Young Guru, longtime engineer for Jay-Z and many other artists, was interviewed by HipHopDX about a variety of topics. The interview goes into everything from the history of East Coast vs. West Coast rap:
We’ve seen N.W.A come in and explain what gang life was. We’ve seen Public Enemy take that same expression but come from a Black Panther standpoint. We’ve seen Souls of Mischief come in and explain what West Coast life was outside of gang life and having to navigate that, and we’ve seen De La Soul come in from the East Coast give us what suburban black life is about. That’s the real thing. As long as our expression is true and we stay true to who you are, then there will be content. In order for our genre to sustain itself and be respected, we gotta have serious content. I don’t mean serious like we can’t have fun. I mean it needs to have a point.
To the state of music and sound engineering today:
What I have in my laptop probably couldn’t fit in this room if I were to take each of those things and make a physical representation of what it took to have that in the studio. Say you have a bunch of plugins in your laptop, in a real studio, you would only have one if you pay the $5,000 for this compressor that really affects one vocal. Now, you pay $3,000 for a plugin, and you can have many of them as the processing power of your computer can hold. It’s an incredible idea to be able to have all that power in a laptop. It gives the complete power to the audience. But, it also allows everybody to make music. It allows everybody to have a blog and allows everybody to think they’re a cameraman.
He also talks about his new headphone line with AIAIAI, deejaying then vs. now, and other topics.
There's simply too much to write it out here, so check out the interview at HipHopDX. It's long but it's very worth the read. You'll learn a great deal from a man who's been around the scene since it started and who definitely knows what he's talking about.