R.I.P. G.U.R.U.

Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal  a.k.a. G.U.R.U. a.k.a. Keith Elam passed away on April 19th after a year long bout with cancer. He was not the most well known MC, but among hip-hop purest he was one of the most respected. His lyrical flows and monotone drone was known throughout the 1990s as one of the sickest. He was one of the first “conscious” rappers, extolling the virtues of Malcolm X’s 7 Percent Nation early on. He pioneered jazz-hop with four records aptly named Jazzamatazz where he collaborated with well known jazz musicians and international hip-hop artist. There has been some controversy surrounding his death and a letter most likely forged by his most recent collaborator. Never the less, he will be missed. I was introduced to Gang Starr by my older cousin around 1989 and eagerly awaited every release there after. Gang Starr’s music meant a lot to me in those days when most rap was either about booty shaking or gang banging. A lot of what G.U.R.U. spoke and rapped about then still holds true to this day.

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