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R.I.P. Keith Elam aka Guru of Gangstarr

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posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 07:40 AM
Here's to the passing of a great MC.

Born Keith Elam, the rapper was well-respected in the industry for his rhyme style. He rose to fame in the 1980s as one half of the duo Gang Starr, in which he shared the spotlight with his partner, DJ Premier.

He later broke out and found solo success with his series of "Jazzmatazz" albums, where he combined hip-hop and jazz. His collaborations with jazz greats, including Branford Marsalis and Roy Ayers, helped cement Guru's reputation in the music industry.

Gangstarr were always one of my, if not my favourite hip-hop outfits. Guru provided great socially conscious lyrics and expressed them through the great soulful voice he possesed.

There are a whole load of conspriacies already on whether the letter issued by him from his deathbead was of his own writing or not.

Now, a statement from Elam's sister confirms that the letter cannot be authentic. Stopping short of referring to the words themselves, Patricia Elam confirmed that Guru never regained consciousness after lapsing into a coma in February. She said: "Guru suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, Guru was in a coma from mid-February until his death and never regained consciousness.

Early on the morning of 19 April, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us. Guru died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many musical contributions."

She added that while the family are not aware of any charitable foundations established by Guru, fans wanting to pay their respects could expect details soon of "a memorial event that will be all-inclusive".

It seems a shame that Guru and his DJ from Gangstarr DJ Premier were not able to reconcile their differences before his death. In this supposed letter Guru slates Premier. Still Premier offered his condolences.

But despite the controversy surrounding their alleged fractured relationship, Premier has issued his own statement honouring his former colleague and claiming the pair was planning to reunite for a seventh album.

He writes, "It was a sad day for me to get confirmation on the death of a man who I will continue to call my brother, Keith Elam, better known as Guru of the legendary Gang Starr... I've been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days. All I will say about it is that our time together was beautiful, we built a hip-hop legacy together, and no one can re-write history or take away my love for him... I love you Goo... DJ Premier."

Guru represented what real hip-hop is all about. Protesting, illuminating corruption, love and respect.


[edit on 22-4-2010 by Peruvianmonk]

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 08:22 AM
I read about this yesterday, all seems pretty weird what this Solar is doing. it's not the french rapper MC Solar is it?

One of the best gigs I ever went to was a Jazzmatazz Gig at Brixton Accademy, gang starr with guest kelis, N'Dea Davenport and Courtney Pine.

Dont get gigs like that any more with the smoking ban

posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 03:05 AM
reply to post by woodwardjnr

You know i wondered whether it was MC Solaar as well. Apparently it isn't though MC Solaar did work with Guru on his Jazzmatic album.

Because I, like most everyone else, never heard these Guru solo records, I know Solar only as being 1) not the French rapper MC Solaar and 2) apparently the hip-hop equivalent of the creepy, defective Svengali types that circled Britney Spears during her doped-up Brian Wilson-y exile. After Guru's death, Solar released a posthumous letter of dubious authenticity that purported to be from Guru and essentially disavowed all his work with Gang Starr.

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 06:41 PM
Damn I didn't know about this! I kinda grew up on Gangstarr, so that's a real tragedy.

Never knew about the Jazzmataz thing though, checking it now. Real shame to hip-hop to loose a legend like that.

It's a shame some's trying to f**k with Premier like this at a time that must be real hard for him too.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:50 PM
Ohh sh#*!!
Didn´t know till now....
Was yesterday in studio and saw Mirko Machine (famous german DJ) with a "Guru rest in peace"- shirt. Was wondering about but didnt ask...

Yeah, i grew up with Gangstarr, too. Guru was one of my favourite rappers because of his true words and fantastic metaphors!

Rest in peace Guru! We will never forget you...

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