Music History 101: Jay Z and Rick Rubin Record “99 Problems”


In late 2003 Jay Z was recording what was supposed to be his final rap album The Black Album. The acclaimed rapper wanted to go out in style, so of course he wanted the right people to help him. So who does Jay Z turn to produce his farewell album? Rick Rubin of course.

Below is a 10-minute video showing some footage of the Black Album sessions, specifically of the recording of “99 Problems”, which is arguably Jay Z’s most critically acclaimed hit. This video has it all: a giant mansion with a buddha, stuffed animals, Rick Rubin’s beard, Beyonce, and a reflective Jay Z on his recording process and why he wanted Rubin’s help. And there’s Rick Rubin’s beard.

And in case you’re curious about Rick Rubin, check out this list of albums he has produced. You’ll be shocked by how many you know.

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