- Rick Rubin - 2009
Whether you recognize him as a pioneer of production, a musical genius or simply the founder of Def Jam Records, it’s safe to say Rick Rubin knows a few things about music. In last month’s issue of Vulture, Rubin expressed his deep rooted passion and admiration for DJs. He presses the importance of the DJ in hip-hop culture and even the symbolism they have in his company’s name.
“The idea of the DJ as a musician, that wasn’t something we had really seen before. The one-man band who manipulated records to make new music, either combining sounds or making new sounds, or using a tiny little part of a song over and over and over again, to create a whole new song—it was a very exciting thing to hear. I just remember really liking it and thinking it was really important.”
Rubin goes on to explain the meaning behind the name Def Jam Records:
“Even the name Def Jam—the reason the D and the J are so big in the logo was that I felt that the DJ was a very important aspect of this music. The inception of Def Jam was really more to me about bringing the DJ to the forefront and the fact that it’s the DJ and the MC together that makes hip-hop. It’s not just a guy rapping over an R&B track. That’s not hip-hop culture.”
Once dubbed a “producer God“, Rubin has always grasped the value of understanding the fundamentals that help create euphoric sounds for the ears to hear and the body to feel.
You can read the rest of the interview here.