As it was previously reported, with just a couple of weeks before Yeezus was set to drop, Kanye West brought in legendary producer Rick Rubin to help lay down additional tracks for the album. It was also noted, with Ye bringing in the producer for some last minute changes, Rubin will be listed as executive producer of the album. Now, Rick Rubin speaks on the contributions he made to the Yeezus album.
- Previous: Kanye West Still Making Last Minute Changes To “Yeezus,” Rick Rubin To Executive Produce The Album
During a recent interview with the WSJ [The Inside Story of Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’], Rick Rubin explains why he was brought in to work on Yeezus, and reveals details of his role as executive producer of the album, and much more.
Rubin explains why and exactly when Kanye West brought him to work on Yeezus:
Kanye came over to play me what I assumed was going to be the finished album at three weeks before the last possible delivery date. We ended up listening to three hours of partially finished pieces. The raw material was very strong but hadn’t yet come into focus. Many of the vocals hadn’t been recorded yet, and many of those still didn’t have lyrics. From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done. I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.
He spoke on helping Ye achieve the sound he was looking for:
He wanted the music to take a stripped-down minimal direction. He was always examining what we could take out instead of put in. A good example would be the song that became “Bound.” When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition.
The producer speaks on a studio session when Ye finished recording his vocals:
We were working on a Sunday [the same day West attended a baby shower for girlfriend Kim Kardashian] and the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. He said, “Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.” In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto. A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.
Rubin said Kanye pushed the boundaries of Hip Hop with Yeezus:
He is a true artist who happens to make music under the wide umbrella of hip hop. He is in no way beholden to hip hop’s typical messaging musical cliches. Hip hop is a grander, more personal form because of his contributions, and hopefully his work will inspire others to push the boundaries of what’s possible in hip hop.
As he wrapped things up, Rick Rubin spoke on Kanye’s “no strategy, method of promo” as Ye didn’t release a single or an official video:
He is pure in his art and in a form where so many choices artists make are often the result of business consideration. Kanye chooses to let his art lead. He didn’t want a premeditated commercial (single) for his album as he looks at it as a body of work. I like it anytime an artist follows his own vision of a project and doesn’t use the cookie cutter template expected of most artists. Kanye proceeds on the road less traveled and I applaud him for it.
Kanye West’s sixth studio album, Yeezus, is set to be released on June 18th.