Rubin in September 2006
|Birth name||Frederick Jay Rubin|
|Also known as||DJ Double R|
March 10, 1963 |
Lido Beach, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, hip hop, heavy metal, country, pop, punk rock, hard rock, blues, world music, post-industrial|
|Instruments||electric guitar, piano, sampler|
|Labels||Def Jam, American, Columbia, Warner Bros., Epic|
|Associated acts||Tom Petty, Jazzy Jay, Run-D.M.C., Slayer, Beastie Boys, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Jay-Z, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Linkin Park, Josh Groban, Danzig, The Cult, Slipknot, System of a Down, k.d. lang, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Adele|
Frederick Jay "Rick" Rubin (born March 10, 1963) is an American record producer and the co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, Rubin is the founder of Def Jam Records and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run–D.M.C., Rubin helped popularize hip hop music.
Rubin has worked with artists as varied as Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run–D.M.C., Tom Petty, Black Sabbath, Trouble, Slipknot, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Mars Volta, Jay-Z, Danzig, Dixie Chicks, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Linkin Park, The Cult, Neil Diamond, Mick Jagger, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Melanie C, Audioslave, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, ZZ Top, Lana Del Rey, Adele and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In the 1990s and 2000s, he produced the "American Recordings" albums with Johnny Cash. MTV called him "the most important producer of the last 20 years." In 2007, Rubin was listed among Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Life and career 
Rubin was born in Long Beach, New York and grew up in Lido Beach, New York, in a Jewish family. His father was a shoe wholesaler and his mother a housewife. While a student at Long Beach High School he befriended the school's audiovisual department director Steve Freeman who gave him a few lessons in guitar playing and songwriting and helped him create a punk band called The Pricks. Their biggest claim to fame was being thrown off the stage at CBGB after two songs for brawling with the heckling audience. These hecklers were friends of the band instructed to instigate a confrontation so as to get the show shut down and create a buzz. Although he had no authority in New York City, Rubin's father traveled all the way from Nassau County, New York to Manhattan wearing his Lido Beach auxiliary police uniform as he attempted to "shut down" the show.
Def Jam years 
At school, Rubin was unpopular among the other musicians due to his complete lack of musical ability beyond a few rudimentary guitar chords. During his senior year Rubin founded Def Jam Records using the school's four track recorder. He moved on to New York University, where he studied philosophy and played guitar in the art-punk band Hose, influenced by San Francisco's Flipper. In 1982, Hose became Def Jam release #1, a 45 rpm 7" vinyl single in a brown paper bag, and no label. The band played in and around the NYC punk scene, toured the Midwest and California, and played with seminal hardcore bands like the Meat Puppets, Hüsker Dü, the Circle Jerks and the Butthole Surfers. The band broke up in 1986 as Rubin's passion moved towards the NYC Hip Hop scene.
Having befriended Zulu Nation's DJ Jazzy Jay, Rubin began to learn about hip hop production. By 1983, the two men produced "It's Yours" for rapper T La Rock, and released it on their independent label, Def Jam Records. Producer Arthur Baker helped to distribute the record worldwide on Baker's Streetwise Records in 1984. Jazzy Jay introduced Rubin to concert promoter/artist manager Russell Simmons in a club, and Rubin explained he needed help getting Def Jam off the ground. Simmons and Rubin edged out Jazzy Jay and the official Def Jam record label was founded while Rubin was attending New York University in 1984. Their first record released was LL Cool J's "I Need a Beat". Rubin went on to find more hip-hop acts outside The Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem including rappers from Queens, Staten Island and Long Island, which eventually led to Def Jam's signing of Public Enemy. Rubin was instrumental in pointing the members of the Beastie Boys away from their punk roots and into rap, resulting in the exit of Kate Schellenbach from the group. "Rock Hard"/"Party's Gettin' Rough"/"Beastie Groove" EP by the Beastie Boys came out on the success of Rubin's production work with breakthrough act Run–D.M.C. His productions were characterized by occasionally fusing rap with heavy rock. Rubin tapped Adam Dubin and Ric Menello to co-direct the music videos for the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and "No Sleep till Brooklyn", effectively launching the band's mainstream hip hop careers.
It was the idea of Rick Rubin's friend Sue Cummings, an editor at Spin magazine, to have Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith collaborate on a cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way". This 1986 production is often credited with both introducing rap-hard rock to mainstream ears and revitalizing Aerosmith. In 1986, he worked with Aerosmith again on demos for their forthcoming album, but their collaboration ended early and resulted in only rough studio jams. In 1987 The Cult released their pivotal third album Electric. Produced by Rubin, the album remains one of The Cult's trademark and classic works. Rubin would later work with The Cult again for the single "The Witch". Rubin is credited as Music Supervisor in the movie Less Than Zero and is the producer of its soundtrack. Rubin portrayed a character based upon himself in the 1985 hip-hop motion picture Krush Groove, which was inspired by the early days of Russell Simmons' career as a music producer. He then directed and co-wrote (with Ric Menello) a second Run-D.M.C. film, Tougher Than Leather in 1988.
Def American years 
In 1988, Rubin and Def Jam went their separate ways. He relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he created Def American Records. In Los Angeles, he signed a number of heavy metal acts, including Slayer, Danzig, Masters of Reality, and Wolfsbane, as well as alternative rock group The Jesus and Mary Chain and stand up comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Rubin also produced though he retained a close association with rap, signing the Geto Boys and continuing to work with Public Enemy, LL Cool J and Run–D.M.C. among others.
American Recordings years 
Rubin originally had given his label the name "Def Jam". The word "def" in urban culture is slang for a song or musical composition that is well liked for its attractive rhythm and dance appeal. Nine years later, Rubin found that the word "def" had been accepted into the standardized dictionary; in 1993, Rubin held an actual funeral, complete with a casket and a grave, for the word "def". Def American became American Recordings. In regard to this he stated: "When advertisers and the fashion world co-opted the image of hippies, a group of the original hippies in San Francisco literally buried the image of the hippie. When 'def' went from street lingo to mainstream, it defeated its purpose."
The first major project on the renamed label was Johnny Cash's American Recordings (1994), a record including six cover songs and new material written by others for Cash at Rubin's request. The album was a critical and commercial success, and helped revive Cash's career following a fallow period. The formula was repeated for five more Cash albums: Unchained, Solitary Man, The Man Comes Around (the last album released before Cash's death), A Hundred Highways, and Ain't No Grave. The Man Comes Around earned a 2003 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance ("Give My Love to Rose") and a nomination for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals ("Bridge Over Troubled Water" with Fiona Apple). Rubin introduced Cash to Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", and the resulting cover version of it on The Man Comes Around would become a defining song of Cash's later years. Rick Rubin also produced the Jay-Z track "99 Problems", and was featured in the song's music video.
Rubin produced a number of records with other older artists, which were released on labels other than American. These included Mick Jagger's 1993 Wandering Spirit album, Lords of Acid's 1994 Voodoo-U album, Tom Petty's 1994 Wildflowers, AC/DC's 1995 Ballbreaker, Donovan's 1996 Sutras, and Metallica's 2008 Death Magnetic. According to bassist Robert Trujillo, Rubin will be the producer for the next Metallica album. In 2005, Rick Rubin executive-produced Shakira's two-album project Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 and Oral Fixation Vol. 2. He was to appear on the Talib Kweli's album Eardrum, Clipse's album Til the Casket Drops and Lil Jon's album Crunk Rock.
Columbia years 
In May 2007, Rubin was named co-head of Columbia Records. Rubin co-produced Linkin Park's 2007 album, Minutes to Midnight, with Mike Shinoda. Rubin and Shinoda have since co-produced the band's 2010 album, A Thousand Suns, and their June 2012 release, Living Things.
In 2007, Rubin won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work with the Dixie Chicks, Michael Kranz, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Green Day, and Johnny Cash released in 2006. Rubin won the award again in 2009, for production work for Metallica, Neil Diamond, Ours, Jakob Dylan and Weezer in 2008.
Post Columbia 
Rubin left Columbia in 2012, and revived the American Recordings imprint through a deal with Republic Records. The first albums released under this new deal are ZZ Top's La Futura and The Avett Brothers' The Carpenter.
Production style 
Rubin's biggest trademark as a producer has been a "stripped-down" sound, which involves eliminating production elements such as string sections, backup vocals, and reverb, and instead having naked vocals and bare instrumentation. However, by the 2000s, Rubin's style had been known to include such elements, as noted in the Washington Post: "As the track reaches a crescendo and [Neil] Diamond's portentous baritone soars over a swelling string arrangement, Rubin leans back, as though floored by the emotional power of the song." Producer Dr. Dre once stated that Rick was, "hands down, the dopest producer ever that anyone would ever want to be, ever."
On the subject of his production methods, Dan Charnas, a music journalist who worked as vice president of A&R and marketing at Rubin's American Recordings label in the 1990s, said, "He's fantastic with sound and arrangements, and he's tremendous with artists. They love him. He shows them how to make it better, and he gets more honest and exciting performances out of people than anyone." Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks has praised his production methods, saying, "He has the ability and the patience to let music be discovered, not manufactured. Come to think of it, maybe he is a guru."
Not all artists who have worked with Rubin have enjoyed his production style: Although he and his band mates had some positive things to say about Rubin, Slipknot's lead singer Corey Taylor said that he only met Rubin four times during the entire recording process of Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) and that Rubin barely showed up to the studio: "...we were being charged horrendous amounts of money. And for me, if you're going to produce something, you're fucking there. I don't care who you are.".
He has also been critisized by listeners by contributing largely to the loudness wars. A number of albums commonly stated as having a lack of dynamic range, brickwalling, clipping and over-loudness are produced by Rubin; while others simply blame Rubin's choice of mixer and masterer and decide Rubin's only guilt was for laziness and lack of oversight over the final product.
One of the trademarks of Rubin's production is that he encourages his artists to genre-bend and cover songs that wouldn't normally be expected from them: rap stars Run-D.M.C. would cover hard rock band Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", country music star Johnny Cash would cover "Hurt" by industrial band Nine Inch Nails and "Personal Jesus" by synthpop band Depeche Mode, and Southern rock band ZZ Top would cover "25 Lighters" by DJ DMD. These covers would often receive acclaim both critically and commercially.
List of albums produced 
|1988||Tougher Than Leather||Vic Ferrante||actor, director, writer|
|1990||Men Don't Leave||Craig|
|2004||Fade to Black||Himself|
|2006||Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing||Himself|
|2007||Runnin' Down a Dream||Himself|
- What's Up With That Bearded Guy From The '99 Problems' Video? – MTV.com
- Hirschberg, Lynn. "The Music Man", The New York Times Magazine, 2 September 2007.
- Rude Boys, Amos Barshad, New York magazine 2011 5, retr 2012 Oct
- Kaufman, Gil (2013-03-04). "Beastie Boys Video Director Ric Menello Dead At 60". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Hogan, Marc (2013-03-05). "Ric Menello, Beastie Boys Video Director, Dies at 60". Spin Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Hirchberg, Lynn. The Music Man. The New York Times Magazine, September 2, 2007.
- "Metallica To Re-Team With Producer Rick Rubin For Next Album, Says Bassist". Blabbermouth.net. April 24, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
- "Talib Kweli's New Single: 'Listen'". 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Pitchfork: Clipse/Rick Rubin Collaboration Actually Happening
- "Lil Jon Merging Crunk And Rock On Next Album". Billboard. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "Reunited Black Sabbath to headline". NME. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- TYRANGIEL, Josh (2007-02-08). "Rick Rubin: Hit Man". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- Jem Aswad (22 August 2012). "Exclusive: Rick Rubin Brings American Recordings to Universal Republic". Billboard.biz. Billboard. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Graham Nash Says CSN Sessions With Rick Rubin Were Contentious". RollingStone.com. Rolling Stone. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- The 'Song Doctor' Is In – Washington Post
- "The Time 100". Time. 2007-05-03.
- SLIPKNOT Members On Working With Producer RICK RUBIN - Sep. 21, 2008