Hip-hop innovator and pioneer of the jazzmatazz sound Keith "Guru" Elam passed away April 19th at the age of 43. As a fan of Gangstarr since their beginning I was surprised to find the details of his life are much more revealing in his death. For starters, I had no idea that Guru and Primo were not as close as their music would indicate. I always saw them as the equivalent of Snoop and Dre or Eric B and Rakim. They just seemed to go together. It's unfortunate that the lines between friendship and business often become blurred and tangled. It's a difficult task to maintain them both. I also had no idea that Guru was gay. I can imagine an environment as homophobic as the rap game must have been extremely difficult to endure. Some people will feel differently about him knowing he was gay, but I'm keeping my Gangstarr collection intact. It doesn't take away from the group's accomplishments in my mind. It's a sad day in the world of hip-hop but the king of monotone will live forever through his timeless classics, in our hearts and in our minds. Here's a few of my personal favorites about the group:
Favorite CD: Moment of Truth (although Step in the Arena is a close, close, close 2nd)
Favorite song: Check the Technique
Favorite song title: Soliloquy of Chaos
Favorite song lyric: You puny protozoa, you're so minute you didn't know the Gang has been watchin you but instead of just squashing you I'm scoopin you up out of the muck you wallow in like a chief chemist....