Blackout Top News

In 1986 MC Keithy E (now known as Guru) completed a demo tape that featured the early members of GangStarr, DJ Mikey Dee and Damo D (Beat Box). The tape that was recorded at “Radio One” studios in Boston, includes eight tracks featuring the young Guru rhyming and displaying his singing voice over a bare drum machine. The demo tape was clearly made and sent directly to Magnus Johnstone (a local DJ/Radio Host in Guru’s hometown of Boston) for his show. Both the demo tape’s cover and the actual tape are labeled “for Magnus”. Magnus Johnstone founded Lecco’s Lemma radio show in 1985. It was a groundbreaking hip-hop radio show, the first of its kind in Boston and one of the only rap radio shows in the world at that time. What made it even more revolutionary for the emerging Boston hip-hop scene was that Magnus encouraged local rap groups to come down to the station and perform on the air. Since the show was Boston’s outlet for up and coming hip hop artists, it was a big deal to appear on the show. This demo tape earned MC Keithy E and crew the right to be on the show and share their talents to the listeners.

Listen to this vintage Guru interview with Magnus in the video below. This must have been one of Guru’s first on-air appearances ever.

Hit continue reading to take a look at two T-shirts designed by Guru’s new clothing concept brand.

Props: Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff

UPDATE: The X Label has now put out a limited edition recreation of Guru’s demo tape. Find out how to purchase it here.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Phat Phillie, DJ Independent. DJ Independent said: RT @blackouthiphop: New post: MC Keithy E. (Guru) demo tape cover art & interview ( […]

  2. […] Suche nach dem richtigen Partner für beide Akteure: Keith Elam, der 1982 als The Guru Keithy E. zu rappen begann, machte in Boston ab 1986 unter dem Projektnamen Gang Starr gemeinsam mit DJ 1,2 […]