As several people have pointed out today on Black People Twitter, you can tell that that letter the late, great Guru (RIP) supposedly left for his fans is BS from jump, because he makes sure to write his own name: “I, Guru…”
Who does that?
Solar, who doesn’t strike me as the sharpest pencil in the box, probably stuck that in, so there wouldn’t be any confusion as to who really wrote it. I’m pretty sure I could have written a much more convincing letter from Guru’s perspective – not that I’d do some shit like that. Unless there was a significant amount of money offered. That shit’s probably illegal. And I doubt Solar has the means to hire a writer of my status. Otherwise, he could have hired a publicist from jump, back when he was insisting that he was the only official source of information re: Guru, and supposedly barring Guru’s relatives from visiting him in the hospital. Those hoodrats who send out unsolicited emails on behalf of bum-ass mixtape rappers can’t charge too much money. I might have to hire one myself, just to take my image to that next level.
This letter is the first I’m hearing of Guru having cancer, and I’m wondering why that had to be kept a secret until just now. I could see if he thought he could beat cancer without anyone knowing, because he was at the point in his career when he wasn’t fielding a lot of phone calls, and he thought having cancer wouldn’t be good for his “personal brand.” It’s always tragic to see a person struck down by cancer in his youth, but when you’re already kinda old, it just makes you look that much older. Which can’t be good for business. Similarly, you’d have to think that we’re at the point where a rapper or two has had a hip replacement. We just don’t know about it.
Any branding concerns were rendered moot when Guru slipped into cardiac arrest, and there was all of that controversy about what really happened to him, and who was allowed to visit him in the hospital. As I wrote here at the time (don’t bother trying to look it up), cardiac arrest means you’re not gonna be around much longer, whether you last another two weeks or another two years. It’s not so much a matter of if as a matter of when. A few months ago, when the shit hit the proverbial fan, would have seemed like an opportune time to let the world know that Guru was also suffering from cancer. Letting the true nature of his illness remain a mystery until just now only served to fuel rumors that Guru may have had AIDS, and the reason Solar was so protective of his image was because they were more than just friends. Admittedly, I was the source of most and perhaps all of this speculation, but for what it’s worth, I’m at a loss for why my speculation would be any less legitimate than this obviously BS letter. If Guru’s doctor wants to give me a call and clear things up, he’s certainly free. XXL might have my number, though it’s hard to say with the amount of turnover here.
The stuff about the work he did with Solar being the best work of his career (it really does say this in the letter) is obviously BS, even though I can’t recall any of their collaborations off the top of my head. If his goal was to spite Premier, he could have pointed out the fact that Primo supposedly left Guru during a tour, and Guru had to continue the tour with another DJ, and that was the end of Guru and DJ Premier as Gang Starr. I read that just now on the comments section of my blog (which, by definition, is smarter than the comments section here). That was my first time hearing that (not that I study Gang Starr), and I can’t say for certain whether or not it’s true, but even if it isn’t, it makes for a better line than the one in this letter. To hear the late, great Guru via Solar tell it, it isn’t clear what, if anything, Primo did to Guru, and why he didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. Even if you buy that Guru himself wrote the letter, it sounds like he’s trying to bogart Gang Starr’s legacy/brand, whatever that’s worth at this point. If Primo chose to leave Gang Starr, then obviously it’s a much different story.
Now that Guru is dead (he is dead, right?), I guess we’ll never know what really happened to him, and why this last year of his life (this last seven years, really) were such a clusterfuck. Our best clue might be any contact he had with a lawyer. In the letter, “he” claims that he wants Solar to accept any awards, tributes, donations, etc,, on behalf of his son, until his son is old enough, and that his lawyer has been made aware of this. If that was the case, it shouldn’t have been too hard to have said lawyer cosign this letter, and it probably would have been a good idea, but who knows.