Born: July 17, 1966 | Died: April 19, 2010 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Born: July 17, 1966 | Died: April 19, 2010
Keith Elam (July 17, 1966 �” April 19, 2010) Better known by his stage name Guru, was an American emcee and member of the hip-hop duo Gang Starr, along with DJ Premier. He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The name Guru is a backronym that stands for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal and the less-often used God is Universal; he is the Ruler Universal, which are both references to the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths.
Keith Elam was born in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Harry, was a judge and his mother, Barbara, was the co-director of libraries in the Boston public school system. He attended Noble and Greenough in Dedham, Massachusetts for high school.  Elam graduated in business administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta and took graduate classes in the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. He later dropped out to pursue a rap career. Elam worked briefly as a social worker.  Musical career
Keith Elam began his rap career under the pseudonym, MC Keithy E, but later changed name to Guru. He founded Gang Starr in 1987. The group initially released three records on the Wild Pitch Records record label.While on Wild Pitch, DJ Mark the 45 King handled initial production. After a change in line-up, the group now consisted of rapper Elam and DJ Premier, then releasing their first LP “No More Mr. Nice Guy” under the Wild Pitch moniker.; they achieved a sizable following and released six critically acclaimed and influential albums from 1989 to 2003. Two albums, Moment of Truth (1998) and compilation Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr (1999) were certified gold in the United States by the RIAA. Gang Starr made “archetypal East Coast rap” with Guru's rapping described as sharp eyed but anti-ostentatious.
In 1993, Elam released the first in a series of four solo albums while still a member of Gang Starr. Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 featured collaborations with Donald Byrd, N'Dea Davenport, MC Solaar, and Roy Ayers and received positive reviews. His second solo LP, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality, featured Chaka Khan, Ramsey Lewis, Branford Marsalis and Jamiroquai. The third installment was released in 2000, but received less positive reviews.
Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures (2005) was produced entirely by Solar. The album reached #54 on the Billboard R&B albums charts and received mixed reviews.
Elam's final project was the fourth installment in the Jazzmatazz series, produced entirely by Solar, released in early June 2007, and Guru 8.0: Lost And Found, released May 19, 2009 (also in collaboration with Solar). A Gang Starr reunion album was planned but will never be released due to Guru's death.
"Moment of Truth"
Group Home — Gang Starr
1993 "Mo' Better Blues Soundtrack"
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