Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rest In Peace Keith Elam (aka G.U.R.U.)

I truly love the power of social media (wait for my post on Talib Kweli's laptop). I was at the gym on Twitter (as you do) on my phone, and saw DJ Premier's tweet confirming that Guru, who has been hospitalised recently in his battle with cancer, had passed on yesterday. All of a sudden, my entire Twitter timeline was full of condolence messages, links to blog posts and a general conversation about it. It really feels like a community there, and as we all know, it's times like these that bring folks together.

First up, I'm in no way trying to jump on any bandwagon here. I'm a Hip Hop fan since I was 10 years old, and although I've always respected Guru, Primo (definitely one of my favourite producers of all time) and Gangstarr, I've never been the biggest fan of their music. That said, I absolutely admire and respect his legacy and what he contributed to Hip Hop as a movement and a culture.

Judging from the tweets I'm seeing, the outpour of love for this man is incredible. Evidence (of Dilated Peoples fame) even just said "broken fucking heart. I'm sitting this year out. Guru will always be my fucking Hero."

Now, for those who ain't know, there's a serious back story here. Read the below 'final statement' that Guru apparently wrote from hospital, where as far as I had heard, he had never awoken from his coma:

"I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options. I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody's feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life."

Read the post on BallerStatus for links to the previous articles on the controversy (it's too long to get into here).

I'ma skip right to my opinion. How the FUCK does a man in a coma write a 'final statement'? And even if he did wake from his coma, how does he know he is going to die and finally succumb to his disease? Once you read the previous articles on this, it's plain obvious that something ridiculously shady is going on here. Solar seems to be literally deranged, and it's quite concerning that in this day and age, somebody can have that much control over another person, even to the detriment of their blood family.

Nothing is right about this. The 'final statement' is garbage, and the blatant Solar dick-riding is evidence enough. I hope the Hip Hop community can bring this motherfucker to justice for what he's done to the Elam family (watch the video below of Guru's nephew and TELL me that shit ain't legitimate).

Check the video at the top for my favourite Gangstarr joint.

Rest In Peace, Guru.

No comments: