The obvious divide between Keith "Guru" Elam's family and his friend and collaborator Solar is as large as the Grand Canyon.
Relatives of the late Gang Starr MC — like his nephew Justin, who posted a YouTube video expressing his concerns about Solar after Guru was admitted to the hospital in February — say he purposely kept them in the dark about their loved one's deteriorating condition. They have alleged that Solar tried to keep family and friends from seeing the MC, who lost his battle with cancer on Monday.
"The funny thing is, it hasn't been all this tension. It got weird in the end," Solar told Sway earlier this week. "Up until the end, it didn't exist, quite honestly. I talked to his father every Father's Day; he came to this concert tribute in Boston. I visited his mother and father; they visited us. The tension really became evident in February. It became the public thing it is when Justin put the video out. It's just an untrue video, and it opened the door for a lot of other things. Up until that point, there was no tension between myself and the family at all. I didn't know [Justin's mother and Guru's sister] Trish at all.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for his family," Solar added. "It's unfortunate that the rift happened and Justin got caught into this divide in between."
In the wake of Guru's death, a big point of contention was a foundation that Guru was quoted as announcing in his farewell letter released on Tuesday. "I have a nonprofit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life," the letter read. "I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting."
Guru's family members said they had never heard of any such organization in a statement they released to the public on Wednesday.
"That's an organization started by Guru, myself and my people," Solar said. "Hopefully it'll grow to be a huge worldwide charitable organization.
"There a lot of things that Guru has done in his business and life that they don't know," he added. "He doesn't report to them. He never reported to them. Guru's a full-grown man. He didn't report to them everything he did. They're not his business mangers, and they didn't have that type of relationship."
Solar also said Guru's relatives are in full control of his funeral. "Yeah, I'm done with that," he said. "That's it. I'm done. Totally out of it. That's between him and his family."