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The Peter Attia Drive

Jun 10, 2019

In this episode, Rick Rubin, legendary music producer and co-founder of Def Jam Records and American Recordings, discusses his early foray into music production which started as a hobby as a teenager and ultimately turned into a Grammy award-winning career that produced revolutionary changes in the music industry. Rick has worked with the likes of the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Johnny Cash, just to name a small fraction. Rick talks about the pain and suffering that sometimes drives music and the cycle of drug addiction and how he has been able to help artists through those struggles to make space for their creative genius. We also get into Rick’s own personal health journey including his battle with depression, his struggle with obesity, and ultimately his extraordinary transformation. Finally, Rick shares a really significant health scare which required emergency heart surgery, and how that experience has impacted him.

We discuss:

  • Early career, and the birth of hip hop [7:15];
  • Early success of Def Jam Recordings, and working with LL Cool J [13:15];
  • Revolutionary changes in music: LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, and Run DMC [19:30];
  • Partnership with Columbia Records, and leaving Def Jam [26:45];
  • The success of Licensed to Ill: how it took off, and how it changed things [36:00];
  • American Recordings: Rick’s transition to rock and roll [39:15];
  • Working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the poetic nature of music [45:45];
  • Rick’s favorite music that he did NOT produce [53:00];
  • Prevalence of drug use and emotional pain in musicians: Rick’s experience with helping artists through their struggles [57:20];
  • NYC vs. LA hip hop [1:05:30];
  • Rick’s battle with depression [1:10:00];
  • Coping with the death of artists that Rick worked with [1:22:00];
  • Working with Johnny Cash [1:26:45];
  • Working with Rage Against the Machine [1:34:30];
  • The digital age of music: Have we lost something? [1:37:45];
  • Rick’s health journey and battle with obesity [1:42:45];
  • Radical weight loss: How Rick was finally able to shed the weight [2:00:15];
  • Total transformation: Exercise and training with Laird Hamilton [2:11:00];
  • Emergency surgery: Rick’s frightening heart condition [2:25:30];
  • Methylene blue and exogenous ketones: Are they neuroprotective? [2:46:15];
  • The most profound thing Rick learned about himself from his heart condition and major surgery? [2:52:30];
  • What life lessons does Rick wish to impart on his son? [2:57:30]; and
  • More.

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