Album: Hard to Earn
Label: Chrysalis/EMI Records

One of Guru's most personal compositions, "The Planet" recounts a post-collegiate Keith Elam's relocation from Boston to BK and his early days in the Big Apple working odd jobs, hoping for a chance to get on in the rap game. Taken at face value, it's just one individual's story. But with the accompaniment of Preem's slow, loping, could-be-West-Indian/could-be-Eastern-European/could-be-Middle-Eastern/could-be-anything-flavored track (prefaced by a synapse-staining blues intro), it manages something more: to evoke generations of people's migrations to cities seeking a better life, their fortunes dependent on the strength of both their backs and their character. Guru's simple refrain "I'm gonna make it, goddamnit" conveys more about self-determination than binders of writtens another rapper might dedicate to the topic.