Rick Rubin Shares Backstories on Jay Z, Kanye West Songs

Rick Rubin Shares Backstories on Jay Z, Kanye West Songs

Producer updates Genius with notes on "99 Problems," "Only One" and more, reveals that Yeezus writes lyrics a lot like Hov does.

Published February 4, 2015

The Internet just got a little more juice. Rick Rubin, a "verified" author on the lyrics website Genius, annotated the catalog of songs from Jay Z, Kanye West, D'Angelo and others with personal anecdotes about the making of the tracks.

| CLICK HERE FOR A LOOK AT 10 REASONS WHY RICK RUBIN IS SO LEGENDARY |

Jay wrote the first verse in about 20 minutes, sitting in the back of the control room," Rick wrote of The Black Album single "99 Problems."

"He would just be kind of humming, and we’d keep looping the track, and maybe after 30 minutes he jumped up and was like 'We got it!' And he did it 10 times, and every time he did it, it was different. ... It was incredible.

[We're pretty sure he typed that last part with Jay's voice in his head. #HovLaugh]

The Def Jam co-founder also delved into Kanye's first release of 2015. "On 'Only One,' a lot of those lyrics came out free-form, ad-libs," he wrote. "The song is essentially live, written in the moment. Some of the words were later improved, but most of it was stream of consciousness, just Kanye being in the moment."

Elsewhere, Rick shared notes about D'Angelo's "Playa Playa," Ghostface Killah's "Intro," and James Blake's "Retrograde," among several other Yeezus tracks. Word is, he's working with Ye on on a follow-up to the collection. 

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(Photo: Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Corbis)

Written by BET-Staff

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