rederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is a American Record Producer and the co-founder of Def Jam Records and American Recordings.

By Talia Wright
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It can be argued that Rick Rubin is one of the most important producers in the last two decades. He has made tremendous leaps to popularize hip hop and metal all while he was still in college, finishing up his senior year.

Born Fredrick Jay “Rick” Rubin, he was born in Long Beach, New York. When Rubin was a senior at New York University, he founded Def Jam Records. The first record he produced was T La Rock’s and Jazzy Jay’s 1984 single “It’s Yours,” on Def Records when it was just an independent label. Rubin was later introduced to Russel Simmons who collaborated with him on the label to get it off the ground. After that, the label released their first single, “I need a beat” by LL Cool J.  By the next year, Rubin had already worked with several hiphop artists, including Run-D.M.C and the Beastie Boys, and had switched genres completely to work on Reign in Blood by Slayer. In 1991 Rubin dropped “Def” from the label and created a new record company, American Records. Under this new label he produced Johnny Cash’s comeback album, American Recordings. In 2007 Rubin became the co-head of Columbia Records and went on to win a Grammy for Producer of the Year for his work with Dixie Chick, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2 and more. Rubin left Columbia in 2012 and revived American Records’ imprint with Republic Records.

One of his biggest successes was his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rubin produced six studio albums which launched 12 number one singles on Billboard’s Alternative Song charts. “I don’t really have any control over what’s going to happen with a recording,” Rubin told Rolling Stone. “It’s more just experimentation and waiting for that moment when your breath gets taken away. It’s an exciting, exhilarating thing when it happens. But it’s not anything to master. You just have to recognize it when it happens and protect it evaporating.”

Check out “I Need a Beat” below!

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