This just really, really sucks. Hip Hop has suffered an unimaginable loss as Keith "Guru" Elam passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Guru's last days on earth were unimaginably tragic as he was shut off from his long-time friends and family by a particularly exploitative, hack producer looking to capitalize on Guru's notoriety.
However, I feel it's time like this when we shouldn't focus on the way the man died but focus on the achievements that the man have reached. When you think of New York hardcore hip hop and the 1990s, you realize that Gang Starr was synonymous with that iconic period of music Guru's work with Gang Starr stands premier. The chemistry he had with DJ Premier was quite simply impeccable. He had this almost velvet-like baritone that was employed in his trademark monotone delivery that underscored a fierceness to his rhymes. Gang Starr was a group that continued to pump out classic record after classic record; great single after great single; iconic video after iconic video.
Guru did not deserve to be treated the way he was during the last days on earth. He will be missed.
(Here's what I wrote about my favorite Gang Starr record, Moment Of Truth, way back when I started this blog in 2007: Albums You Should Own - Gang Starr's Moment Of Truth)