Guru death mystery

Rapper’s final days mired in controversy
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 21, 2010


As mysterious as Guru was in his later years, the Roxbury-bred rap-and-jazz legend may soon prove to be more so in death. Though it was confirmed by reliable media sources that he died of cancer this past Tuesday, there is too much confusion shrouding the MC born Keith Elam’s final days to dutifully document his recent health problems and how he grew distant from family and former allies.

In early March, rumors surfaced that the former Gang Starr member and Jazzmatazz auteur fell into a coma following a heart attack. Days later, Guru’s universally loathed label partner and producer Solar issued a press release stating that the MC’s cardiac surgery was successful.

Soon after the scare, Guru’s nephew, Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff, posted a YouTube video contradicting Solar’s account of events. Most damning, Ruff accused Solar of preventing the Elam family from visiting (and obtaining information regarding) Guru. (All accusations were categorically denied.)

Now, a little more than one month later, it is reported that Guru has succumbed to cancer, though news outlets have yet to report the type of cancer, further muddying the picture.

For now, what is certain is that the rasp-throated Boston rhymer should be remembered for classic efforts that he put forth alongside DJ Premier and other rap royalty. The known facts of Guru’s story are alone remarkable, from his growing up the son of Boston’s first African-American municipal court judge to becoming the brightest star of hip-hop’s greatest era.

In the last month, media outlets have butchered his bio and printed much misinformation about his life and death. We will continue to monitor this story as it develops. In the meantime, close friends and Elam family members with information about his sickness and suffering are encouraged to contact the Phoenix.

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  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap,  More more >
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