Personal tragedies which have befallen five Mpumalanga men prompted them to take a 319km journey to .
But while the man who has been with the genre’s king since his The Dynasty album almost 12 years ago, is here to get a taste of the local hip hop scene, he is primarily here to launch his own Scholarship Fund at the School of Audio Engineering (SAE Institute).
The institute, the only one on the continent, but one of 54 campuses in 26 countries (including Australia, Germany, UK, Spain, Holland and Turkey), is home to students in sound production, digital film production and 3D animation.
The Institute’s Trenton Birch said Keaton, 38, would be hosting two workshops during his stay.
The first will be at the Institute’s campus next Monday, and the second (in conjunction with Heal the Hood, which organises break dancing events) in Mitchell’s Plain the following day.
Birch said: “He will be going to Mitchell’s Plain too because we all believe that there is a real and rich history of hip hop there. Also, we are excited to have someone of his calibre to expose to our students.”
He added that “many top people” had walked in “with the wrong attitude and bravado”, but that Keaton had expressed a lot of interest in imparting his know-how.
More than 180 people, made up of students and other up-and-coming producers will spend time with Keaton over the two days, with a few students being short-listed and screened, before he is to make his pick for one to receive tuition worth R60,000 to study at the Institute in Cape Town.
Keaton’s Scholarship Fund would be an annual event- and the Institute said a 5-year plan was “being ironed out”.
Birch added: “A lot of people think it’s a glamorous profession, but then when they get into it, they drop out because they realise it’s not for them.
“So we have a screening process to find the really passionate people to short-list. Keaton will be involved in picking the one.”
Before it all, however, Keaton, who is also Jay- Z’s official tour DJ and sound engineer, will hit the decks of Long Street’s Zula Bar, alongside local DJs Ready D and DJ Azuhl.
A month ago Young Guru revealed that the 42-year-old Jay-Z was well into his 12th studio album (but work stalled after the birth of first baby Blue Ivy, with pop queen Beyoncé), and suggest Watch The Throne — the collaborative album with Kanye West, would have a sequel.