Hip Hop lost an icon when Keith Elam, known to fans as Guru, succumbed to a long battle with cancer. He was 43 years old.
Guru is best remembered as one half of the legendary Hip Hop duo Gang Starr with DJ Premier. Guru is also known for his groundbreaking Jazzmatazz series, which blends hip-hop and live jazz. Guru kept his illness a closely guarded secret for some time, but after he slipped into a coma earlier this year, questions about his health began to surface.
If you need more information on Guru’s life, by all means, you should do some research. I’m more interested in his legacy and how a parasite is going to eventually destroy it. When Gang Starr parted ways, Guru aligned himself with Solar.
He referred to Solar as his producer, then later, as his “partner.” The nature of their partnership is no concern of mine, though for a lot of folks it is.
What is a concern of mine is how Solar has decidedly attempted to disallow everyone, including Guru’s family, to properly mourn him. When Guru slipped into a coma a few months ago, Solar prevented any of Guru’s family to visit him in the hospital, and said that Guru only wanted him there.
Since Guru’s death, Solar has produced a letter, allegedly written by Guru, which says that Solar is the only one allowed to coordinate any tributes to the artist. The letter also says that Guru’s family is no longer allowed to be around his son.
Since this statement surfaced, Guru’s family has issued a statement saying that Guru was in a coma from February 19 until his passing on Monday.
This raises a question for me: How old is the letter that Solar produced, if it was indeed written by Guru? All this chaos and drama is distracting from the bigger picture, however.
This loss is much more important than your favorite rapper going to jail for a few months because he was stupid.
We will never get Guru back, and I’m afraid his legacy in hip-hop may be lost on this new generation of listeners.
Most current fans didn’t know who he was until he fell into a coma, and honestly forgot about his illness until his passing was publicized.
All you so-called hip- hop heads should do for Guru what y’all did for Michael Jackson when he overdosed.
Keep his music alive. Hell, buy some of his old music. Sad thing is, I don’t think many of you really care, but I hope you guys prove me wrong.
Rest In Peace, Guru. I’m sorry I’ll never get that DJ Premier/Guru reunion album I hoped for