KEITH "GURU" ELAM -- A RETROSPECTIVE
Its difficult to own, let alone describe, the feeling of loss suffered by those who’ve lost someone close. Whether mother or father, brother or sister, spouse or partner, cousin or friend — the level of grief subjugated on those closest trumps that of those at a distance. We can relate, at best commiserate with relatives. We can keep them in prayer, hoping a higher power will relieve the agony of the heartbreak. We can Tweet and blog and send our well-wishes World Wide Web wide. But unless we personally knew and loved the lost one in life, then the pain we feel by their passing pales in comparison.
When BrooklynBodega.com received word spread that Keith “Guru” Elam was no longer amongst us, naturally we were reeling right along with the rest of the Hip Hop world. We reminisced and rocked his joints and shed tears. We felt the loss. But not nearly as personally as those closest to him.
We knew Guru’s music, but we didn’t know the type of person Keith was. We knew the public persona of Gang Starr’s legendary Emcee, but we didn’t know the type of life he lived. We read The Letters and watched video statements and scrutinized the subsequent shenanigans, but we didn’t have personal experiences of our own.
So we reached out.
We reached out to former co-workers at D&D Records and Pay Day Records. We reached out to friends and family. We wanted to get a feel for the type of person Guru was in life. We wanted to hear anecdotes of day to day occurrences of the man with the monotone flow. We wanted honesty and candor about someone who meant so much to millions, so that those of us in the millions could hopefully know him just a little bit better.
By press time — understandably — many chose not to share their insight, while others wished to not be named directly. Dexter Thibou (former Assistant Engineer at D&D Records) and David “Mr. Dave” Sumpter (former A&R at PayDay Records) were gracious enough to share their experiences working and growing with Guru during Gang Starr’s heyday. We thank them wholeheartedly.
The following is a collection of statements from Dexter, Mr. Dave, and those who wished to comment anonymously speaking to Brooklyn Bodega about their co-worker, business associate, friend and mentor — Keith “Guru” Elam. May he rest in eternal peace.
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