[artist id="98"]Gang Starr's[/artist] DJ Premier opened up about his estranged relationship with [artist id="8646"]Guru[/artist] and much more in an intimate interview with Vibe.com that posted on Wednesday (April 28) morning. The legendary producer's comments are the latest in a series of remarks in which he's incrementally opened up about his late groupmate and the controversy surrounding his death last week.
Premier revealed that he hadn't spoken with Guru in six years, mainly due to his problems with alcohol. "It was March 30, 2004," he told writer Keith Murphy. "April 1 was the last email I received from him and I just found it in my computer. We were pretty much going at it about him straightening his life up with the drinking and everything ... just getting himself together. Because talent wise, drinking or sober, he was always on point in the lab. He could lay down his vocals with no problem and he always wrote his rhymes dope. When he wrote his rhymes on page they were so messy [Laughs]. I used to ask him, 'How can you even recite the verses and flow?' He would be in the booth turning the paper upside down while he's still rhyming and without having to punch in."
Despite his distance from Guru in recent years, which an associate of both men, rapper Black Jesus, characterized as minor and noted Guru's vices as a detrimental influence, Premier said he maintained a regular relationship with the Gang Starr MC's family.
"I talk to them all the time," he explained. "His father, his sister Patricia; the only one I haven't spoken to is his younger sister. But they all know me well. His brother Harry ... They all know me. And they know this is all some bullshit [the controversy with Solar. They been a little separated from Guru once he decided to move off of Gang Starr. He got distant from everybody. It had been six years since I talked to him. I was trying to get the truth about whether he was in the hospital after he had the cardiac arrest. I called his parents. Guru's mother and my mother were pen pals for a long time. I remember the day he had the cardiac arrest. I called the house and I heard Guru's father's voice like 'Chris ... Man, it's good to hear your voice.' Now if he had some strange feeling about me he would have been like, 'Son, I can't talk to you right now.' But that wasn't the case. It felt so good speaking to him. I was able to get the real deal of what was going on. They know me well enough to know that I'm not some stranger that needs information to be held back from me. Why do I have to make it up? I don't have an agenda."
Much has been made about Guru's farewell letter, issued after his death by Solar, a producer he worked with in recent years while on hiatus from Gang Starr. In the letter, Guru allegedly referred to Premier simply as his "former DJ" and refused to mention his Gang Starr partner by name. Fans cried foul over the letter and asserted Solar misrepresented Guru by penning the message himself, a claim he denied to MTV News.
Premier took the high road, however, when he issued a touching statement honoring his fallen friend. Last Friday, though, Premier spoke out against Solar during his Sirius XM radio show, where he put on a "salute" to Guru.
The DJ repeatedly assailed Solar throughout the two-hour set and refused to acknowledge him by name.
Preemo told Vibe.com he would "love to see that letter" and "would love to see the handwriting. Because I know Guru's handwriting like the back of my hand with all the bills we had to pay together. I know it's not him."
The DJ was noncommittal about Gang Starr's future. He said the men discussed a seventh album years ago, but nothing ever came to fruition. Premier hinted at a possible DVD project featuring vintage footage, but would only say his focus is to honor their combined legacy, which he said Guru would want since the MC never completely removed himself from the partnership.
"The main thing is we never dissolved our Gang Starr contract," Premier said. "We are still signed to each other. We never disbanded the group. If Guru really wanted to super-dead it he would have said, 'Yo, I want out.' And I still would have tried to convince him to stay. We are still Gang Starr."
Share your memories of Guru and Gang Starr in the comments below.