Rick Rubin has revealed how the comedian Chris Rock first came up with the idea for Jay Z's song "99 Problems."
As NME notes, the 2003 track was produced by Rubin and, speaking to New York Magazine, Rubin says that the original idea behind the track came from Rock, who wanted to subvert Ice-T's 1993 song of the same name.
Telling the story, Rubin says: "[Chris] said, 'Ice-T has this song, and maybe there’s a way to flip it around and do a new version of that.' And I told Jay Z the idea and he liked it. The Ice-T song is about 'got 99 problems and a bitch ain't one,' and then it’s a list of him talking about his girls and what a great pimp he is."
He continues: "And our idea was to use that same hook concept, and instead of it being about the girls that are not his problem, instead of being a bragging song, it’s more about the problems. Like, this is about the other side of that story."
Earlier this year Rick Rubin was honoured with a "Lifetime of Harmony" award from the David Lynch Foundation at a Los Angeles ceremony. Jake Bugg was among the artists who performed at the ceremony to honour Rubin on February 27 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in LA. Proceeds from the event went towards the David Lynch Foundation's campaign to bring transcendental meditation programs to at-risk adults and young people around the world.