33 Rick Rubin Quotes and Sayings on Life and Music

Rick Rubin an American record producer became a sought-after name in the music industry for his unique producing style.

Growing up in Long Island, Rubin was drawn to heavy metal and punk.

He founded Def Jam Records in his NYU dorm collaborating with Russell Simmons.

Their first hit was LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat.” Rubin’s label known for hip-hop expanded under Columbia Records signing artists like the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

Leaving Def Jam in 1988 Rubin moved to Los Angeles creating Def American Recordings and working with artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Rick Rubin Quotes

He helped revive Johnny Cash’s career in the 1990s and continued working with famous artists in the 2000s.

Rubin also briefly served as co-chairman of Columbia Records and later revived American Recordings with Republic Records producing for various artists.

Below you will find some of the most famous quotes by Rick Rubin.

Best Rick Rubin Quotes


I never had the feeling I ever had to make a dime doing anything. ~ Rick Rubin.


For me, the Beatles are proof of the existence of God. ~ Rick Rubin.


I guess edgy things tend to get my attention. ~ Rick Rubin.

It’s a big theme in my life, learning about myself and being a better person. I’m a work in progress; I have revelations every day. ~ Rick Rubin.

The power of nature is what all art strives to be. The more we can get in tune with the harmony of the planet, the more our art can benefit from that relationship. ~ Rick Rubin.


There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across. ~ Rick Rubin.

My taste changes radically all the time, and I listen to whatever feels good. Another thing is that I’m in the studio so much of the time, and I listen to so much loud, aggressive music for work, that for pleasure, I’ll listen to something else. ~ Rick Rubin.

When you’re vegan, you spend your time chasing protein, and you’re eating food that’s way too high in carbs. I could never catch up on protein. ~ Rick Rubin.

I always feel like there’s something magic in recording studios. There’s a reason good music continues to be made in them. It’s just some mojo element. ~ Rick Rubin.


I don’t know what makes someone hip. The goal is artist achievement and the best work we can do with no limitation. ~ Rick Rubin.

On their deathbeds, people don’t think about their work or their life experiences or the items remaining on their to-do list. They think about love and family. ~ Rick Rubin.

Top Rick Rubin Quotes


At 15, I started listening to hard rock and heavy metal, but I would say it was more hard rock because I liked Kiss, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, and eventually AC/DC. ~ Rick Rubin.

I never really think so much about commercial success; I usually just think about records that move me, and ‘Baby Got Back’ was one that moved me. ~ Rick Rubin.

I think with certain artists you want to hear their album… and then there are other artists who I like where maybe it’s more about the single. I don’t think there is going to be one way that everything works. ~ Rick Rubin.

There’s just a natural human element to a great song that feels immediately satisfying. I like the song to create a mood. ~ Rick Rubin.


I like things that are unique and extreme. ~ Rick Rubin.

I really loved crunk. I loved the extreme nature of it, how repetitious it was, and how these basic, angry chants would just be repeated over and over again. ~ Rick Rubin.

I really like the challenge of working with different kinds of music. I feel like my role is really like a coach, so I feel like I can do my job for different kinds of music that may not necessarily be what I listen to. ~ Rick Rubin.

Usually when I start a new project there’s a fear of the unknown; maybe it’s a band I’ve never been in the studio with before. People are so different. It’s almost like you need to go through the process, discover and unlock what it is that makes that band that band. And a lot of times they don’t know it. ~ Rick Rubin.

I never made beats to make beats; I only made them when there was a record to make them for. That’s one of the things that has changed in hip-hop that’s made me like it less. It feels much more like it’s a producer-driven medium, where there are all these tracks that are completely interchangeable. ~ Rick Rubin.

I was the only punk rocker at my high school. And there were at least a handful of black kids who liked hip-hop. Both were kind of the new music of the day, and it was lonely being the only punk. ~ Rick Rubin.

The technology is getting better. There will be a day when you’ll be able to hear any music you want, anywhere you are, on demand, in a quality that is as good as when it was made. Things are moving in that direction. ~ Rick Rubin.

I was very lucky. My neck hurt and I went to my doctor, who was kind of hip, and he said it was stress-caused and that I needed to learn how to meditate. So I learned how to do Transcendental Meditation. ~ Rick Rubin.

Famous Rick Rubin Quotes

I’ve always been an outsider. When I did magic, I was the only kid. When I worked with Johnny Cash, I was completely out of place in Nashville. And when I started Def Jam, I was the only white guy in the hip-hop world. ~ Rick Rubin.

I don’t even know what a traditional producer is or does. I feel like the job is like being a coach, building good work habits and building trust. You want to get to a point where you can say anything and talk about anything. There needs to be a real connection. ~ Rick Rubin.

In between 15 and 20 – probably at around 17 – my interests switched from hard rock to punk rock. And then by 20 they were circling out of punk rock back into Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, the stuff that I didn’t get to when I was younger. ~ Rick Rubin.

I’m just trying to make my favorite music. That’s how I work; I just do things based on the way they feel to me. I want to be touched by the music I’m making. Luckily, other people have shared that response to my work over the years. ~ Rick Rubin.


Everything happens kind of the way it’s supposed to happen, and we just watch it unfold. And you can’t control it. Looking back, you can’t say, ‘I should’ve… ‘You didn’t, and had you, the outcome would have been different. ~ Rick Rubin.

Inspirational Rick Rubin Quotes

Everything I do, whether it’s producing or signing an artist, always starts with the songs. When I’m listening, I’m looking for a balance that you could see in anything. Whether it’s a great painting or a building or a sunset. ~ Rick Rubin.

I played more of an advisory role with Public Enemy. I really trusted them to make the music that they wanted to make, and the way The Bomb Squad worked with the… they created their whole own world of music. ~ Rick Rubin.

I’ve gotten to work with amazing people. I would say usually we get to a point before we get into the studio where there isn’t that sense of anxiety or nervousness of who they are because I don’t think it would be as productive in the studio if that was the case. But maybe meeting someone like Neil Young for the first time made me anxious. ~ Rick Rubin.


People are willing to get short-term gains at the risk of long-term choices… ~ Rick Rubin.

From the time I was 9 years old, I loved magic. I was an only child, and I think that had a big impact on me. I always had grown-up friends even though I was a little kid. I would take the train from Lido Beach into Manhattan, and I’d hang out in magic shops. ~ Rick Rubin.

So these were the 33 top Rick Rubin quotes on music and life.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Ringo Starr quotes and Louis Zamperini quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar