Rick Rubin Talks Russell Simmons Being Surprised He Was White & His Return To Producing Hip Hop


(AllHipHop News) Very few producers can claim to have the level impact on Hip Hop culture and music in general as Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin. Along with Russell Simmons, Rubin helped push rap music onto the international stage with early records by LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., and The Beastie Boys.

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Before Rubin became a recording industry icon he was the rare white guy immersed in a culture of black artists, fans, and executives. During an interview with Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg and DJ Whoo Kid on Shade 45, Rubin talks about some of his associates not realizing he was white at first.

“Both LL and Russell couldn’t believe I was white when I met them,” revealed Rubin. “I told [Russell] I made this record ‘It’s Yours’ [by T La Rock & Jazzy Jay],  and he was like, ‘You made that. This is the blackest record I ever heard in my life’, and this was at a time when again there was nobody white at that time in this world.”

The legendary producer also speaks on his decision to return to producing rap after a 10 year hiatus. This year he executive produced Kanye West’s Yeezus and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. His work on MMLP2 was his first time producing a Hip Hop track since Jay Z’s “99 Problems” off The Black Album.

“I was always a fan of Em, and I thought if the opportunity to do something with Em would come up I would want to do it,” said Rubin. “He was just someone that I always admired and always felt he was particularly unique and different than every other emcee. I felt it would be fun to mess around and try stuff with him.”

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Listen to the interview below.