Posted in hiphop | music on April 20, 2010

"I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease" - Guru

Guru

"Legendary emcee and producer Keith "Guru" Elam passed away Monday (April 19, 2010) in a New York City hospital. Just over six weeks since the former Gang Starr front-man was publicly reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest and been hospitalized, he died due to complications from undisclosed cancer after having been diagnosed with Anoxia.

The controversy surrounding Guru's hospitalization, visitation rights, and recovery with present musical partner Solar led to limited information being released to press. What is known is that the 43 year-old Guru had suffered a heart attack, gone into a coma, and despite reports of strong recovery, ultimately lost his battle with what has now been revealed as cancer.

"The world has lost one of the best emcees and Hip Hop icons of all-time," said Guru's producer Solar in a statement confirming Guru's death. "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." The producer referred to Guru as his "loyal best friend, partner and brother" additionally in the statement." [HipHopDX]

Guru knew he was dying and (supposedly) wrote a letter to fans. You can read that below...

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.

As some commenters quickly pointed out, it's hard to not question whether Guru really wrote this letter himself. Condolences to the family and friends of Keith Elam.

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Comments (33)

That's terrible, particularly all the bullshit about not wanting to be affiliated in any way with Primo. There's no fucking way Guru wrote all that crap himself. Solar is bad news and it really sucks how tainted this whole situation has become b/c of him. RIP Guru.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 9:58 AM

Solar, Solar, Solar...I wonder who really wrote this letter?

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:00 AM

RIP Guru...A true legend amongst lesser MCs

"Peace out premier, take me out with the fader."

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:00 AM

nooooooo
why????
Peace & Much Love

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:01 AM

RIP Guru. Moment of Truth was one of the best rap albums of all time.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:11 AM

wouldn't be surprised at all if guru wrote this. very shady dude

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:12 AM

First of all, RIP Guru. The man was a genius.

Secondly, if Solar didn't write that than i'll let anyone punch me in the face and balls at the same time. Shame on you, Solar.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:12 AM

R.I.P.

A REAL Hip Hop figure...

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:17 AM

RIP Gifted Universal Rhymes Unlimited

That being said, this whole thing with Primo really hurts. I was expecting some peace with the man in death, but no. He doesn't even refer to him by name...my ex-DJ? Not cool. And that leads me to agree with the people saying Guru didn't write all (or any) of this letter. Guru was an intelligent and spiritual man, at least from what we know in his rhymes. To think that he would not have peace with Primo is a bummer. The man had no problem touring around, making money and rhyming over Primo's beats. Just saying...RIP King of Monotone

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:23 AM

bad day for this.. :(

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:25 AM

....my son until he is of age to "except" on his own.....

Surely a professional lyricist like Guru knew the difference between accept and except.

Mentioning Solar seven times by name? Give me a break....

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:34 AM

He remixed Wendy and Lisa's "Satisfaction" in the 90s and it is still one of my favorite remixes ever. RIP Guru. :(

Posted by according2g | April 20, 2010 10:36 AM

Yeah, this shit really pisses me off. Guru's family must be furious over this solar horseshit. It's despicable.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:37 AM

maybe hes trying to help out a friend>???

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:48 AM

legendary.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 10:55 AM

so sad.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 11:05 AM

This truly sucks!

Posted by blackhat | April 20, 2010 11:29 AM

"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."

my sun KC? except on his own? I find it hard to believe someone as intelligent as Guru would make grammatical mistakes like that (and that's not even all there is even in this little section).

Very suspicious.

Posted by texastab | April 20, 2010 11:31 AM

You know my steeze!

Posted by Funderburgh | April 20, 2010 11:31 AM

R.I.P.Guru - a true lyrical genius and a true innovator with Jazzmatazz...

If DJ Premiere doesn't want to punch Solar in the face, I'll gladly do it for him.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 11:37 AM

This is weird fucking business. Regardless, R.I.P. to one of the greats. It's become sort of fashionable to sleep on Guru (since most "bring back true hip hop" rappers are terrible), but he's definitely one of the most important figures ever to rap.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 11:47 AM

Wow...the authenticity of this letter needs to checked and then checked again.

Either way, RIP to a true legend. I have been bumping since I found out this morning. Guru, you're above the clouds now, where the sounds are original.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 11:59 AM

He was everything that was great about what real hip-hop is. These so called rappers should take notes and learn and listen to how it was really done.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 12:00 PM

Saw him by accident in 2004 and he blew my mind. RIP.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 12:56 PM

One of the best. A true heavyweight with amazing skillz. RIP. I played Jazzmatazz a thousand times.

Posted by Rhythm | April 20, 2010 12:59 PM

He'll miss the Crack A Thon.

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 1:14 PM

RIP

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 2:07 PM

Like they say, every dog has his day. And like they say, God works in a mystrious way. So I pray, remembering the days of my youth. Because we all must meet our moment of truth."
-Guru

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 2:36 PM

That letter is some boolshit... R.I.P. Guru - you'll always have more stunts and props than Bruce Willis!

Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 4:22 PM

Rip he will be reminded as one of the biggest mc and a true hip hop soldier, and i do not believe he kept his anger toward his old fellow dj premier until his last brief.

Posted by maat disciple | April 20, 2010 6:09 PM

WHO THE FUCK IS SOLAR? AND WHAT THE FUCK DOES HE HAVE TO DO WITH GANGSTARR?

NOTHING!

FUCK HIM!

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GURU YOU ARE A KING OF HIPHOP

YOU ARE IMMORTAL

TO THINK I ALMOST GOT TO SEE YOU PERFORM LAST WEEK :(

REST IN PEACE BROTHER, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TEACHINGS!

Posted by super confuser solo | April 20, 2010 11:11 PM

this whole thing is totally fucked... solar can eat a dick sandwhich.

Posted by i'm seein' robots | April 22, 2010 10:10 PM

1 yar afther R I P

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2011 4:06 AM

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