Guru, the rapper born Keith Elam who distinguished himself with DJ Premier as Gang Starr on old school standouts such as 1991's Step In The Arena, and with the series of Jazzmatazz albums that paired him with instrumentalists like Roy Ayers, Brannford Marsalis and Donald Byrd, has died of cancer at 43. Solar, who produced latter day Gang Starr records such as 2003's The Ownerz, said this of the smooth-flowing MC whose nom de rap stands for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal: "Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius." Below, a couple of early Gang Starr standouts.
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