Canadian National Jazz Award winner Nick “Brownman” Ali, a touring musician who played along side Guru in the later years of the late hip hop icon’s career, echoed many of the accounts regarding Guru’s relationship with business and music partner Solar that came to light during an explosive interview on HipHopDX.com with Tasha Denham, ex-employee of 7 Grand Records, and mother of Solar’s child. Brownman spoke to the Toronto Star regarding Guru’s life and career, both which ended with Guru’s untimely death last month, a death that remains shrouded in controversy.
Brownman told Ashante Infantry of the Toronto Star, “It was like an abused wife relationship and he made all the same excuses: ‘Why does he talk to you like that? It’s my fault, Brown, he helps me get in shape.’ He rationalized it.” The trumpeter recalled times when Solar would “yell at Guru like a little boy” and physically strike Guru.
BirthplaceMag.com’s investigative report into the charity mentioned in the so-called “Guru letter to fans“, released by Solar immediately after Guru’s passing, shed light on many rumors that had been swirling even before Guru’s death, starting at the time the former Gang Starr MC was initially hospitalized in February, 2010. The article, which was quoted in the Brownman article, revealed that the charity purported to have been started and endorsed by Guru, was in fact a largely defunct not-for-profit that had been started in 2003, was listed in Solar’s wife’s name, and may no longer be a valid charity, due to negligent tax filing.
Guru’s family have subsequently released word that a memorial project is in the works, though no official details have been released.
Despite wishing that Guru would be remembered for his musical legacy, rather than the salacious circumstances that have erupted over his death, Brownman reflected, “Guru is a hip-hop icon, so the hip-hop world wants answers.”
Read the entire article, “A Hip-Hop Soap Opera” on the Toronto Star website.