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The 25 Best Rick Rubin Songs

25. T La Rock and Jazzy Jay “It's Yours" (1984)



Album: "It's Yours" 12 inch
Label: Partytime Records, Def Jam Recordings
Producer: Rick Rubin

This was the song that started it all. “It's Yours” was not the first record Rick Rubin ever produced, but this was the one in which Rick Rubin first established his voice and his authority.

Rubin became a fan of early hip-hop as a high-schooler on Long Island, collecting 12-inch records that he heard from fellow students and on DJ Mr. Magic's weekly radio show. But when Rick matriculated as a freshman at NYU, moved to Manhattan, and saw rappers on stage for the first time, he was shocked by the disparity between what he saw live versus what he had been hearing on wax. Hip-hop, in person, was so much more exciting, compelling, and rocking than anything he ever heard on a 12-inch. Rap records, by comparison, sounded like disco records with rhymes thrown on top of them.

 

When Russell Simmons finally met Rick Rubin in person, he had a moment of disbelief that the person who made 'It's Yours'—the 'blackest record ever,' as he put it—was white.

 

Then he heard Run-DMC's first single, the Russell Simmons–produced “It's Like That/Sucker MCs,” which revolutionized hip-hop production in stripping away most of the music and focusing on the bare beat.

“This is the real shit,” Rubin told his roommate, Adam Dubin.

Then he added: “I could do this better.”

T La Rock & Jazzy Jay's “It's Yours” was the result.

Rick's very first rap production ended up being the song of the summer of 1984 in the streets of New York City. Russell Simmons went bananas when heard the track, which refined and purified his own production ethos so incredibly. When Simmons finally met Rick Rubin in person, he had a moment of disbelief that the person who made “It's Yours” — the “blackest record ever,” as he put it — was white. “It's Yours” was the record that convinced Simmons to go into business with Rubin, to buy into Rubin's nascent label, called Def Jam.

The rest is, as they say, history.

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