Gang Starr Rapper Guru Dead of Cancer at 43

Gang Starr founder Guru died Monday from cancer-related causes on Monday at the age of 43. Guru, whose real name was Keith Elam, wrote a letter to be released on his death saying he was “very proud of what Gang Starr has meant to the music world and fans.” The news of Guru’s death was announced by his brother and partner Solar.

Guru (Photo: Barbara Mürdter - Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Guru (Photo: Barbara Mürdter - Source: Wikimedia Commons)

“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 in a press statement. “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.”

Guru penned a letter to fans while he was in the hospital to be printed after his death. “I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world,” the letter reads. “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.”

In the letter, Guru praises his brother, Solar, for being at his side “through it all” and expresses his love for his son KC. Guru also makes it explicit in the letter that he does not want his former Gang Starr collaborator, DJ Premier, to have any further connection with his “name, likeness, events, tributes, etc.” for any reason. “I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death.”

>> Previously:  Gang Starr Rapper Guru in Coma After Heart Attack