Legendary New York rapper Guru is in a coma, after suffering a heart attack.

The incident happened yesterday, and was confirmed by DJ Premier, one half of Gang Starr with Guru, on a phone call to radio show Hip Hop Nation [report The Guardian].

Keith Elam, a.k.a. Guru, was the voice of Gang Starr’s 90s albums Step in the Arena, Daily Operation and Hard to Earn. He’s also credited with Premier as executive producing The Sun Rises in the East, Jeru the Damaja’s cult classic debut album, and collaborated with various jazz musicians on the Jazzmatazz albums.

The last decade saw Gang Starr release their last album, the excellent and underrated The Ownerz, and Guru release Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures, his self-declared “first proper solo album” as well as the 4th in the Jazzmatazz series.

Guru’s ultra-confident style, with its heart firmly in the rap battle, made him one of the most influential figures in New York hip-hop’s golden period of the early 90s.

The 43 year old is set to undergo surgery this afternoon at a New York hospital, and FACT’s wishes are with him.

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