DJ Premier Blog » Blog Archive » Public Letter From Guru’s Sister Patricia

Public Letter From Guru’s Sister Patricia

The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith aka GURU for the outpouring of love, concern and support.
Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence.

GURU suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year.  Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.  As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness.  Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.

GURU died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.

The family is not aware of any foundations established by GURU.  We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available.

from The Elam Family

Words can not describe what I’m feeling, we’ll miss you!

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44 Responses to “Public Letter From Guru’s Sister Patricia”

  • Comment from Josh

    Letter from Patricia…

    “…GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness”

    This puts alot of holes in SOLAR’s bullshit!!! Please someone get to the bottom of this. Let’s not remember GURU for Devine Rule but for Words I Manifest, Step into the Arena, Hard to Earn, Moment of Truth, Owners, and Full Clip!!!

  • Comment from iandeye

    Thank you for stating the facts. We knew that he did not write that “other” letter. My heart is heavy for your loss, our loss, but the words of wisdom and rock solid advice that GURU left us will live on forever. In his spirit, those timeless words are what we will hold on to. Blessings to your family.

  • Comment from Cheeba

    damn this really sucks.

  • Comment from Robert

    R.I.P man, you do so much for Hip-Hop and people.
    You changed lifes forever (Primo too, much respect guy!)

    Robert from France

  • Comment from junglecat

    gimantalon, could you please tell us where this statement was first published? thanks a lot. and really thanks for your good work. peace r.i.p. guru, we’ll miss you

  • Comment from Aktual

    @ junglecat it was published at live from the hq:

  • Comment from CopKilla




  • Comment from SLYED


    I’m sorry for your loss and for his family’s loss. I also thank you for being such a large influence to the soundtrack of my youth. I have GEMS to pass on to my seeds and hopefully guide them down the correct path in life.


  • Comment from Anyake

    I still can’t fathom the fact that there’ll never be another Gang Starr album

  • Comment from RockyRock

    REST IN PEACE GURU!……Regaurdless of all the BS….US DJ’S LOVE YOUR MUSIC “GANGSTARR” all Day!!!!

  • Comment from junglecat

    @Aktual ahmm… okay, thanks. and who are they (live from the hq)? they write gurus sister got this letter to preemo and preemo got this letter to the HQ and now gimalton is quoting from their site… pls don’t get me wrong.. although the family’s letter sounds most believable after all this (mis-)information solar had spread – still.. i’d feel better to have some more detailled information about the sources. [do you know the children’s game telephone/chinese whispers?…]

  • Comment from jay

    that makes me a feel a little better…i will miss guru for sure but when i read that “letter” i was in shock and i knew he didnt write that crap….so this is a real good thing. if there was a memorial or a some kind of tribute that did not include preemo i would be even more upset. for this lame solar to say that stuff means hes the worst kind of person….real talk….gangstarr foreva guru foreva

  • Comment from William Donner

    My condolences to Guru’s family and friends. R.I.P. GURU (You will be missed)

  • Comment from WILLPOWER

    gangstarr is in my top 3 favorite groups of all time
    many years ago at a jazzmatazz show at elysée montmartre in paris, i had a blunt under my hat i had got in LA
    there were no blunts in paris
    towards the end of the show, I handed the blunt to guru from the crowd
    he paused… said ” is that a blunt??? ”
    he took it
    after the show i hung out in the spot.
    next thing you know he came by puffin it and handed it to me.
    guru. the god universal.

    • Comment from Kennard Alphonso Land

      No question and, The Gu states it the best and fair without doubt, when he states, “I’m in the Top 10 of the Best of All Time”! Fact: And he undoubtedly makes my Mt. Rushmore. RIP Gifted Unlimited! Salaam

  • Comment from zeke

    I really dont get this solar guy. Whats wrong with all this bullcrap…. i grew up with gangstarr, and this solar. Guy behaves like hes the inventor of all this, the next letter will be that he produced all the gangstarr lp’s? What wrong.

    I remember 1994 gangstarr, jeru and some other guy from the uk, live in bremen germany…… thanks guru, thanks premo…….. god bless the music god bless the elam family

    Zeke from germany

  • Comment from haroon

    This dude is a fucking sociopath. WTF.

  • Comment from Copey tha Classy Bear

    Happy to hear that the planned memorial event will be “all inclusive”. I certainly hope the Elam family takes custody of Kieth’s son and not Solar. His letter makes it sound as if Solar and his family will be taking care of Keith’s son from no on?

  • Comment from Anonymous

    Hypertension is high blood pressure? Sorry, the medical student inside me is coming out. I reckon this is legit anyhow, medical lingo is hard at the best of times.

  • Comment from Grazzhoppa

    still can’t believe it !

    Gangstarr was one of the most influential groups in Hiphop
    thank you for the music and knowledge thru the lyrics !
    sooooo many classics ! Thank You
    prayers go out to the Elam fam.
    the music lives on ,Gangstarr 4ever

    Yo Primo,be prepared for a warm welcome when you come to Brussels !

    here’s a link to a radioshow we did tuesday in honour of Keith Elam AKA GURU

    it’s pretty obvious that Solar wrote that letter !
    don’t waste energy on the dude ,it’ll all come back to him .Karma.

    Big Massive Respect to you Primo .
    peace & love
    Dj Grazzhoppa

  • Comment from dj clique twizzy

    man dis be the bullshit right there, dat letter is fake all the way to the bank… fuck this solar guy… R.I.P Guru

  • Comment from Joe 304

    Solar needs taken out for the sake of Hip Hop. What a piece of low life shit………If anyone ever had any doubts about this mark ass chump in the words of Biggie “If you dont know, now ya know nigga”

  • Comment from simone

    Rest easy brother as you journey on home to be with the ancestors. Your words were written and will always remain. Gangstarr were like food to me when I was growing up. I had the pleasure of meeting Guru at the Jazz Caff in London in 2008. All I am is a humble appreciator of the music, but my man took time out to introduce himself and jam with me and my people. His humility impressed, but never suprised me. That memory will ever remain with me.

    My condolenses to all those who loved him.

    وداعا ، وربما بارك الله فيك (goodbye and may god bless you)


    London, UK

  • Comment from JADE

    My only crime was that I’m too damned kind/ And now some scandalous motherfuckers wanna take what’s mine/ But they can’t take the respect that I’ve earned in my lifetime/And you know they’ll never stop the furious force of my rhymes/ So like they say, every dog has its day,/And like they say, God works in a mysterious way/ So I pray, remembering the days of my youth/As I prepare to meet my Moment of Truth—-GURU YO, SOLAR!! “AND LIKE THEY SAY, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS…”

  • Comment from Lamont

    I’m gutted.
    Gangstarr was one of the groups that set it off for me (my love for hip hop and becoming a dj)

    I do not understand this whole Solar business, but in actuality he is completely irrelevant, he doesn’t matter at all. Time will swipe away this blemish.

    Thank you Guru, thank you Primo, thank you Jazzmatazz … for sharing your great musical gifts through the years. Music which inspired millions around the world and will continue to inspire millions …forever! Music which played in the background while children were being conceived 🙂

    Guru thank you for sharing your musical gift and life force with us!

    Much Love!


  • Comment from hgll

    Amor para la Familia Elam.

  • Comment from Eric Francis

    Growing up french canadian with a racist father, hiphop was crucial in my education and making me think about all these poisonous ideas that were pushed on me by my father as a kid.

    Got into hiphop when i was about 15, read malcolm X’s autobiography at around 17 and right away i could see the links between the struggles of african-americans in the states and how french canadians were oppressed historically by anglo-canadians (although the oppression was nowhere near as hurtful, there were similarities).

    To cut a long story short, Guru was one of the voices i heard as a youngster that had life-changing effects on me and made me decide to fight the good fight and try to break the back of racism for good.

    Went to New York City, my first trip to the US in October 2009 for 4 days, and went alone in Harlem and Brooklyn with Gangstarr in mind and was glad to see the birthplace of Hip-hop and where Malcom preached.

    Watched “Do the right thing” from Spike Lee on the way back and listened to gangstarr for a week straight after that.

    My condolences to the Elam family and people who knew him personally, he had a great effect on people he didnt even know personnally, i can imagine how hard it is to lose Guru if you knew him personnally. Great to see the “all-inclusive” comment from his sister.

    Love from Montreal

  • Comment from ESDEE

    @Dj Grazzhoppa.

    U wrote exactly what I feel about the influence of Gangstarr, about the fact that we don’t need waste energy about u know who I’m talking about and mostly about this May 12 on Brussels. WE, AS ALL BELGIAN HIP HOP HEADZ, HAVE TO “DO” A SPECIAL EVENING FOR PREEMO IN GURU’S HONOR!!!!!!
    And last but not least thanks to Guru’s family for posting those wordz and all my condolences.
    Peace Love Unity Having Fun.

  • Comment from wilson

    long live the legend…RIP my love goes to his son and family..

  • Comment from Marco (HEAD Us Icf)

    RIP Guru, condolences to all his family, nearest friends, and everybody who loved him. You will be missed a lot. Is like walking in a dark empty and quiet space. Respect from Italy and Poland. Gangstarr forever !

  • Comment from Jonathan Armstrong

    Rest in Piece to Guru, he was a true pioneer of Hip Hop. His Lyrics were inspiring and real. My condolenses to Gurus family and DJ Premier. We will all miss Guru for his words and deep thoughts of what hip hop is all about. I don’t know why Solar would post a garbage death letter like that. Any true fan of Gangstarr and Guru should know that Guru did not write that letter. Solar is fucked up for real. Stop Solar from messin with Gurus legacy and name. Guru was full of everything hip hop should be about but Solar, don’t know much about him but he don’t seem like much if he is going to stop Gurus family from seeing him, in their time of need to see Guru before he passed away.

  • Comment from Maniacisalegend

    Hip-Hop lost another General. R.I.P. Guru. You’re one of the Illest MC I ever listen too.. Difinetely one of the BEST of all time.. Gangstarr has got to be the sure Shot.
    Guru, a lyrical craftsman. Pure genius!
    Rest Easy brother..I know GOD has a microphone and some beats for ya..

    One Love!

  • Comment from DomNyce

    Rest in Power to my man Guru. I was blessed with the chance of meeting him at Tower Records for the Moment of Truth Lp release day in Boston in 1998 very humble and cool he was to me. I still have the drop from Dj Premier and Guru together giving me a shoutout for my mixtapes that was a great experience as he is one of my favorite Mc’s and in my opinion the best Mc to ever come out of my hometown. Mad props to Gangstarr for always coming through with the timeless classics from Words I Manifest to Skills in between and beyond. Guru and his music will be around forever and through his music we will celebrate his life. The records he has blessed us with I will never stop listening to as it is some of the purest Hip Hop that was ever created.

  • Comment from L Notorious Trauma Jah

    a momentousness legend has left us with the passing of Guru… a true lyrical phenom who never sold out. the days of thugged out conscious hip hop has taken another terrible blow with the lose of this legend… forever will he be missed, memorialized and loved in all hip hop junkies hearts minds and souls. my prayers and condolences go out to Guru’s family and friends. may Allah strengthen your hearts and souls in this time of great mourning. forever it will be known that Gangstarr has got to be the shore-shot!!!!! rest in eturnal and everlasting peace as you enter paradise beloved son father uncle nephew and most of all brother! Allah-Hu-Ahkbar!!!!

  • Comment from bRAD

    RIP GURU , ur words helped me thru alot of shit esp moment of truth and royalty , no one can touch you , the beatz n lyrics u an preem created will be playd by me until im 80 years old, hope they get to the bottom of this coz Solar seems to be a corrupt mofo , long life GANGSTARR – Gift unlimited there will never be another

  • Comment from Mr. Hyde

    Gangstarr gave me so much street knowledge, intellect and spirituality back when I was a kid. Deep group, deep lyrics. Never sold out, always real to the game from day one. I remember that we always be taking about when was the next gangstarr album coming out.

    R.I.P Above the clouds Guru. the rep will keep growin bigga

    Tough love from Ecuador

  • Comment from rahkim mastermind allah

    gone physically but (born universal truth)living on in the hearts of those touched through the music .As for myself I will complete the cipher with the last build i had with u i recall bout a year ago backstage in denver we were building on how his pops being a judge the god said i build with my pops all the time and finally one day he said peace! then my response to guru was perhaps that his father concerning his line of work already knew the suare milage of the planet earth since common law was law of the land also that the law now previous to 1938 was dealing with water guru looked up at me smiled and said peace true and living and we just laughed .iwill miss u in the physical, coming to the shows to build with u all the way back to 91 opening up for gangstarr and chub rock and ay primo probably remembers when chub n them kidnapped the limo driver until the promoters payed em that was crazy those were some of the events i will never forget R.I.P guru as i know your essence is returned to the universal storehouse supreme peace to the god and my condolences to the Elam family

  • Comment from Djanta

    R.I.P Guru
    Nuff Respect & Big Up for all the work you’ve accomplished…

    I had the opportunity to met him during his european tour… He was so nice and humble… Solar was the biggest asshole I’ve ever met… SOLAR WAS SO FULL OF DISRESPECT AND TREATED GURU LIKE SHIT!!! PEOPLE GOT TO KNOW THIS!!!!



  • Comment from jke

    Find it “interesting” that KEITH ELAM is listed as a buyer of a condo in Nanuet NY.. for approx $350,000..on march 18th..while he was in the hospital and comatose..things that make you go HMMMM.. it’s true read it in Rockland Newspaper..

  • Comment from Kso

    My thoughts and heart is with all of you close to Keith – or Guru as I have got to “know” him. As a small kid in middle of finland I was really struck by Hard to Earn. One wouldn’t possibly guess it, but it was really a view altering experience. Undeniably tough guy who was also smart and philosophic.

    When I got my hands on Jazzmatazz-cd’s I was further in awe. Guru – and Premier, ofcourse – were the most unique and most innovative powers in hip hop, bar none in that time.
    I am really sorry for this loss, and can only wish strength for loved ones in these terrible times.

    Something special has came to an end, but the music will live forever.

  • Comment from Original Soul

    Guru’s music and legacy will live on always. Solar will get his. Cant do wrong and get by. Stay up Premier! RIP Guru………


  • Comment from Jess Lee Brooker

    Keith Elam. Guru. I don’t know how this has been allowed to happen. No thing or person or time can change or deduct from the force that you, and Premo with Gang Starr created. And your word, truth,love and godly powers released by you and sent out on the waves of sound you know last forever. The cosmos is always and eternally hearing the music, the word and the meaning of it all, and all it has done can never be broken. Your soul and presence are too strong, there is no death, I know you know that. If its true God walked with us throughout history, a God incarnate on this earth at this time, you were, at the very least a huge aspect of him. You are. Love and Blessings to your family, forever being sent. And in our hearts and life, thoughts of you remain ever strong. What you achieved in your life will hold them safe and minds alike with faith. A meeting of the minds, holding all you helped create in existence, eternally. Thank you. Always you’ll remain in our hearts I know, a tragic loss for your family and fans but just the beginning of a new for you. And I’m sure all that love you will meet with you again in time. I guess you just got there before us, maybe the lords of karma thought you’d done enough here,or at least all you could do on this plane. Universal on all I know brother, maybe you’re needed for bigger things. Until then, bye for now. Thank you for the inspiration you have been and for all the times the music and your words have healed and helped me and many keep the faith. Peace.

  • Comment from will

    R.I.P. GURU

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