Patricia Elam, the older sister of late Gang Starr MC Keith “Guru” Elam, said her family learned about his death through the media — one day after he died.
Elam alleges that Solar, Guru’s medical proxy , longtime business partner and musical collaborator, never told the Elams of Guru’s death.
“[My son] Justin found out on the Internet and called me. I had to call my dad,” Patricia told MTV News Tuesday (April 27) via phone. “[Keith’s 9-year-old son] KC found out riding in the car, hearing it on the radio. That’s not right if you care about someone. That’s not how you treat them. My brother would never have wanted us to find out that way. Never in a million years. Especially his son. Come on, now.”
Solar told MTV News last week that he has “nothing but the utmost respect” for Guru’s family , but acknowledged that the relationship “got weird in the end.”
Patricia said that learning of her sibling’s death was only part of their nightmare. When the family inquired with the hospital as to the whereabouts of Elam’s body, they were told it was on its way to a funeral home to be cremated.
“The hospital released the body in [Solar’s] care. I don’t know how it was determined what funeral home it would go to,” Patricia explained. “My son Justin was looking online and saw something that the body was going to be cremated. My father was calling the hospital looking for the body and they were like, ’We released it to the health-care proxy.’ Luckily my other brother happened to be in New York on something unrelated and he started calling funeral homes in the area, if you can imagine. Fortunately the third one he called was the right one. He said, ’Listen, I’m the brother of Keith Elam, do not release that body to anyone but me.’ Thankfully he was able to get there in time.”
Ms. Elam says that eventually the family did cremate Guru’s body, as it was his wish.
“The cremation has already occurred,” she explained. “For our family, we’ll have our own private memorial.”
Patricia also revealed that the Elams do understand that Guru’s fans would like to celebrate his life and legacy as well, and that a public memorial for his fans is being discussed that would take place on what would have been the MC’s 49th birthday, July 17.
“I don’t have any more specifics at this point in time,” she said. “There’s also talk of a musical tribute; I don’t have the specifics on that yet. We want something for the public and for fans. We’re also working on a website so fans can post things. We’ve gotten so many wonderful, loving messages and tributes from around the world. We want fans to have a place for that.”
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