The best producer you’ve just started to hear about

Record producer

Being a music producer used to look like this…

We’re in the age of the super-producer at the moment. A whole load of songs in the charts are from them. They are the people who used to be standing next to the famous people, now they are the famous people.

A few examples of these producers would be David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Avicii and Timbaland. All people who have made mega-bucks from others singing their songs.


Now it kind of looks like this…

I remember the first time I saw a producer as the main artist. It was Apologize (Remix) Timbaland feat. One Republic. For the life of me I couldn’t hear what Timbaland had done. It sounded like he put in a few ‘heys’ here and there, but it was firmly One Republic’s song in my mind. I was indignant.

Now it’s commonplace for the producer to get top billing and the singer is even lucky if they get a featuring. Arguably, Foxes made Zedd’s hit Clarity what it is, but it’s not her song.

I guess it’s a bit like a screenwriter getting top billing for a film rather than the actors. Perhaps that’s how it should be but you would never see it unless it’s an indie film or based on a book. I wonder when we’ll have the age of the super-screenwriter.

Anyway, this producer you’ve probably just started to hear of but don’t know much about, unless you’re a fan of hip-hop, is Rick Rubin.

I’d heard murmurings of him before, but I had no idea of the extent of his work and his influence in music. A short 5 minute clip with Zane Lowe soon put me right as Zane reeled off some of the people Rick’s worked with.

Check out just a sample of the artists he’s produced:

  • Johnny Cash
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Metallica
  • Slayer
  • Linkin Park
  • Adele
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Black Sabbath
  • Lady Gaga
  • System of a Down

But wait a minute, earlier I said you would know him if you were a hip-hop fan. Oh yeah, here are a few more artists he’s produced:

  • Jay-Z (produced 99 Problems – great song)
  • Kanye West
  • LL Cool J
  • Sir Mix-a-lot
  • Jazzy Jeff
  • Lil Jon
  • Beastie Boys
  • Run DMC
  • Public Enemy
  • Eminem

If anyone can name drop, it’s Rick Rubin.

He’s got 7 Grammy’s, co-founded Def Jam records, former co-president of Columbia records and “helped to popularise hip-hop music” [Wikipedia].

Genuinely ridiculous. His contribution to music is insane and across so many genres. How did he do that?!

Also, he looks like this:

Rick rubin

Rock on Rubin, rock on.