DJ Premier has opened up about the unexpected death of his late Gang Starr collaborator Guru and how his love for him remains everlasting.
Premier specifically recalled the brazen message Guru allegedly wrote on his death bed.
“The letter didn’t exist, which I didn’t… I wasn’t worried about that anyway,” Premier said in an interview. “Even if he did write that letter, I know how he writes. I’ve been around this guy for 23 years. I know everything about him and I know his family real well and they’re down with me, they ride with me…We had a private funeral with his remains there and [I] spoke at the funeral. It was a lovely ceremony. I did everything from the heart off my head, which is how you’re supposed to do it…As long as Gang Starr is not hampered and my love for Guru and his family is not hampered, anything else outside of that really flies off the shoulder.” (Rap Fix)
On his deathbed last spring, Guru allegedly penned a letter addressing his legacy.
“I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world,” he wrote. “I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options…My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be his accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on own. I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ…” (Statement)
Following Guru’s passing last April from medical complications related to entering cardiac arrest, Premier publicly shared his sorrow via statement.
“IT WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME TO GET CONFIRMATION ON THE DEATH OF A MAN WHO I WILL CONTINUE TO CALL MY BROTHER, KEITH ELAM, BETTER KNOWN AS GURU OF THE LEGENDARY GANG STARR,” he wrote. “FROM 1988-2004, WE EXPERIENCED SO MUCH SUCCESS TOGETHER THAT WE WERE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR BUSINESSES INDEPENDENTLY AND GIVE EACH OTHER WHAT GURU CALLED “CREATIVE SPACE,” BEFORE PLANNING TO REUNITE FOR OUR 7TH LP WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT. TRAGICALLY, WE WILL NEVER REACH THAT DAY. I’VE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON A LETTER SPEAKING ILL OF ME WHICH WAS SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY GURU IN HIS DYING DAYS. ALL I WILL SAY ABOUT IT IS THAT OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS BEAUTIFUL, WE BUILT A HIP HOP LEGACY TOGETHER, AND NO ONE CAN RE-WRITE HISTORY OR TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR HIM. ONE THING I WOULD NEVER DO IS PLAY AROUND WITH THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS LIFE. I WILL CELEBRATE GURU’S LIFE… I WILL HONOR HIS MEMORY… I WILL GRIEVE WITH THE ELAM FAMILY OVER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH…” (Statement)
Earlier this month, Premier announced plans to drop unreleased Gang Star footage.
“I’m putting together a Gang Starr DVD because I’ve been filming since 1989,” he continued. “I did all the filming until 1993. Then I started bringing guys with me. I have hundreds and hundreds of tapes of me and Guru arguing in the airport. Him and Shug fighting. Guru tried fighting everyone. Now, you look at it and it’s like, D*mn, I miss that.” (XXL Mag)
Check out Raekwon reflecting on Guru’s legacy down below: