One of the game’s most prolific artists would have turned 59 years old today, but The Source Magazine and the rest of the Hip Hop community will always remember the legacy of Gangstarr’s Guru.

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Born Keith Elam in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1961, Guru founded the Gangstarr Foundation in 1987, but connected with Texas-born beat maker DJ Premier a short time later and released the group’s first full length studio LP, No More Mr. Nice Guy. Guru also pioneered the Jazz/Hip Hop fusion with his Jazzamatazz album series, which consisted of the likes of Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, Chaka Khan and a long list of legendary musical legends.

In 2010, Guru fell ill from a rare blood cancer known as “multiple myeloma” and succumbed to the deadly disease on April 19 of the same year. Guru was survived by his parents, three siblings and a son named Keith Casim.


Guru’s musical legacy still lives through his Gangstarr work as well as the work he created on 7 Grand Records, which he founded with Brooklyn-based producer Solar in 2005.

A supreme posthumous salute goes out to Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal on his born day!