In the world of hip-hop, Rick Rubin would further help popularizing the genre. And with the legendary label Def Jam, hip-hop would soon be gracing charts, and help change the face of music in general. Rubin would also put his stamp in other genres including rock, pop and country.
Rubin first founded Def Jam in 1983, while a student at New York University. The first ever single released from the label came from his punk-rock band Hose. After later joining forces with Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen, Def Jam would transcend to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York. In 1986, the label was distributed through CBS Records (now Sony Music Entertainment), thus spawning future hip-hop stars including L.L. Cool J, the Beastie Boys (who would have rap’s first number one pop album), and Public Enemy. Landmark recording that came during that period includes Bigger and Deffer (L.L. Cool J), License to Ill (Beastie Boys) and It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Public Enemy). Rubin and Russell would also be responsible for producing the historical collaboration between Aerosmith and Run-DMC.
By the 1990s, Rubin had gone on to become one of the most influential and prolific producers in music history. Among the artists who have worked with him includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Jay-Z, Metallica, Adele and the Dixie Chicks. Rubin’s production often resulted in huge sales, numerous accolades (including Grammys for Producer of the Year), and some albums being regarded as among the greatest of all time (including Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik). More importantly, his producing styles would help change the ways future artists would create his or her own music.