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Moment of Truth: The Mystery Surrounding Guru's Untimely Passing
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

GuruIt has been over a month since Keith Elam, p/k/a Guru lost his battle with cancer. In an ideal world, Guru's passing would be the end of the story and the world could focus its attention on remembering the man and his various contributions to hip-hop history. Instead, we're left with a situation shrouded in mystery that seems to only become more bizarre as the days pass. For the benefit of those who haven't been following the stories of the past three months or so, I'll try to highlight (or perhaps lowlight) the most important dates and events.

On February 28th, the word started to spread on the net that Guru had suffered a heart attack and/or cardiac arrest and was in a coma. The following day, Yo! PR released an official statement confirming that the rumors were in fact true.

On March 3rd, a ten-minute video surfaced on YouTube from Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff. In the video, he alleged that the man in control of Guru's personal affairs and any health decisions is Solar and Solar only. Ruff goes on to say that after the news of Guru's condition leaked out to the public, they [the Elam family] were cut off by Solar, forcing them to have to rely on Solar's Twitter page for any updates on Guru's health status. A few days later, through Yo! PR, Solar addressed the accusations of Ruff by calling them "baffling"

On March 22nd, another statement from Yo! PR said that Guru was not in a coma , but ailing from anoxia (a decrease in the level of oxygen). This release also included a statement purportedly from Guru himself saying "I am doing fine and I am recovering, I'm weak though" and also "Solar is the only person who has the accurate info on my situation. Any info from anybody else is false". The release goes on to say that Guru was expected to make a full recovery and was touched by the outpouring of support from fans and artists alike. As the month of April rolled in, yet another Yo! release stated that Guru was NEVER in a coma and went on to say that there would be documents forthcoming from Solar that would prove among other things that Solar never prevented anyone from seeing Guru and that Justin Ruff was lying in his YouTube video.

As fate would have it, on April 19th Guru would succumb to complications from his illness, described by his family as aggressive multiple myeloma. The family went on to say that Guru was in a coma from February until his death, contradicting the information coming from Solar. Adding to the confusion was a letter claimed to be penned by Guru that was to be read once he had passed. The letter spends a great deal of time harping on the work of Guru with Solar and also seeks to limit any would-be attempt by DJ Premier (listed in the letter as "my ex-DJ") to use Guru's name, likeness or anything else for tributes. Most in the hip-hop community feel that the letter did not come from Guru, but in fact it was something cooked up by Solar.

In early May, the email account of Solar was hacked. Consequently, the privacy of Solar's Twitter and MySpace accounts were also compromised. In the days that followed, several emails were released to the public. Many of which appeared to be attempts to mislead the public about what was going on with Guru. A decent amount of the emails contained drafts of items that were eventually presented through press release. Some of them gave explicit directions to post certain things as being from Guru. Other documents started to surface such as a power of attorney form allegedly filled out by Guru and also a note of sale of a home owned by Guru. The sentiment echoed by many seemed to be that things with Solar haven't exactly been on the up and up. In an interview with, when asked why the hacker did what that they did, the response was swift and simple: 

"I'm angry because [of the] things popped off on the Internet about Solar. There were rumors going on about Solar selling Guru’s house while Guru was in the hospital. So when people came forward like Solar’s baby mother, I was like, ‘Let’s expose this guy.’ So that’s why I did it."
That's not the end of the backlash. There are websites, such as and others that are dedicated and deeply driven to exposing Solar to be the person that they believe he is. The entire situation is a weird one, and perhaps one that will never be fully understood, but this is where it stands as of now. New articles, Twitter hashtags and Solar diss songs seem to keep surfacing, but perhaps a few lines from Keith Elam himself summarize things the best, as he famously once rapped:

"I never thought that you would crab me
Undermine me, and backstab me
But I can see clearly now the rain is gone
The pain is gone but what you did was still wrong
There was a few times I needed your support
But you tried to play me like an indoor sport
Like racquetball, tennis, pool, whatever
All I know is you attempted to be clever
Nevertheless, cleverness can't impress
Cause now you've been exposed like a person undressed"

-"Take It Personal", From 1992's "Daily Operation"
R.I.P. Guru
(July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010)

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