I thought I'd start off with something many of us watched last night: the Grammys. But I'm afraid one award went rather unnoticed. In the "Historical Irony" category, the winner was a country music group known by the name of "Lady Antebellum," who won five Grammys smack in the middle of Black History Month.
Sadder still was the fact that Keith Elam, also known as Guru, the MC of the legendary hip hop duo Gang Starr, was inexplicably left out of the memorial montage of recording artists who passed away during the previous year. Guru died from complications with cancer on April 19th at the age of 48. As someone who loves hip hop, and as someone who is himself a cancer survivor, I feel as if I've been doubly dissed by the Grammys. To paraphrase a classic Gang Starr lyric, I take it personal.
Over one of DJ Premier's signature beats, Guru once rapped that "Suckas be like playing themselves to have mass appeal." Today, it's the Grammys who are the suckas.
Guru is survived by his parents, three siblings, and a son, Keith Casim. Hip hop will never die, but Guru will be deeply missed. Please check out his obituary in the New York Times here.