Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Losing a Guru of Hip-Hop

Today, hip-hop lost a legend:

Gang Starr's Guru has died of cancer aged 43.

Guru, real name Keith Elam, passed away yesterday (April 19) after a year-long battle with the disease. The rapper, who formed Gang Starr in 1985, had suffered a heart attack on February 28 then slipped into a coma.

There's only a few other rappers whose departure from this world would be as or more significant a loss than that of Guru: Nas, Jay-Z (who, while I'm not a huge fan, is enormously important), Kool Keith, Guru's partner DJ Premier, anyone in De La Soul, Grandmaster Flash.

I listened to alot of old school and, for the time, new school rap in high school and Gang Starr, Guru's group with DJ Premier, was a regular staple in my music repetoire during those formative years. No matter what heartbreak it's given me and the world, hip-hop, with Guru's work a substantial part of it, will be integral to my life. Rest in peace.

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