Legendary rapper Guru has died following a year long battle with cancer. One half of Gang Starr, Guru (Keith Elam) was recently in the news after suffering a reported heart attack. It turns out those stories weren’t entirely accurate and the MC has been secretly undergoing cancer treatment. He finally succumbed April 19 2010, aged 43.
While the hip hop community is mourning the loss of a hugely influential MC, Guru’s death has sparked controversy due to a letter supposedly written on his deathbed. Released by his collaborator and producer for the last five years, Solar (not the French MC Solaar), it takes several pot-shots at Guru’s former studio partner and the other half of Gang Starr, DJ Premier.
The statement reads: “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 seven years and want nothing to do with him in death.”
Solar doesn’t have the best reputation in hip hop circles and certain sections of the media/public are openly questioning the authenticity of the letter. You can read the whole thing on DJ Premier’s official blog – he’s suitably unimpressed.
Gang Starr was founded in 1985 by Guru and a few other guys. The initial line-up went their separate ways in 1989 and Guru kept the name, inviting Houston DJ/producer Premier to join. The pair released their first single later that same year, Words I Manifest. Over the next 13 years they would release six studio albums, becoming hip hop icons in the process.
Gang Starr 'Love Sick':
Gang Starr 'Mass Appeal':
Guru 'No Time To Play':
Gang Starr 'You Know My Steez':