Boston Native Guru in a Coma; give him love, y’all.

Posted on March 1, 2010 by


Breaking News 04.20.2010:

A little over a month after recovering from his coma related to a heart attack, rap legend Guru has lost his battle with cancer. A pioneer of the underground, he will truly be missed. For the MTV story, click here. His farewell letter (published on, which I’m not going to comment on since it would inevitably lead to speaking ill of the dead, reads as follows:

“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 [of] 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 Gang Starr, I am very proud of what Gang Starr 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 Gang Starr or Jazzmatazz 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.”


Original Mar 1, 2010 post:

Just a quick note to say that Guru and his family are in our thoughts and prayers here at the Breakbeat.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Guru is in a coma after suffering a heart attack last night. He’s expected to undergo surgery today.

Guru is close to my heart for a couple of reasons. Besides repping Boston (he was born in Roxbury), Guru is well-known for incorporating multiple musical forms (particularly jazz) into hip-hop. He created bridges where previously there were none, which I find fascinating and innovative and really just very necessary.

On top of that, he is just a dope MC:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Much love, Guru.

UPDATE March 2, 2010: according to Spin Magazine,

Keith “Guru” Elam, the MC for Brooklyn-based, jazz-tinged outfit Gang Starr, who suffered a heart attack over the weekend, is recovering after treatment in a New York City hospital.

The news about Guru, 43 — first reported by hip-hop blogger and Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info — broke late Sunday night, as well as word that the rapper had slipped into a coma. But Tuesday morning, Guru’s Gang Starr partner DJ Premier posted this update on Twitter: “Good news: Guru surgery was successful, keep sending him love.”

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