Influential East Coast rapper Guru has died at the age of 43 after battling cancer.

He is best remembered as the MC for late Eighties/early Nineties hip hop outfit Gang Starr – his collaboration with producer DJ premier which spurned some pretty amazing hip hop joints including “Full Clip”, “Words I Manifest” and “Skillz”.

Guru – who was known for his effortless deadpan rapping – later went solo with the Jazzamatazz series, on which he continued to meld classic hip hop beats and loops with jazz- and swing-inspired sounds.

Tributes via Twitter are already rolling in:

Snoop Dogg: “420 gonna be in honor of the big homie Guru … respect the foundation … Light one up for the legend.”

?uestlove (The Roots): “In my 10 greatest voices in hip hop, Guru was easily top 5 … Smooth. velvet. will be missed. RIP Guru … Back when we first took getting into the industry seriously, Gang Starr’s Daily Operation LP got us thru 1992.”