Gang Starr's Guru dies at 43

Gang Starr's classic Daily Operation was released in 1992.
Gang Starr's classic Daily Operation was released in 1992.

Legendary rapper Guru, who with DJ Premier created several classic hip-hop albums as Gang Starr, is reported to have died.

A statement on the DJ Premier blog states that "Guru has passed away yesterday morning (April 19) after a long battle with cancer." It goes on to say that the rapper, real name Keith Elam, had been suffering from the disease for more than a year and was hospitalised early in 2010.

In a letter alleged to have been written by Guru prior to his death and provided by his current production partner Solar, he says: "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."

While Guru will perhaps be most fondly remembered for his work with Gang Starr - notably 1991's Step in the Arena and 1992 follow-up Daily Operation - his Jazzmatazz range of releases also garnered considerable critical acclaim.

(Via Fact)

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.