In a public statement, the influential producer said of his estranged friend’s passing, “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.”
Premo also took time to address the controversial final “note to fans” that was allegedly penned by Guru. The letter, which many fans and artists are charging that Elam’s most recent collaborator MC Solar actually wrote, claimed Solar, not Premier, should be the inheritor of Guru’s musical legacy.
“I’ve been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days,” Premier says of the brazen note vouched for publicly by Solar. “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.”
From 1988 to 2003, Gang Starr was celebrated as one of hip-hop’s most respected and indelible acts. No word yet on any tributes for Guru, who succumbed to cancer at the age of 47. —Keith Murphy