Rick Rubin discusses ‘punk edge’ of Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’

The super-producer was drafted in at the last moment to oversee the rapper's latest album

Rick Rubin has opened up about his time as executive producer on Kanye West‘s new album ‘Yeezus’, comparing parts of the album to Suicide and stating that the album has a “punk edge”.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Rubin revealed that he was called into the project by West with just three weeks before the finished album had to be completed. Identifying what he believed to be five months work which needed doing, Rubin hailed West’s ability to produce something at the last minute and spoke in detail about ‘Bound’, a song from the album he changed completely in line with West’s new-found love of minimalism.

“He wanted the music to take a stripped-down minimal direction,” Rubin says when asked to describe the sound West was aiming for on ‘Yeezus’. “He was always examining what we could take out instead of put in. A good example would be the song that became ‘Bound’. When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition.”

He added: “He is a true artist who happens to make music under the wide umbrella of hip-hop. He is in no way beholden to hip-hop’s typical messaging musical cliches. Hip-hop is a grander, more personal form because of his contributions, and hopefully his work will inspire others to push the boundaries of what’s possible in hip-hop.”

Earlier this week Kanye West revealed a new clip of himself recording the track ‘I Am A God’ alongside producer Rubin. The 30-second promo sees Kanye lay down vocals for the track acapella before chatting to Rubin at the end. Rubin pokes fun at the rapper for using the lyric “stacking all these millions” sarcastically telling West it makes him “more relatable”.

West premiered ‘Yeezus’ in full at an exclusive listening session in New York on Monday night (June 10) attended by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Timbaland and Busta Rhymes. NME was also present at the event and click here for our track-by-track first listen review of the album, which is due for release on June 18.