When Rubin showed up in Jay-Z’s series of Samsung commercials, social media was abuzz wondering who the old white guy was and, to our surprise, a lot of people didn’t have the slightest clue who the legendary figure was.
Not only was he hanging out on the couch during Jay’s TV spots, Rubin also showed up in the 25th hour to executive produce on Kanye’s Yeezus. So that’s two of the largest names in rap calling on one bearded old guy to have a hand in their work. Yet, so many people remained unaware of him?
And like that, our brains were activated, led by Trackstar.
Writing on Rubin’s history and contributions to not only rap but music in general would require an encyclopedia worth of words and pages. Plus, there’s Wikipedia to break down all of his work since 1982. His founding of Def Jam alongside Russell Simmons might be the most recognizable feather in his cap but he wasn’t just an exec. He was an instrumental force and sound behind nascent recordings by the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Run-DMC, all of which were early education for budding rap nerds like Trackstar.
But Rubin’s works didn’t end when he left Def Jam, his own label, Def American, or the head job at Columbia Records. Rick has HITS under his belt (so many, his production credits have a Wiki of their page own) and they span across multiple genres and decades.
And that’s why this tape was billed as “some of” the key cuts and affectionately “ruined by” Trackstar. As much as Track wanted to, there’s no way to pack a perfect collection of Rubin’s work into one mix. That task would take volumes. Even boiling it down to one genre was daunting, so Track decided to mix and match. There’s some Red Hot Chili Peppers here, a little Kanye there and a dab of System Of A Down. Of course, Run-DMC’s included, but they’re followed by Queen and freakin’ Johnny Cash? The names read like strange bedfellows alongside each other.
But every single cut shares a common denominator and that’s Rick Rubin.