Rick Rubin’s accolades need no introduction, from masterminding Jay Z’s 99 Problems to fusing the genres of Hip Hop and Rock, he’s entitled to his archetypal God-like semblance.
We’ve rounded up our top 5 Rick Rubin moments; spanning 30 years of music and cultural turning points and just general boss-man moments.
- When he inspired Jay Z to write lyrics down for a record (99 Problems – watch here):
Rick explained to Rolling Stone Magazine; “I’d played him the beat at night, and the next day he came in with a page of lyrics. He said it was the first time he had ever physically wrote anything down before for any record. He was just very inspired by that beat, and it was a miraculous thing to behold”.
2. When he created the big bang of genres – fusing Run DMC with Aerosmith on the ‘Walk This Way’ record.
Rick Rubin had pitched Aerosmith the idea as “a great crossover opportunity for both groups” which certainly came to fruition; for RUN DMC the single was he first rap single on Billboard’s Top 10 (peaking at #4) and subsequently became the first rap act on Rolling Stone’s cover; for Aerosmith, it arguably saved their career.
3. When he taught us less is more – to strip things back. One example is when worked as the executive producer of Kanye West’s Yeezus, where he reduced several complicated hours of material into a simpler 10-track album.
4. How he’s a mindfulness advocate
Telling Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014 “There’s a great deal of bullshit that people think about when they make music, things that don’t matter.” “Transcendental Meditation kind of wipes that away, and helps you focus on the real job at hand, as opposed to thinking about what the management wants, or what the record company’s saying, or what somebody at a radio station might think.”
5. When he interviewed Kendrick Lamar.
Only someone like Rick Rubin, with the capacity for musical empathy and intelligence could do an interview with such depth and significance. Inspiring and almost soothing to watch, he really did Kendrick justice. Read via GQ here.