Guru Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures

In the past, taking time off from his main gig as one half of hip-hop’s dynamic duo, Gangstarr, to pursue side projects has never been a problem for mister Bald Head Slick. With three successful Jazzmatazz instalments under his belt, seeing Guru step away from long-time producer extraordinaire, DJ Premier, for a minute no longer elicits the type of gasp it might have in the past. Unfortunately though, Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures is an example of just how vulnerable even a seasoned MC can be without a trusty musical steed. While chosen producer Solar hits the mark on tracks like "Step In The Arena 2” and "Feed The Hungry,” a pretty sad choice of completely un-worked samples (like the "Live And Let Die” hook of "Hall of Fame” or the cheesed-out "Knocking On Heaven’s Door” loop of "Too Dark To See) does little to help his credibility. Add to this some lame duck hooks by Guru and the chance of any of these tracks really sticking in your head aren’t very high. Though it can’t be said that the album is a total disappointment — for that would suggest people were actually waiting for it — The Street Scriptures is likely to garner little more than a footnote status in Guru’s wholly consistent and, at times, stellar career. (Seven Grand)