It was just days ago when it was revealed that legendary music man Rick Rubin was named executive producer of Kanye West’s much-anticipated Yeezus album and up until now the Def Jam founder’s specific contributions to the project have remained rather vague.
In a recent conversation with the Wall Street Journal, Rubin broke down his duties as executive producer of West’s sixth studio album, which included smoothing out the raw material on the project.
“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,” Rubin explained. “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.”
Rubin later commented on West’s contributions to Hip Hop, referring to the rapper as “a true artist” and one who’s gone on to make the genre both “grander” and “more personal.”
“He is a true artist who happens to make music under the wide umbrella of hip hop,” said the producer. “He is in no way beholden to hip hop’s typical messaging musical clichés. 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…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.”
Kanye West’s Yeezus album will be released on June 18 and will feature appearances from Chief Keef, Bon Iver, and more.