You can hear All Things Considered's appreciation of Guru here.
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Guru (foreground), founder of Gang Starr, died on Monday morning. He was 47.
Between its formation in 1989 and 2003, when the duo disbanded, Brooklyn's Gang Starr was the platonic ideal of underground hip-hop for a generation of rap fans. The group's founder and lyricist, Guru (né Keith Elam), died on Monday morning from complications related to multiple myeloma. He was 47. Along with producing partner DJ Premier, Guru helped shape the sound and attitude of hip-hop through at least two distinct eras of his career. The first, beginning in the late '80s, bridged jazz and hip-hop through both sampling and artistic collaborations. The second carried Gang Starr through the latter half of its career: an uncompromising, gritty street sound built around Premier's staccato beats and Guru's distinctively gruff monotone.
Hear four of Gang Starr's most notable songs plus one from Guru's prolific solo career below.
Advisory: Some of these recordings contain explicit language and subject matter not suitable for all ages.