Gang Starr, Jazzmatazz Rapper Guru Dead at 43

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Rapper Keith Elam, aka Guru, has now died from cancer-related complications.

The Gang Starr member passed on Monday at 43 after a period in a coma.  “I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting,” the rapper wrote ahead of his death.

Guru is best known for his work in the late 80s and 90s, first with Gang Starr and later with Jazzmatazz.  His collaborations with DJ Premier (the other half of Gang Starr) proved a potent combination, though Premier has also worked with a broad range of other rappers.  Guru was born in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

Fellow artists like Travis Barker, Heavy D, and Mark Ronson have been mourning the death publicly through Twitter.  The name Guru stands for ‘Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal’.