DJ Premier Blog » Official Statement From DJ Premier On The Passing Of Guru

Official Statement From DJ Premier On The Passing Of Guru

IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME TO GET CONFIRMATION ON THE DEATH OF A MAN WHO I WILL CONTINUE TO CALL MY BROTHER, KEITH ELAM, BETTER KNOWN AS GURU OF THE LEGENDARY GANG STARR.

FROM 1988-2004, WE EXPERIENCED SO MUCH SUCCESS TOGETHER THAT WE WERE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR BUSINESSES INDEPENDENTLY AND GIVE EACH OTHER WHAT GURU CALLED “CREATIVE SPACE”, BEFORE PLANNING TO REUNITE FOR OUR 7TH LP WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT. TRAGICALLY, WE WILL NEVER REACH THAT DAY.

I’VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM. ONE THING I WOULD NEVER DO IS PLAY AROUND WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS LIFE.

I WILL CELEBRATE GURU’S LIFE… I WILL HONOR HIS MEMORY… I WILL GRIEVE WITH THE ELAM FAMILY OVER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH… I WILL REMEMBER THE GANG STARR FOUNDATION AND ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF GANG STARR WHO CAME BEFORE ME – WE ALL KNOW EACH OTHER… MOSTLY, I WILL CHERISH EVERYTHING WE CREATED TOGETHER AS GANG STARR, FOREVER. I’M GONNA MISS HEARING HIS SIGNATURE MONOTONE VOICE WHEN HE WALKS IN THE ROOM, BUT THE SONGS WILL ALWAYS BRING IT BACK TO ME….HIS RHYME FLOWS WERE INSANE, AND I WILL NEVER REMOVE HIM FROM MY HEART AND SOUL…….REST IN PEACE TO THE MAN WHO FELT “SATISFACTION FROM THE STREET CROWD REACTION” … I LOVE YOU GOO…….DJ PREMIER

Public letter from DJ Premier on the tragic death of his partner in crime Guru, keep your head up Premo!! Hip Hop has lost another legend.


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102 Responses to “Official Statement From DJ Premier On The Passing Of Guru”


  • Comment from Cevas

    I remember Guru as my shaman, the real voice of the reality, a jurassik rapper, an icon, a real master, above the clouds.
    I know Gangstarr since 2006, i heared all the music he maked… here in my country,Portugal.
    RIP Guru, your soul will rest on us, your music will continue to inspire MC´s from all places of the world.
    Reality,unity, peace and creation.

  • Comment from Eric Francis

    I still remember the first time i heard the track “Now you’re mine” right to the street corner i was when it started. I thought my head would explode on the spot from the 1-2 punch of the crazy beats, musical atmosphere and Guru’s delivery of his rhymes. I had this experience from pretty much all the gangstarr songs the first time i heard them.

    I can imagine that someone *cough cough Solar* might have played on Guru’s ego in his last years for him to give these perplexing comments about gangstarr being only him, most people understand Primo was also key in making what Gangstarr is. It was the 1-2 punch of music, rhyme delivery and intelligence that you really cant extirpate one from another. It was a whole.

    I hate the word “class” but you know what i mean, and thats what Primo shows in his statement.

  • Comment from nintendo ds

    I can’t imagine that he is not between us now.We never forget his voice.He was a legend.May God bless his soul.

  • Comment from Tiz

    whos that solar dude anyway? no-one was ever interested in him.

    GANGSTARR, GURU, PREMIER – A legacy of Hiphop!

    Guru we will always remember You and keep on playing the tracks we love!

    thx for bringing knowledge of life to us.

  • Comment from Catrom(France)

    Nothing to say excepted that DJ premier is a real friend, brother, and i’m sad for him, because he never met again guru to reconciliate.
    Now he passed away… An end like the one between Eazy E and Dre would be better, but cuz of Solar…

  • Comment from Melaki

    Premo = Greatness

    RIP Guru!!!

  • Comment from Dubious

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts…

    Individually they were both brilliant artists, anyone who has listened to the many, many tracks Preem has produced for so many other artists will agree, or heard Guru’s solo efforts.

    But it was when they came together that something truly special happened. Preem seemed to save his best production work for Guru, as he knew only Gu could do the beats justice. It seemed like Guru’s monotone voice and intellectual battle rhymes were perfectly suited to Preems beats. Preems raw, hard hitting beats and brilliant choice of vocal samples, the combination of which just screamed HIP HOP, and everything you love about hip hop, all came together perfectly as soon as Guru would begin spitting over the track.

    Personally I feel Gangstarr’s work started going downhill when I heard The Ownerz. Any other hip hop artist would be proud of such an album. Someone who perhaps had never heard of Gangstarr before, and who then heard The Ownerz would probably think it was unbelievably dope. Their previous work raised everyones expectations of what a Gangstarr album is. The Ownerz never came close to meeting these sky high expectations, unlike previous albums which did. So maybe a 7th album was just not meant to be…

    The Gangstarr Legacy will live forever though. Gangstarr was also raw, the eptiome of “street”, never watered down, never suger-coated for the masses.

    Peace, and thanks for the music, it’ll never die

  • Comment from maurizio

    This is a sad moment…
    I have no words to express my feelings after this sad news.
    ….keith u was a very cool dude….i always consider you my boy…
    Now, my prayers is for your fam and close friends……..
    only God and u, knows really who they are! …
    All the insame i’ve read about in this sad days is pure madness i won’t believe it Premo Loves u like a brother!
    it’s been more then 15 years…
    since you and Premo came to Italy…
    in the early 90′s with GANGSTARR!
    I will never forget, when you came to my house,
    it was a such honor for a big fan like me..
    I still remenber a funny story at my Beats4LifeStudio…..
    u was so surprised to see pics of your friends, also my friends, hanged on my wall between records….u had your big smile on your face…and right away u felted like being at home, u said “your neighborhood remind me back home where i live in ny”…… that was makes me feel goog!
    ..since then… we became good friends along with Premo, Gordon, my boy Black (word up!), Jeru, Dap… and the rest of the crew..
    we had a strong mutual respect for each other, we share great memories together, on stage, backstage, in clubs…listenin’ my beats in my car everywhere in italy, in Barcelona, in Nyc, at the Magic Show in Vegas…around the world.. pure fun… for me was always like the very first time…so happy to see my Gangstarr fam… u and Premo always showed so much respect for me and my friends, real recognize real, was such honor be part of your Gangstarr foundation since u and premo put me down…
    I can’t believe now you’re gone young starr!
    Definitely u ruled a big influence in my life, as well for many of us that had the pleasure to be witness of your great performances and those ones, jus’ like me that had the honor to know you personally.
    Hope u are in a better place…”Above The clouds”
    thank you for everything……
    miss u bro!

    PS: (PREMO… STAY STRONG BROTHER, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!!!)

    mauri

  • Comment from Damian

    Caps lock is the one above the shift key.

    HTH.

    Damian

  • Comment from Sensei Walingh

    Whut a mess…all the trash talkin bout preem…man…solar is a fool…preem the man though

    Sensei Walingh

  • Comment from Ryan

    Extremely classy – i would expect no less from the worlds best producer.
    RIP Gifted Unlimited

  • Comment from Doug G

    Primo could not have communicated any better to the friends, family and fans of Gang Starr on what it’s all about!……RIP Guru

  • Comment from Joey Small

    Yo. I’m from Miami. When Step in the Arena came out. I was in heaven. Real Hip Hop was hardly represented and hard to find in my beloved home of Miami. Guru and Premeir gave a priceless gift to a Hip Hop head in a barren locale (where hip hop is concerned). I will never forget watching GangStarr’s video on Video Music Jukebox..Blew My Mind! Preimo, I know bullshit when I smell it. Keep strong. What really matters is untarnishable so don’t sweat the other stuff. Gang Starr fans are with you in your time of mourning. By the way, you’re the best that has ever done it. Keep it up. Life goes on…remember…his “infinite spirit” lives on.

  • Comment from Lambrate 90

    Guru no more in this planet and this is the only BAD things i know.
    then , tha rumours are totally inappropriate and offensive.
    i dont care about this Solar or, but otherwise homophobic comments on this SAD story are shit.
    GANGSTARR forever
    ciao Guru, un saluto da Lambrate

  • Comment from Obi

    From the grape vine Guru has been cremated already. i can’t believe this. wow

  • Comment from Supreme

    Sad time I can imagine for elam family & preem, been a gang starr fan since moment of truth drop got into hip hop late . Lets not forget Big Shug, everyone comments without guru/premier there would be no gang starr but guru/shug were singing before rhyming, they are the joint co-founders of gang starr. Guru may have added a lot to it through his religious affiliations, beliefs etc. R.I.P Guru, without gang starr I would never have been such a big hiphop fan as I discovered them first (moment of truth), they just sounded like nothing else premier/guru. Its one of the sadest things there will be no reunion now, i hope the rest of the foundation reunite settle differences and pay tribute to their fallen comrade by doing an album. I love you all man, withhout this I would never have been inspired to produce my own beats in recent days. Moment of truth was the peak, ownerz was still good and some tracks sound better when you hear them again, but if you bought the album ownerz you could see gurus mind was already changing in his credits he gave shout to the nation of gods and earths: black jesus (who introduced solar)& solar himself, saying pretty much our time will come soon! Noone needs to do anything I believe in kama, solar’s end will come.

  • Comment from DJ SCOB

    R.I.P GURU, I REMEMBER I MEET U & DJ PREMIER IN NORWAY desember 1992 DOPE Show, you were Nicest People on PLANET& Bring BEST HipHop music & show ever,
    best mvc best turntablist,,
    respect forever
    DJ SCOB/Norway

  • Comment from Georgina

    I feel ur sentiments Premo…R.I.P Guru…Gifted unlimited for sure!

  • Comment from Lg Roc

    “HIS SIGNATURE MONOTONE VOICE”
    God Dammit! That was the best definition of HIS voice!
    We Love you Guru from Gangstarr!
    God knows what He does!

    DJ Premier, Cheers and keep doing what we love!

  • Comment from olcay

    R.I.P to one of the best MC`s of all time . His music is timeless. primo and guru were the best hiphop duo in history of hiphop. greets from germany.

  • Comment from rebel

    R.I.P Guru, onw of the best MCs ever. Also all my respects and support to Premo, specially now that many ill words have been said against him. Gangstarr wouldn’t have been possible without these two unique men, and proof is that Guru didn’t do much after he left the group.

    Peace to you both from Barcelona, Europe.

  • Comment from Nike

    The greatest hiphop-duo in history is Gangstarr.
    Guru was a true musician and human being. Rest in peace man.

  • Comment from MagicSoul

    best answer possible

  • Comment from Alright Neil

    To the Elam Family, Preem, Gang Starr Foundation, my deepest condolences. This is a true loss of a Hip Hop Legend. Preem, PLEASE DON’T STOP carrying the torch, you do it soooo well. When I bang “Hard to Earn’ or even “Moment of Truth”, I felt dude was speaking to me and all of the hip hop community. We miss you, Guru, R.I.P………

  • Comment from Alright Neil

    btw, GANG STARR is STILL the sure shot & it’s like that!!!

  • Comment from Alphonso John Powell

    Peace to all of the Gangstarr members. My prayers go out to all of you, no matter what happened seven years ago, together you have touched us all. Guru will be missed but in his own words “more than a decade of hits that will live forever (full clip)”. The music you left will be passed from our childen to theirs. He will never be forgotten

    Big John Powell

  • Comment from Kick Back

    RIP to GURU… I cried when I heard Bald Head Slick passed away… sad sad day for hip hop… GURU was and always will be my number one inspiration… a good cd that is helping me through these times is Guru Presents Ill Kid Records… I strongly suggest buyin it and bumpin it non stop. Ive had it for years and when I went back and played the joint “life” feat M.O.P. and Stikken Moov…. ahh man let me just say it was a spiritual moment. Premo I got maaad respect for you and what you said in that statement… I feel like you honored your brother well… every damn day I will celebrate Gurus life and legacy… peace G… above the coulds

  • Comment from Snailey

    Remember seeing him at North Sea Jazz at the Bel Air hotel in The Hague back in the day jamming with George Benson & Roy Hargrove.
    R.I.P

  • Comment from DJ TEKNIK

    Solar cant handle all this love GURU is getting I just wish him and preem world have done it one more time..

  • Comment from J1

    I met Guru back in the 90′s. I sat in D&D Studios while he was being interviewed about growing up in Boston and making it in New York. Guru was always an inspiration to me. I just want to paste his words here for the world to see:

    “Freud, a philosopher, but I’m a realist / So philosophize this, without love we won’t exist”

  • Comment from GB

    Everyone knows Solar is a liar. I hope justice is served and sorry you lost your friend. Too many psychos swarming around those they are jealous of and eventually tear that person down.

    I can guarantee you Guru cared about you and all of his real friends. This Solar guy is just a chump and may he get what he deserves.

  • Comment from Cool

    I met Guru and Premier in China White London and we kicked it like we knew each other for years. No egos just a case of real recognizing real. We’re doing a tribute in Leicester free entry all welcome its gonna be big.

    RIP Guru

  • Comment from Mate Croat

    Man, you can even split atoms, but you can’t separate GURU from Premier and GANG STARR. It’s not natural.
    Thank you Premo for showin that you are as great man as you are producer. A great man never turns his back on his friends.
    GURU R.I.P.

  • Comment from HLR

    Who’s Gonna Take the Weight was the first Gangstarr I ever heard in 1991. We got the Step In The Arena tape not much later and played it on the tape deck blaster at my pal’s. It totally blew our minds and I had to know what these guys were up to ever since. The scratch hooks were insane. We marvelled at Guru’s ability to spit 16 bars without even rhyming a single word and still sound dope! Everything Goo and Preem did seemed fresh and ground-breaking.

    Condolences to Guru’s family and loved ones. So sad, the good die young . . . but the music and the message live on.

    Best wishes to Premier, the other half. Stay strong and keep up the good work man!

  • Comment from Mastafive

    Nei giorni della mia formazione dell’ Hip Hop leggevo le rime dei rappers della golden age e parlavano dei 5 percenters, come del resto in quel periodo faceva GURU, poi arrivo la coscenza di cio accadeva e le parole e il flow di guru sono sempre sti una guida per me e per la mia musica, non prima , non dopo ma insieme a Primo.
    Che Dio si ricordi di cio che rappresenti per noi e ti tratti come ne conviene.
    Peace
    J

  • Comment from Antonio

    Peace to the entire Elam Family.You are the one who lost a Family member and who deserves our condolence!
    All this rumor and publicity shit going on in the moment need to be stopped as soon as possible,thats not in Gurus sense.
    Prem, thanks for keeping it real with gurus heritage!We are with ya. Cant wait to see ya on the 13th of June here in Sydney, I hope you’ll make it to here. Lets have a tribute party for your man Guru!!
    Cause its mostly Voice….I’m listening to all your Lp’s since days, cant stop HipHop running through this veins:-)

  • Comment from jharris

    My condolences to the Elam family, RIP to the legend, the Guru. I remember listening to DJ Premier cut up Mass Appeal on the Thunderstorm WBLS back in the 90s. I remember the Jazzmatazz series, I remember when I first heard “Royalty” and it immediately became one of my favorite songs of the time. Guru bought so many good Hip Hop memories to me, and he obviously touched so many lives. We all mourn his passing, but he left so much here to live through. F*ck all the bullsh*t, Solar could never have or be what Gangstarr was and is. That’s what it is!

  • Comment from rubyreddblr

    damn lemonade was a popular drink and it still is……. i have been hearing guru since April 20th…. that letter was bogus…. preemo is a very humble person and he is a great producer… i knew solar’s handshake wasnt matching his smile when he wasnt letting the family see guru in the hospital…. this is very tragic to everyone involved…. i hope the family is ok and they have my greatest and deepest sympathy… we lost another great rapper….

  • Comment from Nappanott

    R.i.p. Guru , u were truly a master of your craft…. Hip hop to the core , …

    Gangstarr 4eva !!!!

  • Comment from desaw

    I can’t speak..it’s a big shock for me…
    Guru was always true in da game..
    Primo ! keep ya head up!
    Peace from Lodz from Poland

    [*]

  • Comment from Kso

    Don’t ya worry Primo, nobodys gonna fall in that Sol shit. There is no doubt in anyones mind that the chemistry you had with Guru was something special, your sparse, dope beats with Gurus monotone raps. You made something special and unique. Be proud of that for ever, it rocked me for good, as did Jazzmatazz.
    Strength for you, and keep up the Legacy.

  • Comment from Marcus Jazz

    I’m so sad…Iv’e noticed the tragedy today and…I Don’t want belive it.

    The Whole Wide World is missing hip hop’s mass appeal know. The Gang Starr formation was a saveior for the hip hop music.

    Down here in Hungary we hip hop and jazz lovers are all missing Guru, and being sad. Hardly.

    For the respect I feel for you guys is unwritable.

    Rest In Peace Rhymegun Slinger and many luck for primo.
    HUNGARY LOVES YOU

  • Comment from Pasquale

    Whaaaat???? Guru is gone???? Nooooooo!!!!
    I’m so sad now, this news falls like a brick on my head. I can’t believe it… :((
    He needs to come back, just to give a shout out to all his fans… Damn…
    I feel like lost now… They were my preferred hip hop duo.
    Guru oh man, what now without ya. We’re lost…
    I can’t believe what I’m saying but RIP brother.
    We love ya!
    You are already missed and always be missed!! :((
    Can’t believe it…
    Condolences to all the family, near friends and of course his preferred DJ PREMIER.
    Live ya life the fullest…

  • Comment from Lil Crawford

    1LOVE from Da Vk FAM!

  • Comment from Boo, Poland

    There are only few MC’s which influenced me so much – one of them was, and will always be, Guru. He introduced me to jazz, I will be gratefull for that till rest of my days.
    You’re truly A GURU
    a legend,
    a lifesaver…

    For me.
    Poland will always remember.

    RIP

  • Comment from africa malivasi

    Guru was the greatest of all times.Africa will miss u for real.and u primo keep goin i respect u too.I salute u Gang starr

  • Comment from IBeMee

    “Gang Starr has gots to be the sure shot! And it’s like that…!!!”

    Rest In Peace GURU my friend. I’ll never forget how cool and down to earth you were with me and your fans at your Gang Starr concerts in Berlin, Germany! A genuine and real human being, a GURU! I was a 14/15 year old kid and looking up to you. You loved people and life and you loved to communicate and show/teach people love + respect.

    One.

  • Comment from alex

    about the legacy of GANG STARR: discovered them after hearing GURU’S JAZZMATAZZ. i haven’t got many hip hop records at home, but i’m an avid record collector, and “moment of truth” is something that any serious record collector should have at home – it’s part of musical history, just like the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper”… and so is the creative partnership between GURU and DJ PREMIER!

  • Comment from michel

    Listening to your songs, that’s immortal, You’ll be here forever

  • Rest In Peace GURU my friend. I’ll never forget


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