For nearly 4 decades, Rick Rubin has contributed to the generation of some of music’s most noteworthy records. While many producers stick to a specific sound, Rubin has crossed music boundaries, creating masterpieces of sound for virtually every genre imaginable. From Public Enemy and The Dixie Chicks, all the way to Kanye West and Lady Gaga, it’s impossible to deny Rick Rubin’s inherently refined taste across the gamut. Perhaps the most critical component of his success as a producer is his ability to combine dark and light, and diabolical and divine.
Yet another valuable product of his legacy, Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings–how powerful is that?
It’s safe to say that without the help of Rubin back in the ’80s, Hip-Hop as we know it today would sound incredibly different. Working alongside the legends that planted the seeds and laid the foundation of the rap game, Rubin produced some of the most important songs in the history of Hip Hop, including: LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat,” Run-D.M.C.’s “King of Rock,” and The Beastie Boys’ “Girls”
Beyond Hip-Hop, Rubin played a critical role in developing projects that shaped generations, from the alternative rock wave characteristic of the ’90s like Queens’ “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions,” and major pop/rock, and rap hits in the early ‘2000s.
The full list of his production discography is extensive but incredibly important to reference, check it out here.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise the music icon holds eight Grammys and a plethora of other awards for producer of the year.
The Rick Rubin most people know is typically reflective of the image he portrays—serious, enigmatic, quizzical even. It’s this image that embodies his brilliance as both a producer and a legend in the industry. His passion for the raw and pure, coupled with his spiritual dexterity, manifests into all of his projects, the embodiment of his ultimate gift.
Cheers, to the scientist who crafted the soundtrack to our lives, to all of the future tracks you will concoct, and to your mysteriously powerful energy. Happy Birthday, Mr. Rubin.