Record producer, Rick Ruben, appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, where he reminisced on Eminem and Jay-Z’s writing process.
Rick Ruben is no stranger to Eminem as the two work on various projects together. Rubin served as the main executive producer on two of Eminem’s albums: The Marshall Mathers LP2, and Revival.
Earlier this year, Complex interviewed Ruben, where the co-founder of Def Jam labeled Eminem the Most Obsessive artist that he met in any Genre. Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, Ruben elaborated more on Eminem’s writing process.
“Eminem is always writing in a book. Always writing all the time,” Ruben said on the Joe Rogan Experience. Always has notebook’s with writings. And I asked him, are these all the rhymes you use. He said, ‘No, no. 99 percent of what I write I will never use. It’s just to stay engaged in the process of writing and finding new ways to write. So when I need it, it just comes.’”
“Jay-Z doesn’t write anything down. He just listens to the beat and hums and then goes to the mic. Twenty minutes later says the whole complicated verse. I don’t know how he can remember it,” Ruben recalls, amazed at Hov’s recording process.
Another iconic artist in which Ruebn worked with, was Jay-Z. The two worked together often as both were part of Def Jam. One song in particular that comes to mind, is Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems,’ which was produced by Ruben. The single released in 2004 was the 4th single off Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.”
“When we were recording ‘99 Problems’ I played the beat for him. He likes the beat and then he says, ‘Okay just keep playing it.’ Then he sits in the back of the control room on the couch and you just hear him humming,” Ruben said.
According to Ruben, 20 minutes later the record is written. After a few takes to perfect the delivery of his verse, Jay-Z lays out a masterpiece. “The words will be the same but the phrasing will be different,” he explained.