Rick Rubin Discusses Leaving Def Jam, Kanye West and More


Photo from BBC 1

In a recent hour long interview with BBC 1’s Zane Lowe, legendary producer Rick Rubin spoke about, among many things, Kanye West, Eminem and leaving Def Jam Records.

In the past year, Zane Lowe has hosted memorable interviews with Kanye West and Eminem, so what better than speaking with the genius who played a major role in West’s and Eminem’s latest records. In the piece producer Rick Rubin touched on a number of issues, even the logo design of his former Def Jam Records.

One of the first subjects touched on by Rubin is his relationship and recent work with Kanye West on his Yeezus album, which released a year ago. Rubin had nothing but great things to say about Kanye and the project. Rubin described how West came to him to help him complete the record. “There were loads of great ideas. And we listened to about three hours of music” and West told Rubin it was coming out in about five week, when Rubin thought the album was months away from completion. Rubin subsequently helped West complete the album in a few weeks and described Kanye as “the most consistently great person in music today.”

After discussing Eminem and his writing process, constantly writing lyrics and ideas in notebooks and only using about 1% of the material in finished works, Rubin spoke about his departure from Def Jam. “It didn’t really go wrong,” said Rubin of his and Russell Simmons’ past relationship as business partners. “You don’t really know how to handle the pressures of this big thing (running Def Jam Records) and we really didn’t have any structure in the way things worked, so we were often played against each by other people.” Rubin described the experience as frustrating and cited his age (21) as a reason the partnership ended.

See the full interview below.


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