Rick Rubin Compares Anthony Kiedis’ Creative Process To Jay-Z’s

Every musician has a unique creative process to compose new melodies and write impressive lyrics, but they might have some shared characteristics. While chatting with Joe Rogan, music producer Rick Rubin revealed some of the common and uncommon traits between RHCP‘s Anthony Kiedis and rapper Jay-Z and disclosed how the two artists’ creative processes worked.

Some artists might prefer to improvise and go along with the tune of the music while producing lyrics. For Rubin, Jay-Z is one of those musicians who like to listen to the beat and then form the lyrics in their minds. The producer emphasized that after this process, the rapper would take the microphone and go on to sing complicated verses. It seems clear that Jay-Z likes to improvise rather than write.

Rick Rubin remarks on Jay-Z’s creative process:

“Jay-Z doesn’t write anything down. And he just listens to the beat, and hums, hums, and then goes into goes on the mic 20 minutes later, and just says a whole, complicated, very complicated, verse.”

After recalling the rapper’s creative process, Rubin continued by mentioning Anthony Kiedis’ approach while producing lyrics. Anthony’s creative process seems to be a bit different than Jay-Z’s, although both musicians don’t prefer to write their lyrics beforehand. The producer said that Kiedis would hear the music and then start to sing along.

Rubin reflected that the musician would start to sing nonsense words that suit the melody. He would then listen to what he had recorded and start editing his lyrics. Kiedis would try and see which words and phrases fit into each spot in the song. Rick remarked that it was like filling in a puzzle.

The producer on Anthony Kiedis’ approach while creating lyrics:

“The way Anthony works is, he’ll hear the music, and he’ll sing along. He’ll sing along with an idea of a melody, but he doesn’t yet have words, and just sing nonsense words, automatically, in real time.

And then he listens back and says, ‘Okay, this phrase in this spot sounds good. And this phrase in this spot sounds good. What else goes with that?’ And then it’s like a puzzle where you fill in the rest.”

You can listen to the podcast episode below.