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Guru Passes Away at 43

Posted by Media Outrage on April 20, 2010

Yesterday Guru lost his battle with Cancer as he passed at the age of 43.

Via AHH:

Legendary Gangstarr artist Guru has succumbed to cancer after a lengthy bout with the disease.

The artist, born Keith Elam, died on Monday April 19. He was 43 years old.

Solar, Guru’s partner, expressed sadness over the loss.

“The world has lost one of the best MCs and Hip-Hop icons of all-time — my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru,” Solar said in a statement. “Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius.

Guru, a Boston native, rose to fame in the 80’s as one half of Gangstarr, the iconic rap group with DJ Premier.

The group released six highly regarded albums in their tenure until 2003 when they broke up. After his successful run with Premier, Guru founded 7 Grand Records with producer Solar.

Solar went on to tend to the rapper as he fell ill, seemingly controlling the flow of information and access to Guru. Many of his family members complained that they were denied their right to see him.

Solar also said that Guru wrote a letter to fans and sent it out through a press agency.

“For the fans that reached out with love and support, I can’t tell you how much that meant to Guru and myself. Guru prepared this letter (read below) while he was in the hospital for the fans,” the producer continued. “I hope now that Guru has moved on to a better place.”

In the letter, seen below, the rapper explains his illness, expresses gratitude to supporters and offers some parting words for DJ Premiere.

I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options.

 I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.

Mediaoutrage– Our condolences go out to his family.  R.I.P.

26 Responses to “Guru Passes Away at 43”

  1. Cut Up said

    What’s really sad is when someone special who you were at one time very close with passes on and you did not have a chance to connect with them just to make amends and bury hatchets before it is too late. Just one chance to say “I’m sorry” or “I Love you” Now you gotta live with that forever.

    Gangstar was and will remain legends in the game. Premier’s beats and Guru’s lyrics, deadly combo. I remember “Just to get a rep” and “DWYCK” (w/Nice&Smooth) the most. “Lemonade was a popular drink, and it still is” True HipHop from Hip Hop Legends. GURU (God is Universal he is the Ruler Universal) R.I.P

  2. mekamac said

    RIP bro

  3. What-Wait-Huh? said

    First off R.I.P. to the legend.

    Now with my respect givin I don’t think Guru wrote this letter, mainly due to the tone of the letter. It has to much about this Solar cat for me, I mean if your on your death bed who cares about that dude. While I was reading the letter it just felt like Solar was in Guru’s ear while he was writing. I now I may receive some hate on this comment but as a longtime fan of Guru this letter just seems wrong to me.

    I’m just say’in

  4. 私は愛を午前 said

    R.I.P (Although i don’t know you, please don’t come at me)

    @ MO, you might want to UP the font size a bit, tears are running from my eyes 😆

  5. Jolie said

    R.I.P. Guru, thanks for the GREAT music.

  6. Teena Thomas said

    RIP…… Music was GREAT… Hip Hop def took a Major loss!!!!!

  7. What a way to start my morning learning that Guru from Gangstarr passed away. I remember bumping into him one late afternoon on Canal St. while he was jewelry shopping.

    I’ll always remember songs like “Soliloquy of Chaos”, “Just to Get a Rep”, “Moment of Truth”, “Ex to the Next” and the list goes on. I hope Dj Premiere looks passed the bogus “death letter” giving him no right to any Guru tributes.

    Long live “Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal” (GURU)..

    I created a small mix dedicated to Guru several weeks ago.

  8. Rest In peace “Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal”..

  9. Terrance said

    Rest in Peace Guru. This is gonna make me watch a few Gangstarr videos and reminisce. Ima sound like an official old head when I say it’s a shame the younger generation didn’t experience hip hop from the 80’s & early 90’s.

    Yeah I agree with the comments above who stated that this letter seems suspect. I got the same feeling when I read it.

    • LowRidaz said

      You dont sound like no official old head you sound right, and your speaking right, hip hop from the 80, 90s was IT!!

      Rest in Peace GURU, THANKS FOR STAYING MY FRIEND!! we go way back to child hood days!! love you!!!

  10. joneblaze said

    R.I.P Guru

  11. MissStep said

    R.I.P. Interesting letter, to say the least.

  12. Syn Lane said

    R.I.P to GURU THE LEGEND!!! thank you for your contribution to hiphop! and i leave with 2 words…. MASS APPEAL!!!!!

  13. Lee said

    RIP Guru!! The memories of growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Watching videos on Videosoul and Yo MTV Raps! You will definitely be missed.

    On another note, as someone who as just had a relative lose their life to cancer, I can definitely say this letter sounds very suspect. Unless this letter was written several months ago. But, someone dying of cancer does not have the strength and energy to not only write, but barely speak as well.

  14. currvalicious said

    RIP to Guru & condolences to his family & friends. However the letter is extremely disturbing. I agree w/Lee’s comment; how can someone who is terminally ill even have the strength to write, or even speak. Let alone spit such venom, this is a time when many people are @ peace w/themselves & the lives they’ve lived as well as everyone whom they’ve ever had contact with. Good or bad. This letter is clearly a set-up for control of the estate. According to earlier reports the family had been blocked from any contact w/Guru leading up to this. Anyways, beyond all the beef/drama, I hope he made peace w/his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. In the end that’s all that matters.

  15. Aniyaqt said

    I was so shocked to hear this, last I heard he was doing better in the hospital. This is so sad. Hip Hop has lost another legend…”CODE OF THE STREETS”, “MASS APPEAL”, “JUST TO GET A REP”——– CLASSIC HIP HOP. He was soo smooth when he rapped and his flow was sick!!! I’m glad I had the chance to see him perform.


    It’s a shame that he & DJ Premiere didn’t work out their problems and I think that Solar is real shady and def played a part in that as well & it’s messed up how he did Guru’s fam when he was in the hospital.

    **** This was when Hip Hop was REAL!!!!!!!! RIP Guru & I love what u did 4 Hip Hop *****

  16. Lio said

    Oh man..this is bad news..damn….I ‘m sad now, May he rest in peace… God bless your soul…SMH

  17. Nina said

    I was singing one of his tunes the other day, ‘Trust Me’. So sad, he was a true artist, and may his family be strong.

  18. Kanyade said

    RIP 😦

  19. Check Ya Neck said

    This is such sad news. Guru was THE DOPEST lyricist hip-hop had ever seen. RIP

    That said, that letter is highly suspect. It’s more than a little hard to believe that a dying man would write a letter talking more about his homie than his children and family. It sounds like BS to me. It sounds like Solar is covering his ass and trying to establish his future earnings.

    I’m not saying I know anything about their relationship, but that letter speaks volumes.

  20. MissTX said

    R.I.P. Guru. Condolences to his family.

    *I hope that letter gets investigated.*

  21. ALLISWELL5 said

    Rest in Paradise brother GURU.

    Thank you for your contribution to true HIP HOP….I used to Love Her!


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