Guru without DJ Premier is like henny without the coke. Sure, each one can stand on it’s own, but it’s just not the same. While Guru has provided solid outings with his Jazzmatazz series, none of them was able to stand up to a Gangstarr album. And with Gangstarr's long and illustrious run seemingly over, Guru is back on the solo tip with Version 7.0 The Street Scriptures. Just like his previous solo albums, Version 7.0 has its moments, but in the end, the absence of Primo is too much to overcome.
While producer Solar tries his best to hold down the fort for an entire album, the album lacks direction and cohesion. Solar provides a variety of standout beats, which Guru manages to take advantage of. This is evident on the haunting operatic backdrop of "False Prophets," the gritty "Don Status" featuring Styles P and "Hood Dreamin'," which features a Spanish vocal sample similar to Stoupe's (Jedi Mind Tricks) style. However, other times Guru runs through the motions without any focus and the results are generic offerings such as the 80's throwback of "Cave In," the unnecessary remake of "Step In The Arena 2" and the sappy R&B sounds of "Talk To Me."
Version 7.0 The Street Scriptures has its moments, but the overload of tracks and lack of direction makes for a messy album. Guru tries too hard to do too many things on the album, instead of focusing on what he does best. While he found a diamond in the rough with Solar as a producer, lets hope he can rekindle that energy and spirit he has showed us in the past.