Gang Starr’s Guru Lives In Spirit. Watch His New Music Video (Premiere)

This weekend (April 19) marks five years since the tragic passing of Keith “Guru” Elam. A founding member of Gang Starr, Guru is a Boston, Massachusetts-born MC known for his street-smart rhymes, raspy voice, and 20-plus-year quest to stylishly merge Hip-Hop with Jazz.

In honor of Guru and the sad death anniversary, another Boston MC, Avrex takes a lesser heard Guru track, and re-edits it with the late icon’s family’s blessing. Big Shug, an early Gang Starr member and longtime collaborator with Guru and DJ Premier, also joins Avrex for “Propaganda.” The song is produced by DJ Lord Ron, who was friends with Guru, and originally laced the low-key 2000s-era track which the MC recorded before his 2010 death.

In the intro of the video premiered with Ambrosia For Heads, listeners will hear and see Guru’s sister, Patricia Elam celebrate and praise the work. “I’m so happy that some one is trying to keep his legacy alive,” she says of the song and video, which also includes appearances by Ice-T, Sadat X, and M-Dot, among others.


Guru’s verse highlights the staged propaganda of the 1990s East/West Coast feud in Hip-Hop. He shouts out his own label, Ill Kid Records while supporting longtime partner, DJ Premier’s Year Round Records imprint as well. Avrex follows in, weaving in some iconic imagery from Guru’s discography. Shug (who just released Triple OGzus last month) closes out the collaboration talking about police profiling, stereotypes holding back society, and more. The video includes lots of footage from Guru and Gang Starr, including concert and TV visuals from their extensive career.

In conjunction with the video, Avrex has released $2 MP3 downloads of the song. Additionally, Avrex has released “Propaganda” t-shirts. Proceeds from the audio and the merchandise go towards Guru’s son, K.C.

Special thanks to Maad Management.

Rest In Peace Guru.

Related: Talib Kweli, Marco Polo & DJ Premier Honor Guru (Video)