The Guru of Gang Starr

Keith Edward Elam who is better known by his stage name "Guru" (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal)  was born on July 17th, 1961 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Universally known as the MC with one of the smoothest deliveries, yet dopest flows was best known for being half of the acclaimed Hip-Hop group Gang Starr. His DJ & legendary producer who made up the other half of Gang Starr was known as DJ Premier

Teamed up with DJ Premier they were one of the first Hip-Hop pairs to fuze both the jazz vibes with gritty boom-bap beats. After Gang Starr dropped their three critically acclaimed albums ,( 1989's No More Nice Guy, 1991's Step In The Arena & 1992's Daily Operation.) Guru would step away from the group to do his own thing as a solo artist. He would release his first two projects called ,"Jazzmatazz Volume 1 & 2" from 1993 to 1995. Although his solo efforts didn't completely flop, it was undeniable that the magical connection that he shared with Premier was something that could never be duplicated again. Fortunately enough for Gang Starr fanatics he would team up with DJ Premier again to issue 1994's,"Hard to Earn" & 1998's , "Moment of Truth"

Guru would go on to release his fifth solo project in the year 2000 that would serve as the third volume in the Jazzmatazz series named "Streetsoul". DJ Premier has highlighted many times in numerous interviews that one of the things he loved most about his relationship with Guru was that they both understood there would be times when they both needed their creative space to be on their own. Unfortunately, Guru would not team up with DJ Premier again after their last album in 1998 as Guru would team up with producer Solar for his next three projects (The Street Scriptures, Jazzmatazz Volume 4 & his Back to the Future Mixtape). Solar would prove to be troubling issue for Guru when he later would become ill with cancer. He spent his last days in the hospital after a heart attack put him into a coma on February 28, 2010. Guru was confirmed dead on April 19, 2010.

The internet and his contemporaries immediately went into a frenzy when a (more than likely fake) death letter started to circulate on the internet (that was supposedly written by Guru) after Guru was pronounced dead. The letter claimed that Guru was now detaching any and all ties from his longtime friend DJ Premier and that Solar would be the one to take care of everything for him from this point on. The letter can be found here. 

Regardless of what is true or not, one thing is certain. DJ Premier & Guru had a special bond while making music together that can never be replicated or duplicated. To this day, DJ Premier states in interviews that he is still mourning from time to time since Guru's death but the support from Guru's family is helping him deal with his death. 

Rest In Power Guru.

Peep his classic music as a Gang Starr member below.

Music video by Gang Starr performing Mass Appeal DVD Edited.

Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr 1999 

Because talent wise, drinking or sober, he [Guru] was always on point in the lab. He could lay down his vocals with no problem and he always wrote his rhymes dope. When he wrote his rhymes on the page, they were so messy. I used to ask him, how can you even recite the verses and flow? He would be in the booth turning the paper upside down while he’s still rhyming.
— Direct Quote from Guru's longtime friend and group member DJ Premier on Guru making music

Gang Starr- Above the Clouds

Gang Starr Moment of Truth Moment of Truth