Rick Rubin shares the main difference between how Eminem and Jay-Z work
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Rick Rubin has opened up about the differing creative processes of Eminem and Jay-Z.
The producer has worked with the biggest names in rap and beyond down the decades, earning a reputation as one of the best in the business.
Among those to work with the 59-year-old are Eminem and Jay-Z, and Rubin has explained how the giants of hip-hop achieve greatness through contrasting methodologies.
"I've worked with artists who do it completely different ways," he recalled on The Joe Rogan Experience.
"You know, you see like, Eminem, he's always writing in a book, always writing, all the time. And he's always got notebooks writing.
"And I asked him, 'Are these all rhymes to use?' He's like, 'No, no, 99 percent or whatever I'll never use, it's just to stay engaged in the process of writing and finding new ways to write, so that when I need it, it just comes.'"
Contrasting this process with Jay-Z's, he continued: "Jay-Z doesn't write anything down. He just listens to the beat, and hums, hums, and then goes on the mic 20 minutes later and just says a whole complicated, complicated verse."
He added: "I don't know how he can remember it, much less have just written it and just be able to do it like free. It's crazy."
He continued: "When we were recording '99 Problems', I played the beat for him, he likes the beat, and he says, 'OK just keep playing it.'
"And then he sits in the back of the control room on the couch and you just hear him humming. As I say, 15 or 20 minutes, and then he jumps up like, 'OK, I got it.'
"Then he goes in - no paper, no writing, nothing - and delivers the whole thing. Then he says, 'Let's try it again,' and then he does it again.
"The words will be the same, but the phrasing will be different."
Rubin added that he'd never seen anyone work like that before - which I guess goes to show that Jay might have 99 problems, but his memory ain't one.
Rubin then went on to discuss his recent work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, who he's produced two albums for this year - Unlimited Love, which came out in April, and surprise album Return of the Dream Canteen, which came out last month.
Rubin said: "The way Anthony [Kiedis] works, he'll hear the music and he'll sing along, but he'll sing along with an idea of a melody, but he doesn't yet have words, and just sing nonsense words.
"He'll just sing along making up nonsense words - automatically, real time - and then he listens back and says, 'Oh OK, this phrase in this spot sounds good, and this phrase in this spot sounds good, what else goes with that?'
"It's like a puzzle where you fill in the rest. You don't necessarily have an idea what the song is going to be about, or you might not even know what the song is about until you finish - you might not even know after it's finished."