Remembering Guru: Photos of Gang Starr's Last-Ever Miami Show, Official Statements From His Family and DJ Premier
Gang Starr headlining the 2003 Soulfrito Festival in Miami.
photo by William Hernandez
Guru, born Keith Edward Elam, passed away this past April 19, at age 43, after a year-long battle with cancer. As I type this story my eyes are getting watery and I'm trying my best to hold the tears from coming down my face. We've lost a pioneer, legend, and hero in hip-hop. Rest in peace Guru! Thank You for all the great memories and music throughout the years. My sincere condolences go to the Elam family, the Gang Starr Foundation, and all his fans.
photo by William Hernandez
April 21, 2010
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.
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
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.