When Kanye West's latest album "Yeezus" knocked Black Sabbath's "13" out of the top spot on the Billboard 200 this week, it was a win-win situation for Rick Rubin. The 50-year-old music legend is credited as a producer on both critically acclaimed albums.
Rubin recently spoke to Newsweek about working with West, entering the creative process for "Yeezus" five weeks before the album was expected to hit stores. He discussed how the material that West brought to him was "three and a half hours of works in progress" that was "meandering, unfocused, usually without his vocals." Over the next 16 days, Rubin worked with West over "long hours" with "no days off," during which he was "panicked the whole time."
Rubin collaborated with West to make the project more minimal, and to edit down the content. "Initially, [West] thought there were going to be 16 songs on the album," Rubin told Newsweek. "But that first day, before he even asked me to work on it, I said, 'Maybe you should make it more concise. Maybe this is two albums. Maybe this is just the first half.' That was one of the first breakthroughs. Kanye was like, 'That’s what I came here today to hear! It could be 10 songs!'"
When asked if the editing from 16 songs to 10 meant there was another "Yeezus" on the way, Rubin simply responded, "Might be."
If West does release a follow-up to his album, he won't be the first artist to do so this year. After his latest studio album, "The 20/20 Experience," hit stores, Justin Timberlake announced plans to release a second part to the project. The second half of "The 20/20 Experience" will hit stores on Sept. 30.
For more on Rick Rubin, head over to the digital issue of Newsweek.