jre 1881

Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin is a legendary music producer and entrepreneur, born on March 10, 1963, in Long Beach, New York. With a career spanning several decades, he has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Rubin co-founded Def Jam Recordings in the 1980s, launching hip-hop legends like Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys to stardom. His diverse production work has earned him acclaim across genres, working with artists like Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Adele. Rubin is known for his minimalist approach, emphasizing raw talent and authenticity in his productions. His influence extends beyond music production, as he's also a co-founder of American Recordings and has collaborated with countless artists, helping them achieve both commercial success and critical acclaim. His contribution to the world of music is immeasurable, making him an iconic figure in the industry.

Books Mentioned on The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1881 – Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin’s Impact on Music: Bridging Hip-Hop and Rock with “Walk This Way”

The iconic collaboration between Run DMC and Aerosmith on the track “Walk This Way” is a pivotal moment in music history, marking a significant bridge between hip-hop and rock genres. Rick Rubin, a key figure behind this fusion, recalls the early days of his career at Def Jam and the skepticism he faced from traditional music industry professionals. Despite their success, these industry insiders struggled to recognize the music produced by Rubin and his contemporaries as legitimate. This disbelief stemmed from the unconventional nature of hip-hop at the time, which heavily relied on drum machines and lacked the melodic structures familiar to mainstream music.

Demonstrating Hip-Hop as Music Through Familiarity

Rubin’s strategy to challenge this perception involved demonstrating that hip-hop was indeed music, and more so, it was something familiar to the audience. He chose Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” for this purpose due to its phrasing and structure, which resembled rap. Interestingly, while the hip-hop community was familiar with the beat from Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic,” they were unaware of the band or the song itself. Rubin’s intention was to bridge this gap of familiarity and bring to light the connections between the genres.

The Polarizing Effect of “Walk This Way”

When “Walk This Way” was released, it generated mixed reactions. Many were perplexed by the blend of rock and hip-hop, questioning the decision to pair Run DMC with Aerosmith. Despite initial skepticism and outright rejection from some quarters, the song rapidly gained popularity, becoming highly requested on radio stations, including rock stations that traditionally would not play hip-hop. This initial division among listeners is a testament to the song’s groundbreaking nature, challenging and expanding the boundaries of music genres.

Impact on Aerosmith and Run DMC

Beyond being a musical experiment, “Walk This Way” had significant impacts on the careers of both Aerosmith and Run DMC. For Aerosmith, the collaboration marked a resurgence in their popularity. Prior to the song, the band had experienced a decline, shifting from sold-out stadium shows to playing in smaller club venues. The success of “Walk This Way” not only re-established Aerosmith in the mainstream music scene but also introduced hip-hop to a wider, more diverse audience.

In conclusion, Rick Rubin’s visionary approach with “Walk This Way” played a crucial role in reshaping the musical landscape. It challenged existing perceptions, brought together disparate musical worlds, and paved the way for future collaborations across genres. This song stands as a symbol of innovation and the power of music to transcend traditional boundaries.

Understanding the Creative Process of Eminem, Jay-Z, and Anthony Kiedis

In an insightful episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, music producer Rick Rubin delves into the unique creative processes of three iconic musicians: Eminem, Jay-Z, and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This discussion sheds light on the varied approaches these artists take to songwriting and performance, offering a rare glimpse into their artistic methodologies.

Eminem’s Methodical Writing

Eminem, known for his complex lyrics and fast-paced rapping style, adopts a methodical approach to writing. Rubin notes that Eminem is “always writing in a book,” constantly engaged in the process of writing and finding new ways to express himself. Interestingly, much of what Eminem writes is never used, underscoring his dedication to the craft and the importance of regular practice in honing his skills.

Jay-Z’s Spontaneous Genius

In stark contrast to Eminem, Jay-Z’s approach is marked by spontaneity and an incredible memory. Rubin recalls recording sessions where Jay-Z would listen to a beat, internalize it, and then deliver a complex verse without writing anything down. This ability to create intricate lyrics on the spot, with variations in phrasing and rhythm, highlights Jay-Z’s innate talent and his unique way of engaging with music.

Anthony Kiedis’s Subconscious Exploration

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers takes a different route altogether. Rubin describes Kiedis’s process as more subconscious and exploratory. Kiedis would often sing along to music with made-up, nonsensical words, allowing the melody to guide him. This approach often leads to a puzzle-like process of fitting in lyrics, where the meaning of a song might not be apparent immediately, sometimes revealing itself only after years, akin to interpreting a dream.

The Diversity of Creative Expression

These anecdotes from Rick Rubin highlight the diverse methods artists use in their creative processes. Whether it’s Eminem’s disciplined writing, Jay-Z’s spontaneous creation, or Anthony Kiedis’s exploratory singing, each approach is valid and effective in its own right. This diversity not only underscores the uniqueness of each artist but also serves as an inspiration for others in the realm of creative expression.

Understanding the different ways these renowned artists approach their craft offers valuable insights for aspiring musicians and fans alike. It shows that there is no singular path to creating art, and the process is as individual as the artist themselves. Rubin’s observations provide a fascinating look into the minds of these musical geniuses, revealing the dedication, talent, and intuition that drive their creative endeavors.