#1881 – Rick Rubin (Free Preview) | The Joe Rogan Experience

Key Takeaways

  • Having no experience can be an advantage
    • Rick Rubin was able to effectively produce hip-hop records because he didn’t have experience with the traditional framework of production
    • A fresh mind isn’t polluted by the bureaucracy of industry
  • Sometimes, you just have to present your skills and ask for the opportunities you want—you never know what can happen
    • “Unintentional surprises” – Rick asked his favorite hip-hop group if he could help them produce a record. They said no (due to contract issues), but they did introduce him to the group he ended up producing his first record.
  • Definition of an artist: someone who sees the world differently than everyone else
    • The artists you don’t understand at first, generally are the ones that you dedicate your long-term fandom to
  • When music is good, it makes you laugh—even if it’s not funny
    • “If you’re used to hearing normal tempo Rock & Roll, and then you hear The Ramones, I just laughed because it seemed like a joke…but eventually, it became my favorite thing” – Rick Rubin
  • Want more? Stay tuned next week for the Full Notes!

Intro

  • Rick Rubin (@RickRubin) is one of the most iconic music producers of all time, contributing to the works of Beastie Boys, Metallica, Eminem, Adele, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath, Jay-Z, and many more.
  • In this episode of the JRE, Rick Rubin explains how he turned his passion into his job and ends the debate about what good art is.
  • Stay tuned next week for the full notes! (PS: you’ll need Podcast Notes Premium, so sign up today and get instant access when they are released!)
  • See more Podcast Notes featuring Rick Rubin
  • Host: Joe Rogan (@joerogan)

Rick Rubin’s New Book on Being Creative

  • Check out Rick Rubin’s upcoming book: The Creative Act: A Way of Being
    • Why artists need to trust themselves, you can’t second-guess your own taste
    • “We’re not smart enough to know what someone else is going to like. It’s a bad way to play the game of art.” – Rick Rubin

Let Your Passion Become Your Job

  • Rick’s life is a continuous flow of “unintentional surprises”
    • Always thought he would have to have a job to support his passions. Luckily, his passions turned into his job.

How Hip-Hop Changed Rick Rubin’s Life

  • Noticed that live hip-hop music (which was very niche at the time) sounded completely different than the recordings
    • Live = raw and harder (DJ, breakbeats)
    • Recorded = sounded like R&B with somebody rapping on it (band)
    • Since hip-hop was so new, record labels were trying to produce hip-hop records like any other genre and it didn’t sound right
  • Having no experience can be an advantage
  • Simply asking for an opportunity and offering your skills can lead you to places you’d never imagine
    • The Treacherous Three was Rick’s favorite early hip-hop group
    • Rick approached them and said “I’m your biggest fan and your new album doesn’t sound like what’s good about you guys. Let’s make something that is as good as you guys are.”
    • They had to turn Rick down (due to record label contracts) but they introduced him to Special K and T La Rock who he produced his first record with
  • Early hip-hop was referred to as “this other thing, not music”
    • The transition to rapping from signing and to beats from the band was not understandable for most people (even prominent record labels)
    • RUN DMC – Walk This Way ft. Aerosmith was a song that Rick produced to help bridge the gap – “in the original Aerosmith song, the phrasing of the verses were essentially already a rap record” – Rick Rubin

The Debate to End All Debates: What is Good Art/Music?

  • “What makes [art] great is personal, with all its imperfections, all of its quirkiness, that’s what makes it great” – Rick Rubin
    • Definition of an artist: someone who sees the world differently than everyone else
    • The artists you don’t understand at first, generally are the ones that you dedicate your long-term fandom to
  • When music is good, it makes you laugh—even if it’s not funny
    • “If you’re used to hearing normal tempo Rock & Roll, and then you hear The Ramones, I just laughed because it seemed like a joke…but eventually, it became my favorite thing” – Rick Rubin

End of Free Preview

  • We are only one-third of the way through this epic conversation with the music mastermind that is Rick Rubin. Want the full notes? Here’s what you gotta do:
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    • And that’s it! See you then 😎
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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