Young Guru

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Young Guru
Young Guru at New York Comic Con, October 2014
Young Guru at New York Comic Con,
October 2014
Background information
Birth nameGimel Androus Keaton
Born (1974-02-27) February 27, 1974 (age 50)
Wilmington, Delaware, United States
GenresHip hop
Years active1996–present

Gimel Androus Keaton (born February 27, 1974), professionally better known by his pseudonym Young Guru, is an American audio engineer, record producer, disc jockey, and record executive from Wilmington, Delaware. In 2019, Young Guru won a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for mixing the album Everything Is Love by The Carters. He has worked with many leading recording artists, most notably Jay-Z and Kanye West, and an April 2015 The Wall Street Journal profile called him "the most famous and successful engineer in the history of hip-hop".[1]


Young Guru acquired his moniker as a teen when he taught African history classes at a community center. He also used his name when he began working as a DJ while still a teenager.[2] In the early 1990s Young Guru bought his own amplifiers, lights and microphones which sparked his interest in music technology. While a student at Howard University, he saw the early development of Bad Boy Records and landed some of his early engineering jobs.[citation needed] He began DJing in Washington, D.C. in 1996, where he met singer/rapper Nonchalant, who had a top 20 single at the time, and became her tour DJ. Young Guru, who had taken piano lessons as a child, used the money he received from the tour to fund a six-month music recording course at Omega Recording Studios in Rockville, Maryland, which had a great impact on him. After Omega, Young Guru engineered Nonchalant's second album, which was never released, but the producer, Chucky Thompson (Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans) recognized the young engineer's potential and invited him to come and work with him in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Young Guru went independent and moved to New York, where he worked with Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie on his Madd Rapper project and with Memphis Bleek. The latter was signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, which led to Young Guru meeting Jay-Z.[citation needed]

Over the years Young Guru has been a major part of several artists' careers in addition to Jay-Z, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Ludacris, Ghostface Killah, Freeway, Cam'ron, Redman & Method Man, Mariah Carey, Pete Rock, Fabolous, Talib Kweli, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and T.I.[citation needed]

He was the tour DJ for the 'Watch The Throne' world tour featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West,[citation needed] and also for JAY-Z's '4:44' Tour [citation needed]

In August 2013, Young Guru taught an audio mixing class via Skillshare. The video lessons, filmed at SAE Institute New York, were titled "Sound Check: The Essentials of DIY Audio Mixing".[3]

In April 2015, Young Guru was named the Director of Operations at 9th Wonder's record label It's a Wonderful World Music Group.[4]

Young Guru has also lent instruments to the youth-oriented digital audio workstation, EarSketch.[5]

In November 2018, Young Guru was credited with mixing the latest Meek Mill album Championships.



  • Def Jam Recordings Presents

(CD, Comp, Promo) Hustlin' (Remix) Def Jam Recordings (2006)

  • Tell Em Why U Madd

(Album) Surviving the Game Columbia (1999)

  • Chicago '85 ... The Movie

(CD) Doin' Wrong DreamWorks (2000)

  • Charmbracelet

(CD, Album) Boy (I Need You), You MonarC, Island Records (2002)

  • The Blueprint, The Gift & The Curse

(4xLP, Album) U Don't Know (Remix) Roc-A-Fella Records (2002)

  • Welcome to New York City

(12") Roc-A-Fella Records (2002)

  • Boy (I Need You)

(CD, Single, Promo) Island Def Jam Music Group (2003)

  • Flipside

(12", Promo) Roc-A-Fella Records (2003)

  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder / Encore Roc-A-Fella Records


  • What We Do Roc-A-Fella Records


  • The Chittlin Circuit

(CD) Ladies' Jam Fastlife (2005)

  • Philadelphia Freeway

(CD) Roc-A-Fella Records (2003)

  • 99 Problems / My 1st Song

(12") Roc-A-Fella Records (2004)

  • Be Your Girl

(12", Promo) TVT Records (2004)

  • Get Crunk Shorty

(12", Promo) Jive (2004)

  • Girlfight

(12", Promo) Virgin Records America, Inc. (2004)

  • Rock Co. Kane Flow

(12") Seven Heads (2004)

  • The Grind Date

(12") Sanctuary Records (2004)

  • The Grind Date / Shopping Bags

(12", Promo) Sanctuary Records (2004)

  • What's Happenin! / Salt Shaker

(12", Promo) TVT Recordings (2004)

  • Dynomite (Going Postal)

(12", Promo) J Records (2005)

  • Never Been In Love

(12") Geffen Records (2005)

  • The Minstrel Show

(Album) Atlantic (2005)

  • 4:21 ... The Day After

(Album) Def Jam Recordings (2006)

  • The Pretty Toney Album

(Album) Tooken Back Def Jam Recordings (2004)

  • Def Jam Recordings Presents

(CD, Comp, Promo) The Champ Def Jam Recordings (2004)

  • Dynomite (Going Postal) /

Chicago-Rillas (12", Max) J Records (2006)

  • Hustlin' Remix

(12") Def Jam Recordings (2006)

  • Kingdom Come

(Album) Roc-A-Fella Records (2006)

  • Eardrum

(Album) Blacksmith Music (2007)

  • Tambourine

(12") Geffen Records (2007)

  • Jeanius

(2xLP, Album, Ltd) Blacksmith (2008)

  • NY's Finest

(Album) Nature Sounds (2008)

  • Blackout! 2

(Album) Def Jam Recordings (2009)

  • Fishscale

(Album) The Champ Def Jam Recordings (2004)

  • King

(Album) I'm Talkin' To You Atlantic (2006)

  • American Gangster

(Album) Ignorant Sh*t Roc-A-Fella Records (2007)

  • Strength & Loyalty

(CD, Album) 9mm Interscope Records (2007)

  • T.I. Vs T.I.P.

(Album) Help Is Coming Atlantic (2007)

  • Theater of the Mind

(Album) Nasty Girl Island Def Jam Music Group (2008)

  • Music Inspired By The Film:

More Than A Game (CD, Album) History Interscope Records (2009)

  • The Blueprint 3

(CD, Album) RocNation (2009)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards
Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2022 Donda Grammy Award for Album of the Year Nominated [6]
2019 Everything Is Love Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album Won
2018 4:44 Grammy Award for Album of the Year Nominated
"The Story of O.J." Grammy Award for Record of the Year Nominated
2011 "Empire State of Mind" Nominated
2005 The College Dropout Grammy Award for Album of the Year Nominated
2003 Nellyville Nominated


  1. ^ Pollack, Neal (April 30, 2015). "Young Guru Is the Most Influential Man in Hip-Hop You've Never Heard Of". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  2. ^ Tingen, Paul (December 2009). "Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Young Guru". Sound on Sound. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  3. ^ Tardio, Andres (August 21, 2013). "Young Guru To Teach $20 Mixing Class Via Skillshare". HipHopDX. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  4. ^ Harris, Christopher (April 3, 2015). "Young Guru Joins 9th Wonder's Jamla Records". HipHopDX. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  5. ^ "Young Guru Collaborates with DM's EarSketch – Digital Media Program". October 5, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  6. ^ "Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton | Artist |". Retrieved August 23, 2023.

External links[edit]