"GANG STARR FOREVER!!! R.I.P. GURU."
So tweeted Travis Barker as word spread this morning of the death of Gang Starr mastermind and rap-jazz pioneer Guru (aka Keith Elam). He was 48.
According to a statement issued by Elam's friend and longtime partner Solar, and posted on DJ Premier's site, Guru died Monday morning following a yearlong struggle with cancer. Last month, the disease triggered cardiac arrest, which left the hip-hop hero in a coma.
"The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time—my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru," Solar said. "Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius."
Along with Barker's, the Twitter tributes began flowing early.