It’s been a year since we lost a titan in the game, Guru. Keith Elam passed away on April 19, 2010 from cancer after spending months in a coma.
Born on July 17, 1961, Guru graduated from Morehouse College and moved to Manhattan in order to pursue his interest in fashion. Thankfully, that didn’t work out, and he linked up with DJ Premier to form Gang Starr, one of the most successful duos in hip-hop’s history. After the duo was founded in ’87, they released six studio albums together. On the solo tip, Guru released four albums while still a member of Gang Starr. His Jazzmatazz records featured some of the most innovative collaborations and involved bringing in jazz musicians to jam over hip hop beats rather than digging through crates to find a sample. His final solo project, Guru 8.0 : Lost and Found was released in ’09, but Guru would never reunite with Primo on a long-planned full-length album because of the cardiac arrest he suffered in February of 2010. Today we commemorate the guru and pay homage to Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal with Gang Starr’s “Above the Clouds.” RIP.