It has now been over a month since Keith “Guru” Elam died after a battling cancer for over a year The Gang Starr founder continues to be remembered through Hip Hop. A Boston native, Guru will be honored by two of the artists he worked extensively with, that hail from his hometown. This Thursday (May 27), Big Shug and Krumbsnatcha will honor Guru with a tribute performance at Cambridge, Massachusetts’ The Middle East.
BIg Shug was a founding member of Gang Starr with Guru. After the group personnel changed during Guru’s relocation, Shug would later be a member of the Gang Starr Foundation, appearing on many group albums, and the single “Militia.” Krumbsnatcha was a protege of the group, and worked with both Guru and DJ Premier extensively, including an appearance on the gold, critically-acclaimed 1998 Gang Starr album, Moment of Truth.
In related news, The Boston Phoenix has chronicled their native son, with interviews from Shug, Jeru The Damaja and members of the Jazzmatazz band. The revealing timeline by journalist Chris Faraone traces Guru’s Boston-to-Atlanta-to-New York migration, as well as the turning point of his career, transitioning from Gang Starr with DJ Premier to working with later musical/business partner, Solar.
“Guru saved my life,” Jeru the Damaja told The Phoenix. “I speak for a lot of people when I say that we would be in jail if he didn’t get us in the studio. But it was always something with him — Guru was always getting mad about something.”
Read the full, six-page piece, click here.