When legendary music producer Rick Rubin randomly popped up in the crowd at Hillary and Trump’s last Presidential Debate, it got us thinking. Rubin has an almost-mythical aura surrounding him, and he’s been responsible for some of the best musical moments in recent history. Let’s take a minute to appreciate this bearded wonder.
Here are the Top 10 reasons we love Rick Rubin:
1. That beard. Imagine all the wisdom and sage advice that man must have after growing a beard that big. It’s a thing of beauty.
2.Rick Rubin got alongside Johnny Cash in the singer’s twilight years, and encouraged him to sing some different material. It resulted in Cash’s iconic cover of the Nine Inch Nails song ‘Hurt’.
3. He looks effortlessly cool lying on a couch with his eyes closed in this Samsung commercial with Jay Z .
4. He was responsible for forcing Columbia Records to go green and get rid of plastic packaging on the CDs it put out. That’s power.
5. Rubin is obsessed with magic, telling the New York Times in 2007, “From the time I was 9 years old, I loved magic…I was an only child, and I think that had a big impact on me. I always had grown-up friends even though I was a little kid. I would take the train from Lido Beach into Manhattan and I’d hang out in magic shops. When I was 14, I had magician friends who were 60. I learned a lot from them — I still think about magic all the time. I always think about how things work, the mechanics of a situation — that’s the nature of being a magician.”
6. He started Def Jam records from his NYU dorm room in 1984 with $5000 he borrowed from his parents.
7. Rick Rubin is responsible for The Beastie Boys - producing their debut album ‘Licensed To Ill’ from that same dorm room, which became the first rap album to go #1 on the Billboard chart. ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ is still an undeniable tune.
8. He’s known for being a key player in the widely publicised ‘loudness war’, dramatically turning up and sometimes distorting mixes to give artists an extra edge. You can hear him pushing the limits in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Californication’, Metallica’s ‘Death Magnetic’, and Black Sabbath’s album ‘13’.
9. Rubin is responsible for Run-D.M.C.’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’, and he’s known for encouraging artists to mix things up and work outside of their usual genres.
10. He takes the time to really listen to the artists he works with, and says he particularly likes having walking meetings on the beach, explaining to Forbes, “It’s a remarkably different meeting… The walking meetings tend to be much, much more productive than meetings sitting in an office.”
He adds, “The more time you spend being quiet and looking in, your intuition grows and you trust it more. Messages come if you’re looking for them. Through meditation I developed the skill to know what to ask for. It’s like a knowing.”
Rick Rubin, we salute you.