Rick Rubin Explains Early Reactions To Being White In Rap

Rick Rubin says LL Cool J & Russell Simmons couldn't believe he was White when they met him.

When Rick Rubin met with LL Cool J for the first time, LL couldn't believe his eyes, Rubin says. 

"Both LL and Russell [Simmons] couldn't believe that I was White when I met them," Rubin says in a recent interview with satellite radio station Shade 45.

When Rubin met Russell Simmons, he received a similar response. 

"I told [Simmons] I'd made this record," Rubin says. "He couldn't believe it. He was like, 'You made that? That's the Blackest record I've ever heard in my life. This was at a time when there was nobody White, at that time, in this world. It was interesting." 

With Simmons, Rubin helped create Def Jam Recordings. During their run at Def Jam, the imprint's roster included LL Cool J, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, among others.

This year, Rubin worked with several rappers, including Kanye West, Jay Z and Eminem. 

In November, Rubin spoke regarding his work with Eminem during an interview. 

"I would say that he is probably the most obsessive artist, maybe, that I have met in any genre," Rick Rubin says in an interview with complex.com. "He is very, very dedicated to his craft. To the point to where it seems like there is nothing else in his life. It truly is a 24-7 thing for him. One of the reasons that many artists make good records when they’re young and then as they grow up, maybe they’re not doing their best work anymore, is because—especially if you’re successful—other things in life take over. Whether it’s family life or just other interests. It just happens." 

More of Rubin's Shade 45 interview can be heard below. 

RELATED: Rick Rubin Calls Eminem Obsessive About Rap


  • Violator

    I've noticed that the people who are really good at making music, or any other art form are waaaaay over this racial bs. There is just too much negative energy over what? A phenotype? The idea that human beings are so divided because of their outward appearance is actually pretty demonic

  • Anonymous


  • Standardz

    Props to Mr. Rubin, but he should be reaching back to "classic" hip-hop artists for new records, just like he reached back to classic rock and country performers. There's no excuse for Rubin to have worked with Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, etc., and not work with Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Scarface, Ice Cube, etc.

  • dustin

    you are all fucking idiots, this man is a god...and colorless

  • Anonymous

    white devils ruined black music.

  • ed the horse

    This pendejo should be on Duck Dynasty

  • Mavis Smith

    just before I saw the bank draft which was of $7049, I have faith ...that...my neighbours mother was like they say trully earning money part-time on their laptop.. there sisters roommate had bean doing this 4 only 9 months and resantly paid the mortgage on there villa and purchased a great new Volkswagen Golf GTI. published here... www.Fb39.com I listened to it twice and I'm going to stand by my opinion. Not everybody gonna like the same shit. Different people like different things. AAAAAAARGH!!

  • StankinASS

    A wise man, people who work in production and sound engineering look up to this guy big time.

  • What!

    Whaaaaaattttt! What is the difference between and MC and Rapper? Rick Rubin produced -- You made that? -- Rap or HipHop ... Whaaaattt! i just dont get this genre anymore

  • Latonya Bell

    before I saw the check which had said $8979, I accept that...my... neighbour was truley taking home money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there great aunt has done this for only 18 months and as of now cleard the morgage on there house and bought a great new Citron DS. original site... www.Fb39.com if you compare this album to anything else out there it's unique and exactly what Kanye West tried (and failed) to do with Yeezus

  • David

    Rick Rubin first appearance was in a Beastie Boy video, but I don't remember it.

  • Bryce Huffman

    Rick Rubin has done a lot for Hip Hop, no doubt. I think him being white hasn't been the reason behind his success however. I feel like in terms of race, fans of rap music shouldn't care. It hardly ever matters. The only times it does is when white rappers benefit from suburban fans (i.e. Macklemore, Eminem, Mac Miller). To be honest, us black people should be happy that people other than us love the genre

  • i did yo momma

    Marshall is still the shit. Rick also up there with dre as the best producer of our generation

  • hey

    just to be clear: LL Cool J = King of Rap. best rapper on earth.

  • Anonymous

    Witless white fuck with decades of dogshit rock music and increasingly failed industry jobs now decides to go black again... Once an asshole, always an asshole.

  • Anonymous

    Black people need to start trying to get into country music, just to see if the genre is as welcoming as hip hop is to other ethnicities. Darrius Rucker, Charlie Pride, Cowboy Troy . . . I think that's it.

  • Dead Mosby

    Talent is talent regardless of complexion or background. @deadMOSBY -- www.deadmosby.com

    • mr. big penis

      very true...talent is talent regardless if your asian, mexican, black, white, red, blue, purple, silver, gold, or green.

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