Keith “Guru” Elam
[July 17, 1966 – April 19, 2010]
“Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal”
Today is one of those days that came about and hit the hiphop community dead in the face. Everyone felt the impact of that punch when the community got word that the legend Keith “Guru” Elam has succumbed to cancer. This is definitely a pill that is so hard to swallow that the process of getting to this point with emotions is very overwhelming. After all the speculation with Solar being the culprit behind this tragic fiasco, the fact remains is that Solar is still in denial with being the mastermind behind all of this that’s happening… err.. happened.
Let me remind you that this post isnt about bashing Solar. It’s about Guru. Although I, along with many other people, have ill feelings towards this situation, we’re still trying to get past the fact that he’s no longer in our presence.
My love for Gang Starr’s music started back in middle school, during my bboying days. At school, my friends and I would always go to the field and practice at each and every chance we get! Someone would always bring a mini boombox in their backpack, and had tapes with songs that were recorded from the radio [you can literally hear the air in them]. Some of those songs were Cypress Hill’s ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man’ and “Hand On The Pump”, Domino‘s “Sweet Potato Pie”, EPMD‘s “Crossover”, and if I’m correct, I think it was “Step In The Arena” that caught my ears and put me on. Funny thing about it was we were breakdancing to those joints before we discovered these series. After that, my first Gang Starr tape I bought was Hard To Earn [which had that crazy joint that got all my bboying brethren going nuts, especially at battles]! I remember having that tape, but I think I gave it to Mark to go along with his BeatSwapMeet stuff to sell..
Fast forward to 2007, where I was at this show to finally [for the first time] get to see Guru do his thing. Most of my friends have been blessed to see him in the previous years with Preemo, but I didnt drive, and plus I wasnt publicly active in the hiphop scene as much as I was in the clubbing scene, so it was what it was. While I was there, I didnt know who this dude was that was on stage with him [at the time]. I noticed when I took pictures with him, Guru had a different chain on, but with many similarities to the Gang Starr piece. I was kinda thrown off at that, to be honest. It was a great show, although I remember noticing people there that wasnt familiar with his music. Plus, the show was on a tuesday night; the 6th anniversary of this horrific event.
Now, as of today, here’s what I’m trying to understand: Did Guru really write that letter, among other things? I mean, some of you may agree with me in saying that it’s heartbreaking to be THAT bitter towards Premier towards the end of his letter. Plus, how is it that he’s going to have Solar and his family look after his son? Why not let his immediate family look after him, isn’t that how it supposed to go?
I smell Solar all over this, and I’m praying [for his sake] that it’s not the case, cause if it was… he’s going to have to watch his every move, now that Guru is no longer with us, physically.
Rest In Power, Keith Elam.