It's a warm April night at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Nearly a hundred students have packed themselves into a bare-bones lecture hall for veteran engineer Young Guru's "Era Of The Engineer" lecture series. Presented by Grammy U, the series finds the three-time Grammy nominee discussing the importance of engineering in the music business and his work with the likes of Jay-Z, T.I. and the Diplomats.

"It's really about highlighting what the engineer does," he said of the series. "The engineers have not really been highlighted throughout the years, so for me, it's really a thing of making sure people understand the role of the engineer."

Before the presentation officially kicked off, XXL sat down with Guru to discuss his five favorite music engineers of all time. From jazz veterans to his hip-hop contemporaries, Guru breaks down who he thinks stand next to himself as the master of the boards. —Sean Ryon (@wallysean)