Rick Rubin Reflects On His Contributions To 10 Iconic Hip-Hop Albums


The Geto Boys—The Geto Boys (1990) 

“I think I basically re-mixed the whole album and re-recorded some of their older songs for the album, and changed their name to The Geto Boys, because it was spelled differently before that. We kind of played to the strengths of what the group had, and made their best possible major label debut after they’d put out some indie records.

[Ed. note: The Geto Boys was initially supposed to be released via a partnership between Rubin's Def American Recordings and Geffen Records, but due to the album's overly explicit and violent lyrics, Geffen terminated the distribution deal before the album's release. David Geffen told The New York Times: "I just couldn't put out a record about sex with dead bodies and cutting off women's breasts. I begged Rick not to put out the Geto Boys. In the end, I lost. He left and went to Warner Brothers."]

“I support artists in saying what they want to say, regardless of whether I agree with it or not. It’s purely a freedom of speech issue, and I thought they were great artists making great music, with a point of view that’s theirs, and no one else was making music like that at the time. There’s tremendous validity in that, and I supported them in that. What I liked about their music was that it wasn’t toned down. I was fighting for what was strong about the music, and part of what was strong about it was how radical it was, lyrically.”

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Hypestyles

    Respect as always to Mr. Rubin. But at this point in his career, I’d like to see him reach back to the Classic School of hip-hop (80s – early 90s) and work with some performers on comeback albums, same as he’s done for rock and country acts. Why not?

    • Crumb

      Hip Hop is a myth. This is renaissance rap, and only the Beastie Boys would see it for what it is, and they don’t need a helping hand. Rubin can’t write the raps/do the work for the artists. Crumbs.

  • 8====D~~~~(.)(.) = babies

    would like to see rick rubin work with yela wolf

  • Eisenhower303

    Actually he is a lazy has been, who does nothing more than listen to people’s music and voice his opinion. I doubt he can play any instrument, and he sure as heck can’t mix an album (for example, Metallica’s Death Magnetic).

  • Bob

    @eisenhower,the same lazy has been has produced a hella alot of works which have changed the music scene as we know it.Screw off and pay your respects.