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The 3 year anniversary of Guru’s passing

It has been just three short years since Gang Starr’s founder Guru (born Keith Elam) passed away. On April 19th, 2010 Guru lost a battle with cancer that lasted over a year. His partner in crime was DJ Premier. The Gang Starr catalog is well respected in the hip hop community, specifically Moment of Truth and Daily Operation. Guru and DJ Premier played a major role in the New York underground rap in the 90’s although both hailed from two separate cities.


Guru, a Boston native, helped pioneer that intricate New York Rap sound that became so revered. His Jazzmatazz series, spanning from 1993 to 2007, was a great compilation of Jazz infused beats laced with verses from him featuring artists like Damian Marley, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, MC Solar, and Pharrell. It is truly one of the best collections of Jazz Rap in history.

Guru was a consummate professional on and off the mic. He held a degree from Morehouse College where after he pursued a graduate career at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He was close to his son K.C. Elam, which he addressed in a letter to his fans close to his passing while in a hospital bed. It is unimaginable that Guru was slept on as an artist. We at The source miss him and wish he still lives in all hip hop fans memories.

Virgilio Mendez


1 Comment

  • This was my good friend … Miss his energy in music & @ the Industry functions & video shoots we first met in 1988 @ M.C. Lyte’s Birthday Party then became Boyz @ Run-DMC’s big show @!The Tunnel in N.Y. From their “Down with the Kings” come back song produced by Pete Rock! I remember being @ The Country Club in the mid-90’s with him, The Luniz, Bushwick Bill & C.J. Mack … My man GURU .. R.I.P talented cool ass Brova!!! -Philos