The family of the late rapper Guru, born Keith Elam, has issued a statement regarding his sudden passing this week. The 43-year-old rapper lost his battle with cancer on Monday, April 21, after being previously hospitalized for cardiac arrest. The family's statement is as follows:

"The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith AKA Guru for the outpouring of love, concern and support.

Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence. Guru suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness. Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.

Guru died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.The family is not aware of any foundations established by Guru. We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available."

In addition to releasing several solo albums beginning in 1993, Guru was half of the legendary hip-hop duo, Gang Starr, which also consisted of DJ Premier. Guru is regarded as one of the pioneers of the mid-80s hip-hop movement.