Guru: The Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal
When it comes to influential figures in the hip-hop realm, Guru, aka Keith Edward Elam, unquestionably holds a significant position. Born on July 17, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) not only showcased his unparalleled rap skills but also ventured into record production and acting.
The Journey Begins
Keith’s journey into music commenced under the pseudonym MC Keithy E. In 1987, he formed the hip-hop duo Gang Starr alongside legendary DJ Premier, revolutionizing the soundscape of hip-hop in the late ’80s and ’90s.
Accolades and Recognition
Guru’s lyrical prowess was recognized by About.com, ranking him 49th on their “Top 50 MCs of Our Time” list. The Source magazine also highlighted his talent, ranking him 30th on their “Top 50 Lyricists of All Time” list.
The Man Behind the Music
Beyond his professional achievements, Guru’s background is equally intriguing. Born in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, his family was rooted in academia and justice. His father, Harry Justin Elam, was the first African American judge appointed to the Boston Municipal Court.
End of an Era
Sadly, on April 19, 2010, Guru lost a brave battle to myeloma, a form of blood cancer, at the age of 48. His passing stirred emotions within the hip-hop community, with many paying tribute to his legacy, including a heartwarming tribute mix by DJ Premier.
Legacy Lives On
The world continues to remember and celebrate Guru’s legacy. The French city of Montpellier even named a street “Allée Guru”, a testament to his enduring influence on both hip-hop and jazz.