Birth name

Keith Edward Elam


17 July 1961
Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States


19 April 2010 (aged 48)
New York City, New York, United States


Hip hop, jazz rap


Rapper, producer, actor

Years active



Cooltempo/Chrysalis (1992-1996)
Virgin (2000-2001)
7 Grand (2005-2009)
Altered Ego (2009)

Associated acts

DJ Premier, Gang Starr, Gang Starr Foundation, Group Home, Jeru the Damaja, Krumbsnatcha, M.O.P.

Keith Edward Elam (17 July 1961 - 19 April 2010), better known by his stage name Guru, was an American rapper, producer and actor. He was a member of the hip hop duo Gang Starr alongside DJ Premier. The name Guru is a backronym that stands for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal, which is a reference to the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths.

In addition to his career with Gang Starr, he released a number of solo albums - most notably his experimental fusion of live jazz music and hip hop in a series of albums titled Jazzmatazz. Guru utilised positive and braggadocious lyrics performed in a monotonous tone.

Gang Starr went through a falling out after the release of their 2003 album The Ownerz, and both members ceased to work with each other. On 28 February 2010, Guru went into cardiac arrest, and fell into a coma following surgery. He died on 19 April 2010 from cancer. His family claimed that Guru's new partner Solar prevented them from seeing Guru before his death, and Solar was later exposed as having forged a deathbed statement and generally mistreated Guru as his assistant.


Solo albumsEdit

With Gang StarrEdit

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