I've said countless times before that I want to be Rick Rubin when I grow up. He literally helped to change the culture of an entire nation-nay, the world-by doing his bit with Uncle Russell to propel hip hop forward. I know a lot of people have written off Def Jam, because of their highly commercial acts, but let's be real: Def Jam is the reason hip hop/rap and hip hop's relationship with rock is where it's at. The cool thing about Rick Rubin is that he's at the forefront, but not always out front. He seems like one of those dudes that people who don't know about him walk by and think ("goddam that weird dude had a long beard") and he doesn't even mind.
Rick Rubin is still my #1 favorite producer of all time. Admittedly I have not heard everything he's produced or every band he signed since he started Def American Recodings, but I habve NOT heard one thing he touched, that I didnt like. There would B no Public Enemy without him harressing Chuck D or getting Slayer that "better" sound. Who else can jump from rap to metal and on to country?