Rick Rubin

In interviews with select outlets, legendary producer Rick Rubin has discussed his work with Kanye West for his newly released Yeezus album,  where he served as executive producer.

In his chat with The Daily Beast, he recalled how far along Yeezus actually was when Ye first approached him, and thinking they needed a lot more time. “Kind of meandering, unfocused, usually without his vocals,” Rubin explained, when asked what the album sounded like before he began work on it. “I assumed that the album was scheduled to come out next year.”

For Yeezus, Kanye chose to strip records of various elements to make the sounds more minimalistic, Rubin revealed.

“There was so much material we could really pick which direction it was going to go,” he said. “The idea of making it edgy and minimal and hard was Kanye’s. I’d say, ‘This song is not so good. Should I start messing with it? Can I make it better?’ And he’d say, ‘Yes, but instead of adding stuff, try taking stuff away.’ We talked a lot about minimalism. My house is basically an empty white box. When he walked in, he was like, ‘My house is an empty white box, too!’ ”

Yeezus is out now. This week, it topped the Billboard 200, selling 327,000 copies to beat out J. Cole and Mac Miller.