Meet Young Guru: Jay Z’s Sound Engineer and Tour DJ

Young Guru
The Wall Street Journal has published an inspiring profile of one of hip-hop’s most trusted sound engineers, Young Guru.
Born Gimel Keaton, the 41-year-old has been Jay Z’s engineer for 16 years, recorded Eminem and 50 Cent early in their careers, and has been in the studio with other superstars: Beyoncé, Drake, Rick Ross, Rihanna, and Snoop Dogg. He’s also served as Jay’s tour DJ since 2010.
In addition to making songs sound better, Young Guru is a visiting lecturer at USC and a frequent guest speaker at colleges such as NYU and MIT, among others.
“He’s expanded the idea of what an engineer can be,” Cornell University’s Patrick Gillespie told WJS. “Engineers are no longer sitting in the back room. They’re out front, creating things, showing the world what can be done.”
Grammy-nominated rapper Common told WSJ:

“He truly is a scientist, a musician, a visionary . . . Sometimes technology doesn’t get to the core energy of a project, but he knows how to manipulate it where you feel like you’re getting something authentic and organic. He uses technology at its highest level.”

Related: Young Guru Explores Los Angeles with Google Glass