BBC 1’s Zane Lowe managed to speak with renowned, yet reclusive, Def Jam founder, producer, among other things, Rick Rubin, for a hour long interview. Topics included, but weren’t limited to his work with Russell Simmons, working with the likes of The Beastie Boys, Kanye West, and Eminem, and more.
Rubin’s wisdom comes from over three decades of working with artists from all genres of music. As always, his presence is almost celestial at times while discussing the intricacies of creating resounding projects, but there were also some great anecdotes to balance out the quirkier moments.
“It didn’t really go wrong,” Rubin said of he and Simmons’ time as business partners. “You don’t really know how to handle the pressures of this big thing [managing Def Jam] and we really didn’t have any structure in the way things worked, so we were often played against each by other people. And it was just frustrating.”
Rubin cited age — he was 21 and Simmons was 26 — as a reason things went awry, and explained that he parted ways with Def Jam to salvage their friendship.
Hear Rick Rubin discuss his time at Def Jam and more in the footage below.