Gang Starr MC Guru underwent successful surgery on Monday after suffering a heart attack over the weekend , according to the manager of DJ Premier, Guru’s partner in the long-running hip-hop outfit.
An unnamed source told AllHipHop.com that the rapper was doing “fine” and is expected to make a full recovery. “Guru is alive and recovering from his surgery. Doctors are expecting a full recovery luckily.”
Hot 97’s news director Miss Info reported Monday that Guru was in a New York-area hospital where he was expected to undergo surgery.
One of Guru’s former collaborators, French MC Solaar, issued a statement on Monday in which he said, “Guru is struggling with a serious health issue. We, the whole 7 Grand Records family, appreciate all your love and well wishes. We continue to hold out hope that Guru will make a full recovery from this. We ask that his privacy on this matter will be respected. Again, thank you for all your support through this trying time.”
Composed of Guru (born Keith Elam in Massachusetts) and Premier (born Christopher Martin in Texas) formed Gang Starr in the early ’90s and helped define the decade’s New York underground rap sound. Premier’s production palette featured sampled jazz records and scratched vocals on the choruses, complemented Guru’s uncompromising rhymes. Although the pair would work separately as often as they did together — Guru’s Jazzmatazz series of albums and Premier’s work with Nas, Jay-Z, and underground act Group Home — Gang Starr continued to release critically acclaimed material throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Their 1998 album Moment of Truth was among their most critically lauded collections and Gang Starr’s biggest selling project to date. Gang Starr’s last group project, The Ownerz, was released in 2003.
Guru spoke with MTV News at the time, noting the pair’s penchant for working on outside projects, but ultimately continuing to stoke the Gang Starr flames.
“You went on your little vacation, but you come back home with a bunch of skills and other things to add to the table,” he said. “When we do Gang Starr it always gets more and more intense.”
[This story was originally published on 3.2.10 at 11:45 p.m. ET]