MC Guru has died at age 43 after a long battle with cancer. Though he spent the latter part of his career focused on fusing hip-hop and jazz with his Jazzmatazz project, he’s best remembered for his seminal work in Gang Starr, where his raspy, stolid raps combined with DJ Premier’s soulful beats to make some of the coldest-ass music in hip-hop history.
Unfortunately for Gang Starr fans, Guru and Premier had some interpersonal issues that they could never put aside, and the yearly rumors of a reunion were always just rumors. Not even Guru’s passing could settle their conflict—a statement purported to be a letter from Guru on his deathbed includes a 350-word passage dissing his past association with an unnamed “ex-DJ” while lavishing praise on recent collaborator MC Solar at Premier’s expense. Then again, as soon as the statement got out, there were rumors that it wasn’t Guru’s work at all, so who knows.
After the jump, a throwback to days of better Guru/Primo relations.