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We continue to mourn the loss of Guru over here at OKP, and that letter he wrote (while in a coma, hmm) didn't feel like the right way to remember the legendary emcee. Below you will find the official letter on Guru's passing from The Elam family. In celebration of Guru check out this tribute mix Mr. Cee played during the old school at noon on Hot 97 yesterday (he was also bumpin' Gang Starr classics all night at Sutra yesterday). For some more excellent Guru tribute content, Its All The Way Live put together some of The Roots' Gang Starr covers from the Hip Hop Honors Tour, as well as audio from Guru and The Roots performing together live at The Okayplayer tour back in 2000. Also, check out the well put together obituary for Guru the NY Times posted.

UPDATE: DJ Premier has just issued a statement on Guru's passing, you can find it after the family’s statement


The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith aka GURU for the outpouring of love, concern and support.

Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence.

GURU suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness. Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.

GURU died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.

The family is not aware of any foundations established by GURU. We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available.

from The Elam Family

IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME TO GET CONFIRMATION ON THE DEATH OF A MAN WHO I WILL CONTINUE TO CALL MY BROTHER, KEITH ELAM, BETTER KNOWN AS GURU OF THE LEGENDARY GANG STARR.

FROM 1988-2004, WE EXPERIENCED SO MUCH SUCCESS TOGETHER THAT WE WERE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR BUSINESSES INDEPENDENTLY AND GIVE EACH OTHER WHAT GURU CALLED "CREATIVE SPACE", BEFORE PLANNING TO REUNITE FOR OUR 7TH LP WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT. TRAGICALLY, WE WILL NEVER REACH THAT DAY.

I'VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM. ONE THING I WOULD NEVER DO IS PLAY AROUND WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS LIFE.

I WILL CELEBRATE GURU'S LIFE… I WILL HONOR HIS MEMORY… I WILL GRIEVE WITH THE ELAM FAMILY OVER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH… I WILL REMEMBER THE GANG STARR FOUNDATION AND ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF GANG STARR WHO CAME BEFORE ME – WE ALL KNOW EACH OTHER… MOSTLY, I WILL CHERISH EVERYTHING WE CREATED TOGETHER AS GANG STARR, FOREVER. I'M GONNA MISS HEARING HIS SIGNATURE MONOTONE VOICE WHEN HE WALKS IN THE ROOM, BUT THE SONGS WILL ALWAYS BRING IT BACK TO ME… HIS RHYME FLOWS WERE INSANE, AND I WILL NEVER REMOVE HIM FROM MY HEART AND SOUL… REST IN PEACE TO THE MAN WHO FELT "SATISFACTION FROM THE STREET CROWD REACTION" … I LOVE YOU GOO… DJ PREMIER

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Guru + The Roots – Live @ The Okayplayer Tour; Phoenix, AZ 11-12-00

Setlist:

  1. DWYCK
  2. Lift Your Fist
  3. Hustlin’ Daze
  4. You Know My Steez
  5. Full Clip
  6. Mass Appeal
  7. Just To Get A Rep
  8. Keep Your Worries (ft. Jaguar Wright)

Download Link (Right Click and Save)

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Comments

  • KingPoetic

    Something about that letter just didnt seem right. A man on his deathbed would not harbor such hate and disgust for a man who helped make him the legend he is. In my heart I do not believe that Guru wrote that letter. Which, on the flipside, means that Solar is a disgusting man for writing a phony letter. Thats the best way i can describe him if its true.

    But enough about that. RIP Keith. A true legend and one of the most underrated MC’s of all time. Pop in a Gangstarr album, ANY Gangstarr album, and you will hear one of the greatest, no doubt. Hopefully his untimely passing will give us one positive. People will lift him up and celebrate him for the incredible man and MC he truly was. PEACE

  • okayplayer is taking sides

    on an issue we know jack about. we so love premier thta we dont know whether and if so how he may have fucked over guru. we simply dont know. so why take sides?

    code of the streets got me hooked on hiphop for good. played that track in my tapedeck and rewinded the shit till the tape was worn out.

  • Maestro

    RIP. One of the greatest.

  • UHMinSoCal

    If Guru “was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness” as he family says, how could he have written that letter? Sounds to me that letter was ghost-writtes by Solar. That’s shameful.

    There could be much more to it, but I’ll believe Guru’s family and Primo.

  • KiNtaRo WeSt!!!!!!

    Too fuckin’ soon man……Gang Starr made my teen years….I still play “Take It Personal” to this day and to me…that’s the best joint they either did together! Rest In Power Guru!

  • Latin From Manhattan

    Prayers & Blessings to the Elam Family.

    Thank You for all the classic’s!

    The Name Live On,

    7 21 18 21 THE ILLEST ONE.

  • watitdone

    who the fuck is solar? That guy is gonna go to hell trying to pull off some shit… If you read the “so-called” letter that Guru wrote, all it rambles on about is Solar this, Solar that, Solar took care of me, Solar should RECEIVE ANY AWARDS OR TRIBUTES ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND MY SON… why would he even worry about something like that on his deathbed?

  • gregory kruxx

    Take the MONEY NEVER Have 2 RUN>>>>>>>>>
    SUPREME EXALTED UNIVERSAL LEADER, DESCENDANTS of the KINGS and Queens the OVerSEER!!!!!!!!

    …..FromDarktaLight

    R.I.P. GURU

  • Artistiklly

    Ill put it to you like this, we dont know what went down with primo and guru, but i know hip hop, and hip hop is love… ya dig, and that letter that was supposedly written by guru while in a coma… Ehheemmmm! is BS, and thats not love… Weve seen beefs before and reunions before, but to die with an ill heart is hard to believe.. They parted ways prolly but not in that way, thats hard for me to believe… We will soon learn the truth

    Gangstarr forever fam.. Rest in Soul Guru!!!

  • 7-5

    One thing we do have to consider is if he did write the letter…

    We are quick to jump to conclusions but if that letter was indeed true premo got some explaining to do…To be on your deathbed and still harboring hate?? Thats deep…

  • 0utxyder

    If the letter is a fake then Solar is as bad a DJ as he is a human being. Many condolences to GURU and his family

  • Chea!

    Uh, dude was in a coma. And, he was in said coma the whole time he was in the hospital. Now, if he did wake up, I cannot see him writing such bombastic prose on his death bed. Solar could have said it was written a few months ago, then I would have been inclined to say maybe. However, he described it as letter written from Guru’s deathbed. In effect, I am not buying it. Too many Solar references. Weird times.

  • KD06

    Solar has always been a clown. Trying to eat off of something he wasn’t apart of is corny….

  • .:Stillmatic:.

    also, solar didn’t let any of guru’s family in on any of the medical records or nothing. “supposely” guru didn’t want his family to be responsible for any of the medical desisions, nor did he want any of his family to come visit. & “supposely” guru said that he wants solar responsible for everything…and did ya’ll see that video that guru’s nephew did too when guru was sick??? talking about that whole solar shit..talking about how solar is shady & everything???…this whole shit sounds way too fishy…

  • .:Stillmatic:.

    on another note…R.I.P. guru…GANGSTARR classics stay bumping in my whip…FUCK SOLAR

  • rock one

    If it is true that the letter was fake then surely some criminal proceedings should be taking place against those that wrote it? I guess we will never know.

    let’s just concentrate on the music anyway ‘let your Conscience be free’

  • Rob Nice

    “Above the clouds where the sounds are original”

    Hip-Hop is a culture and GURU will remain one of our true leaders!

    The man was nice on the mic, but more importanly he uplifted our community with his wisdom and perspectives!

    I have learned countless lessons from this King. Their will never be another GURU, Hip-Hop aint the same no more, but lets make him proud, lets get back to the craft and to the positive evolution of this precious culture!

    One Love GURU! One Love Hip-Hop! Peace! Peace! Tolerance! Love! Communication! Understanding! Honesty! Lets do this for the lil’ seeds tring to find their way in life through the teachings in our music. One Million!!

  • Big Andy P.

    Criminally underrated by the majority of Hip-Hop fans, but never from those of us that ever heard him. DJ Premier and GURU will go down in history as one of the greatest Hip-Hop duos ever. Back when the music was about lifting people up instead of tearing everyone down.

    Regardless of who wrote that letter it seems to go against GURU’s entire legacy of showing respect to those that came before him and love to anyone that he met and helped along the way. The fans will always remember him as a man of peace, intelligence, understanding, respect, and love.

    I can’t imagine a better way to be remembered, we will all miss you GURU.

  • black man in japan

    “above the clouds” one of my all time favorites