Just listened to a fascinating interview over at Rap Rehab about Jay-Z’s audio engineer Gimel “Young Guru”. Audio Engineering is one of the most important components of the record making process and while I would tell my son, No Son, You Can’t Be a Rapper, the answer would be “Yes” to audio engineering.
In the interview Young Guru talks about his mother who was a teacher. He describes her as “resourceful” for shuffling him from community center to community center to learn music & instrumentation. He says she didn’t believe in kids being idle.
He also drops jewels about both engineering and recording. While most engineers are silent, he talks about serving as sort of a coach encouraging better lyrics & different cadences. He also talks about how he stays out of his artist’s personal life… probably one of the many reasons why he’s engineered 10 of Jay’s albums. He also talks about the importance of memorizing the rhyme before laying it down on the track. He demonstrates how the voice sounds while holding a paper versus delivering the lines straight into the rap.
I could go on and on, but instead encourage you to listen to this excellent interview with a man who says sonically, he wants to have “the bottom end of a Tribe Called Quest and combine it with the clarity of a Dr. Dre Record.” Head on over to Rap Rehab to listen to this great piece: http://raprehab.com/young-guru-the-engineer-behind-jay-z-and-more/ .