Rick Rubin announces The Creative Act: A Way of Being - “a book on how to be”

Rick Rubin
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spotify)

Super-producer Rick Rubin has announced his first book, a non-fiction tome to be titled The Creative Act: A Way of Being.

According to The Guardian, Rubin says of the project: “I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.”

UK publisher Canongate, meanwhile, says that The Creative Act will outline “the principles of creativity for creators of all kinds, including people in their everyday lives,” as well as offering “revelatory insight into the mysterious process of making stuff great”.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest record producers of all time, Rubin has worked across a diverse list of genres; from thrash metal to hip-hop, country to pop and just about everything in between.

His first recordings as a producer were for his own punk band, Hose, after which he moved into working with hip-hop artists after growing tired of hearing early hip-hop recordings that bore little resemblance to the live MC/DJ sets he was experiencing while at college in New York.

Together with Russell Simmons, he founded Def Jam Recordings, which, thanks to the success of LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Run DMC and (a few years later) Public Enemy, cemented its position as one of the most important labels during the ‘golden age’ of NY hip-hop. 

In 1986, Rubin expanded on the rock and hip-hop fusion to bring us what many consider to be the first proper convergence of the two worlds with Run DMC and Aerosmith’s re-imagined version of Walk This Way. From here, Rubin signed thrash metal titans, Slayer to Def Jam, helping to deliver the seminal album, Reign In Blood.

The ‘90s would see Rubin start his stint with Red Hot Chili Peppers, recording breakthrough album Blood Sugar Sex Magik at his Laurel Canyon house/studio, The Mansion.

Rubin has continued to jump between genres ever since, covering everything from Americana classics, rock, metal, pop, and beyond, with a list of credits that reads like a history of the last four decades of music.

In 2021, he collaborated with Paul McCartney on McCartney 3,2,1, a docuseries in which the former Beatle talks Rubin through some of his greatest recordings.

The Creative Act: A Way of Being is set to be released early in 2023.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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