Rick Rubin Annotates His Biggest Hits on Genius
Rick Rubin annotates some of his most celebrated productions on Genius. The Def Jam mogul and superproducer shares his thoughts on songs by Kanye West, Jay Z, Johnny Cash, and many more.
Seven-time Grammy award winning producer and Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin has worked with more rap legends than possibly any other producer, and his credentials extend to rock, pop, heavy metal, and just about every other genre that has found a place in mainstream music. Rubin has now created an account on Genius and provided us with first-hand annotations and the stories behind some of his biggest hits.
He says he had organized a differently mastered version of "Only One," Kanye and Paul McCartney's Nori-dedicated single, that didn't reach 'Ye in time. Rick says his version is better. He also claims there are a wealth of alternate takes from the Yeezus sessions that are just as compelling as the album tracks.
On the first verse of Jay Z's "99 Problems": "Jay wrote the first verse in about twenty minutes, sitting in the back of the control room. He would just be kind of humming, and we’d keep looping the track, and maybe after thirty minutes he jumped up and was like 'We got it!' And he did it ten times, and every time he did it, it was different. Most of the words were the same, but the phrasing was different. He’d written and memorized the words and then was playing with different ways of doing it. It was incredible."
Rubin also shows love to some of his other favorite albums, including D'Angelo's Voodoo and Ghost's Supreme Clientele.