One of the all-time greatest wordsmiths in hip-hop history, Gang Starr’s Keith Elam — a.k.a. Guru, for “Gifted Universal Rhymes Unlimited” — died Monday . And while Guru and his partner in Gang Starr, DJ Premier, never enjoyed huge pop success, their impact in hip-hop both collectively and individually is immeasurable.
When word spread on Tuesday (April 20) about Guru’s death, his peers and fans took to the Internet to pay tribute.
“420 gonna be in honor of the big homie Guru … respect the foundation … Light one up for the legend,” Snoop Dogg tweeted.
The Roots’ ?uestlove tweeted, “In my 10 greatest voices in hip hop, Guru was easily top 5 … Smooth. velvet. will be missed. RIP Guru … Back when we first took getting into the industry seriously, Gang Starr’s Daily Operation LP got us thru 1992.”
“1 of our hip-hop soldiers was lost 2day,” Fabolous tweeted. “Tho he in the physical has passed, his spirit & music will live forever #RIPGuru #ForeverYoung.”
“R.I.P. Guru,” DJ Kay Slay wrote. “Real dude and lyricist. My condolences to the family and friends.”
“A hip-hop legend. RIP,” Nicki Minaj wrote.
The Young Money MC’s sentiments were echoed by two other rap stars from Queens, New York: G-Unit’s Tony Yayo and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip.
“Damn just woke up and heard Guru passed away. R.I.P. to a ‘Legend,’ ” Yayo tweeted.
Perhaps most heartfelt of all, Q-Tip wrote: “From Allah we come to Allah we return. R.I.P. Keith GURU. A great man, poet, and I’m proud to say friend … 23 yrs. Damn!”
Share your memories of Guru and Gang Starr in the comments below.