With apologies to the Dos Equis guy, UPROXX nominates Rick Rubin.
If you saw the Jay-Z/Samsung promo that ran during the NBA Finals last night, you saw what appeared to be a bare-footed, aging white hippie with a ZZ Top-esque beard kicking it in a studio with the likes of Pharrell, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz and, of course, Jay-Z. The visual contrast between the men was, well, striking, as the aforementioned aging white hippie dude, let’s face it, didn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the crew. However, he definitely belonged there: that man was legendary producer Rick Rubin.
I’ve found myself sort of fascinated with Rubin of late. It started when I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City back in February, a documentary Rubin was featured prominently in. At the time I knew Rick Rubin by name and knew that he was a music producer of significant note, but I didn’t know much about him beyond that. (For some random reason, I also knew that he was once in a punk band called The Pricks and got kicked out of CBGB’s for getting into a fight with audience members, but that’s neither here nor there.)
I did not know, for instance, that the reach of this “guru” extended far beyond hip-hop, which is where he made his name early in career as the co-founder (along with Russell Simmons) of Def Jam records, and had touched virtually every modern genre of music imaginable. I also had no idea what he looked like and didn’t really expect him to look like at all an aging white hippie with a ZZ Top-esque beard.