Gang Starr’s Guru dies of cancer

Legendary rapper was 43 when he passed away

Gang Starr‘s Guru has died of cancer aged 43.

Guru, real name Keith Elam, passed away yesterday (April 19) after a year-long battle with the disease. The rapper, who formed Gang Starr in 1985, had suffered a heart attack on February 28 then slipped into a coma.

Shortly after his death producer Solar released a letter allegedly written by the rapper on his death bed, reports Allhiphop. In it Guru stated that he wanted Solar to look after all elements of his character after death, and that his ex-Gang Starr partner DJ Premier should not be allowed to operate under the duo’s name.


“I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world,” the letter began. “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.”

It continues: “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, organised, approved by Solar on behalf of myself and my son until he is of age to accept on his own.”

Writing of DJ Premier in the letter, Guru added: “I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. I had nothing to do with him in life for over seven 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.”

Upon hearing the news, DJ Premier paid tribute to Guru on his blog, “Our warmest condolences to Guru‘s family and loved ones at this difficult time,” he wrote.

Guru‘s actual family are yet to comment on his death, although last month his nephew Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff posted a YouTube video saying that Solar was not letting them see him during his illness.

Solar has completely cut us off. My family has no way of knowing what is going on with Guru‘s situation,” he said in the video.

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