R.I.P Guru

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A little over a month ago, we reported that Guru had slipped into a coma.  This awful news was followed up positively when AllHipHop claimed they had a source saying that Guru had successful surgery and was expected to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately that was not true.  Apparently, Guru had been suffering from cancer for some time, and never made it out of the hospital.  After two months, he passed away.

This is an unimaginable loss for hip hop.  Guru was an inspiration to many and made some of the most fundamental hip hop tracks of all time.  Him and Premier were, in my opinion, some of the biggest influences on why I got into hip hop.  To lose Guru is a tragedy.

And yet, even something like this couldn’t happen simply.  Guru’s business partner Solar has released a statement and a letter purportedly written by Guru.  The statement reads:

“The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time – my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru. 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.”

So far, that seems okay.  It’s grieving and sad, but pays tribute.  However, AllHipHop is also reporting that there may be a darker side to things.

Solar went on to tend to the rapper as he fell ill, seemingly controlling the flow of information and access to Guru. Many of his family members complained that they were denied their right to see him.

That is a horrifying proposition, and one I hope is not true or at least was medically necessary.  I couldn’t imagine being denied my right to see a loved one in their last days.  For Solar’s sake, I hope this was exaggerated.

The letter Solar released a letter that he says was written by Guru has raised a considerable amount of controversy.  Read the text below:

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.

When I read this, I was honestly caught off guard.  While I knew Guru and Premier hadn’t exactly been hanging out all the time, I never thought things had gone this far.  Besides, it doesn’t exactly seem like something someone would write on their deathbed.  I don’t see why, now, Guru would want to castigate Prem so publicly after having been silent.  It just…seems weird.

Twitter is aflame with allegations of forgery.  Premier’s leading the charge.

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But he’s not the only one.  ?uestlove’s suspicious as well.

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Other users seem to be feeling the same way, considering this tweet by MissInfo has been retweeted by more than 20 others.

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It’s a horrific way to imagine the end of your life.  Guru’s passing should be celebrated in the sense that we should mourn his passing but be ever so proud of his achievements and his contributions to hip hop.  Between Jazzmatazz and Gang Starr, Guru was a tremendous influence and a talented wordsmith and artist.

To use his passing for personal gain, or to mar his passing with accusations does him a disservice.  I want the truth to come out, but more importantly I want his family to know that at the minimum, I care that he passed.  That he meant something to me, although I never met him.

R.I.P Guru.  Here’s a track of you pouring your heart out at the birth of your son.

One comment

  • August 15 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    You’ve captured this pecerftly. Thanks for taking the time!

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