2013 marked a return to hip-hop for producer Rick Rubin. Rubin executive producing both Kanye West’s Yeezus LP and Eminem’s eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, was Rubin’s first time producing hip-hop again since Jay Z’s “99 Problems.” Rubin’s return to rap proved successful. The Detroit rapper’s LP hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Hip-Hop charts, and became the second-biggest debut for an album in 2013, after it sold 792,000 its first week. Yeezus was the No. 1 album in more than 30 countries.
Rubin phoned into Shade 45 to speak with Peter Rosenberg and DJ Whoo Kid about coming back to rap now that things are so different. Rubin goes back in time and remembers meeting Russell Simmons for the first time, who couldn’t believe he was a white guy.
“There was nobody white at that time in this world, so it was interesting,” Rubin told Rosenberg. The crew also crowned him with their first-ever lifetime achievement award for hip-hop. Listen to the interview below.