Friday, June 14, 2013
Rick Rubin Talks Working on Kanye West's "Yeezus" Album
Rick Rubin is a busy man.
Following his production work with Black Sabbath, Kanye West came calling in the last mintute for Rubin to add some finishing touches "Yeezus".
In the world of Hip Hop, Dre. Dre, Timbaand, D.J. Premiere, The Neptunes are some of names that come up when the greatest rap rap roducers on all time come up.
Yet, Rick Rubin's name should be near or on top of that list.
From producing L.L Cool J's first song "I Need a Beat" then prodding him to make "Going Back to Cali to producing the Beastie Boy's "Licence To Ill" and pushing Run DMC to make "Walk This Way" when they didn't understand Aerosmith's lyrics.
Rick Rubin's production is one of the main reasons we here Hip Hop on pop and R&B stations today.
His lengend grew even bigger, when he left Hip Hop in the 90's and on to produced classic albums for the Red Hot Chilli Pepers, The Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash and others, then returning to Hip-Hop ever so briefly in the 2000's to produce Jay-Z's now classic "99 Problems."
No wonder Kanye West wanted him to take a listen to the unfinished "Yeezus".
Ego and all, Ye is a student of music and even he knew that as good as he is as a Hall of Fame pitcher, sometimes you need a Hall of Fame closer to get you the the win.
Here are some excerpts wthat Rick Rubin had with the Wall Street Journal:
.....Kanye came over to play me what I assumed was going to be the finished album at three weeks before the last possible delivery date. We ended up listening to three hours of partially finished pieces. The raw material was very strong but hadn’t yet come into focus. Many of the vocals hadn’t been recorded yet, and many of those still didn’t have lyrics. From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done. I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.
....He wanted the music to take a stripped-down minimal direction. He was always examining what we could take out instead of put in. A good example would be the song that became “Bound.” When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&;B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition.
....We were working on a Sunday [the same day West attended a baby shower for girlfriend Kim Kardashian] and the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. He said, “Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.” In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto. A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.
Read more from Rick Rubin here
Jay-Z, Rick Rubin recording "99 Problems"
Rick Rubin meeting with the Dixie Chicks
L.L. Cool J - I Need A Beat (Produced by Rick Rubin)
Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on working with Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys Interview: The Perfect Beat
Rick Rubin on Producing Black Sabbath's New Album, '13'
Jay-Z - 99 Problems produced by RickRubin (Director's Cut)