In the wake of one-time Gang Starr rapper Guru’s death at the young age of 47, his latter day producer and partner Solar emerged as hip-hop’s most loathed villain, accused of everything from denying Guru’s family access to their dying kin to fabricating a deathbed statement from the rapper to starting a bogus charity in Guru’s name. This weekend, someone hacked into Solar’s AOL email account and posted a selection of messages via his also-hacked Twitter account. The anonymous hacker made public emails sent between Solar and various parties, including documents that seem to indicate that Solar is more evil than anyone could have even guessed. The emails appear to show that Solar forced Guru to tour instead of seeking medical help; that he controlled Guru’s access to his own email account and various other web presences; that Solar owed money to multiple parties; and, perhaps most chillingly, that Solar attempted to pimp out unreleased music from Guru after the rapper’s death.
SOTC contacted some of the parties named in the messages, and the emails appear to be authentic. Jake Paine, editor-in-chief of the website www.hiphopdx.com, confirmed that an email addressed to him from Solar’s PR agency, YO! Promotions, was legitimate. A contact at a Japanese company Solar suggested might be interested in some previously unreleased music also confirmed that the email involving him was accurate. Additionally, the email accredited to Guru in the leaked correspondence (email@example.com) checks out as the same email he was using back in 2008 to warn journalists ahead of interviews that “all interviews have to involve both myself and Solar as we are a label, a company and a new force in hip-hop.” Whoever is behind the hacked email account has promised that more messages will be leaked over the coming days. Until then, here are the ten most appalling revelations from what’s turning into 2010’s biggest hip-hop soap opera.
Solar Endangered Guru’s Health
An email from an unnamed sender alleges that a doctor told Guru that his condition could be cured within “3 months,” but that Solar went against this advice and “pressed him for the tour.” It goes on to state, “I can’t understand how you let him suffer and then in the end now have him go out with a lack of respect so people know his nails were long and he was ungroomed.” On his radio show tribute, Guru’s former partner DJ Premier reiterated the same point about Guru’s lack of grooming in the hospital. Solar’s response to the email accusations reads as follows: “You do not have a single [sic] Lie that has not been published on the internet by a drug addled individual.”
Solar Attempted To Use Guru’s Sickness and Eventual Death to Sell Unreleased Material
In an undated email, Solar promises a Japanese-based company that, “I am bout to do major outlet interviews. We have 3 albums ready too go I believe one now would be a big sensation.” In the same email he also advises, “I am only one with access to Guru and his doctors.” This would appear to suggest that this email, touting various unreleased albums, was sent after Guru was hospitalized.
In another undated email that seems to have been sent two days after Solar’s March 9, 2010 interview with CNN, Solar brags to someone identified only as “Andrew” about a recent press run that included HOT97 and MTV. He then speculates, “I think we have a perfect fit for this situation and any label will jump at this now!!” The odds on the imminent release of Guru 9.0: Life Beyond Death just got shorter.
Solar Maintained Access to Guru’s Email Account and Physically Abused Him
An email sent on April 24, 2010 with the sender’s name blanked out accuses Solar of at one point attempting to take control of Guru’s email account: “Getting his email passcode didn’t stop him from communicating… Dude just set up a new one, ha ha, you going through his phone and shit… he had one line you didn’t even know about too ha ha you so foolish devil.” The same sender then vents: “So many times he [Guru] could call me up and tell me everything going on and it made me wanna piss on you and your FLESH body cuz you aint no GOD you dumb shit.” (Note: In previous emails Solar appears to refer to himself as a “God.”)
For good measure, the message continues “All the times you would try to punk him and put hands on him… threaten his son and baby moms… mash up the truck… you even had a G you knocked up hiding in his house.” In response, Solar attempts to drop some witty word play, claiming, “I held Guru down like a spinal cord.” Which possibly doesn’t make anatomical sense.
About That Abuse: Solar Was A Drunken Tyrant
Screenwriters take note: There’s definite a prospect for a big truck destruction scene when this film gets made. In another anonymous email dated April 25, 2010, the sender alleges, “I SAW the truck get mashed with a bat,” before characterizing Solar as a “drunkard” who’d send Guru to pick up Coronas for him. In reply, Solar goes digital, warning that, “Myself and Guru have friends in law enforcement and top notch internet experts.” He doesn’t specify whether or not they work at Tekserve.
About the Passwords
An email direct from Guru to East Coast Digital Solutions asks them to send through all passwords and usernames for the administration of the 7 Grand and Gang Starr Facebook and Twitter accounts. Solar is CC’d in on the email.
Solar Kept Guru’s Family Out of All Decisions and Statements
An email exchange dated March 8, 2010 seems to be between Solar and his publicist. The subject line contains the title “Re: problem,” and in the message the sender refers to a press release they’re putting together. It says, “It is important to list the facts and let the people know about it–that’s exactly what we did… We are looking very professional with the way we handled the situation…” Then the publicist asks Solar for “an official statement from Guru addressing his own situation, your situation in this ‘case’ so people understand that everything was meant to be this way and that you are not acting on your own.” The publicist goes on to suggest getting a statement from Guru’s father or a “close relative.” To this Solar responds, quite cheerily, “will look into!” Then he adds, “Guru father is up in years and they have not had the best relationship so? Guru can be done, will look further.”
Solar Owed Money
According to an email from someone identified only as “Jeffrey” and addressed to both Solar and Guru’s email accounts, the 7 Grand duo were delinquent in making a payment of $2,500. Additionally Buckwild, the hip-hop producer known for his work with deceased rappers The Notorious BIG and Big L, is also said to be owed $500.
Solar Was Collecting Royalties Off Guru’s Old Records
Though not much. A royalty statement for April of this year shows 7 Grand Records, the company Guru and Solar ran together, amassing $260.44 from music sales. Most of this amount came from the often-maligned Jazzmatazz Vol 1, which saw the MC collaborating with jazz musicians like Donald Byrd and Lonnie Liston Smith and the French rapper MC Solaar (who now seems destined to a lifetime of being mistaken for the producer Solar). Sales from that record added $172.57 to the 7 Grand coffers; less profitably, the Solar produced Version 7.0: Street Scriptures brought in a mere five cents that month – presumably from one solitary MP3 download. The address of 7 Grand Records corresponds to the address given to the Each One Counts charity, registered in the name of Solar’s wife, Denise Mosher.
Solar Forged Guru’s Deathbed Statement
In the longest of the emails, Solar sends to himself what reads like the basis of the statement he released to the world upon Guru’s passing. In it he refers to Guru’s nephew Justin, DJ Premier (“his ex-DJ for 7 years”), taking care of Guru while he was in hospital, and the duo’s musical legacy. Solar also states, “Guru prepared a letter while he was in hospital for the fans but the hideous slander prevented it from being released for obvious reasons.” Parts of the wording in the email mirror parts of the letter that was eventually released as Guru’s parting words to his fans.
Last But Not Least, In Honor of Mother’s Day, Solar Never Called Mom/Cheated On His Wife
Depends on how you read the above, though the latter is more likely than the former. The feed is full of hacked pictures of naked women who are not Solar’s wife. “how are you??if we dont talk and dont see eachother i don’t forget you!!!” reads an email from Solar’s mom/jumpoff dated March 9th 2010 that then ends with an emoticon that possibly involves a pirate’s eye-patch. Good kid/lover that he is, Solar responds, “I am Good. just a lot going on now but i will call you! Besos.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 10, 2010