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Rick Rubin's New Book
"The Creative Act: The Way of Being "
Rick Rubin, born on March 10, 1963, in Long Beach, New York, is a legendary record producer and music industry icon known for his profound impact on the world of music.
Rubin's journey into the music industry began during his college years at NYU, where he founded Def Jam Recordings in his dorm room with Russell Simmons. This seminal record label played a pivotal role in the rise of hip-hop and rap in the 1980s, launching the careers of iconic artists like Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Public Enemy.
Rubin's distinctive approach to production, characterized by minimalist, stripped-down soundscapes and a focus on authenticity, earned him a reputation as a groundbreaking producer.
Over the years, Rick Rubin's influence extended far beyond hip-hop, as he delved into various genres, collaborating with artists spanning from rock legends like Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica to contemporary acts like Adele and Kanye West. (The Top 100 Albums in the Rick Rubin Extended Universe, Ranked)
His ability to coax out the essence of an artist's creative vision and his penchant for unconventional recording techniques have consistently redefined music production.
Rubin's commitment to spirituality and mindfulness has also played a significant role in his life and work, contributing to his unique artistic perspective.
As a record producer, he has received numerous awards and accolades, and his name is synonymous with innovation and excellence in the music industry. Rick Rubin's enduring legacy as a producer, mentor, and tastemaker continues to shape the landscape of modern music.
The following is a chapter from his latest book about the Artist’s creative process:
Connected Detachment (Possibility)
“Consider detaching from the story of your life as it's happening.
The manuscript of the novel you've worked on for years is lost in a fire. Your romantic relationship breaks up when you thought it was going well. You lose a job you care about.
As hard as it may seem, seek to experience events like these as if you're watching a movie. You're observing a dramatic scene where the protagonist faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
It's you, but it's not you.
Instead of sinking into the pain of heartbreak or the stress of being laid off or the grief of loss, if practicing detachment the response might be: I wasn’t expecting that plot twist. I wonder what's going to happen to our hero next.
There’s always a next scene, and that next scene may be one of great beauty and fulfillment. The hard times were the required setup to allow these new possibilities to come into being.
The outcome is not the outcome. The darkness is not an end point, nor is the daylight. They live in a continually unfolding, mutually dependent cycle. Neither is bad or good.
They simply exist.
This practice - of never assuming an experience you have is the whole story - will support you in a life of open possibility and equanimity. When we obsessively focus on these events, they may appear catastrophic. But they're just a small aspect of a larger life, and the further you zoom back, the smaller each experience becomes.
Zoom in and obsess. Zoom out and observe. We get to choose.
When we reach an impasse, we may experience feelings of hopelessness. The ability to stay out of the story, zoom back, and see new pathways into and around a challenge will be of boundless use.
If we allow this principle to work on us as we work on it, our imagination frees us from the web of personal and cultural stories engulfing us. Art has the power to snap us out of our transfixion, open our minds to what's possible, and reconnect with the eternal energy that moves through all things”.
Rick has a podcast: