’re opening the door to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks life,” Folt said in a statement. “This significant step we are taking today is by no means the end of our affordability journey. We are committed to increasing USC’s population of innovators, leaders and creators regardless of their financial circumstances. Investing in the talent and diversity of our student body is essential to our education mission.”

The announcement comes as USC remains embroiled in an admissions scandal that became public last year.

As for the new policy, USC will increase undergraduate aid by $30 million annually which will expand financial aid for more than 4,000 students. The new policies will be implemented for incoming students beginning in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

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