The family of late [artist id="98"]Gang Starr[/artist] founder Guru (born Keith Elam) released a statement on Wednesday morning in reaction to the legendary rapper's death from cancer-related causes on Monday at the age of 43.
"The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith, a.k.a. Guru, for the outpouring of love, concern and support," the statement reads. "Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. Guru was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence."
According to the family, the MC had suffered from the aggressive cancer multiple myeloma for over a year and mounting complications from that illness led him to suffer respiratory failure and cardiac arrest last month.
"As a result, Guru was in a coma from mid-February until his death and never regained consciousness," the statement continues. "Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.
"Guru died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions."
The family said it is not aware of any foundation established by Guru to which fans can send donations, but they are working out a memorial at which admirers can pay their respects.
"We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive," the statement read. "Please look for further details from the family as they become available."
Guru's death has not been without controversy. Some fans questioned the rapper's "farewell" letter, provided by partner Solar, which contained some harsh comments directed at former Gang Starr DJ Premier.
On Tuesday, Solar responded to the criticism, saying, "Guru knew this time would come. The great artist he is, us being intelligent people, we knew there was going to have to be a statement relating to this," Solar explained of the letter, which also said that the music Guru made with Solar was among the best of his career. "Unfortunately, there are those who have the wicked agenda, and just can't accept that Guru and I have handled this thing as men and not children, and this is how men of honor handle their business. He arranged his press release. I'm the repository of Guru's life story. I recorded his life story for book and for movies. We're not foolish. He was diagnosed with cancer well over a year ago. It's been operations and so forth. It would be ridiculous for him to not be prepared."
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