April 20, 2010

Groundbreaking U.S. rapper and Gang Starr co-founder Guru dies from cancer

Guru died after a collapsing into a coma

Just over a month since undergoing surgery following a heart attack, Gang Starr MC Guru (born Keith Elam) has died at age 43. According to a statement, Guru died of cancer-related causes on Monday after a long fight with the disease.


Guru's longtime collaborator and partner Solar mourns his loss in the statement and explains that Guru had written a letter to his fans that was to be released upon his death.

"The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time — my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru," Solar said. "Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius."

Born on July 17, 1966, near Boston, Guru rose to fame in the late 1980s as part of the duo Gang Starr with partner DJ Premier. The pair helped define the New York underground rap sound in the 1990s. Their unique sound combined Premier's production palette, which leaned heavily on sampled jazz records and scratched vocals on the choruses, with Guru's uncompromising rhymes. Although the pair would work separately as often as they did together — Guru's Jazzmatazz series of albums and Premier's work with Nas, Jay-Z, and underground act Group Home — Gang Starr continued to release critically acclaimed material throughout the late '90s and early 2000s. Read more from MTV



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