The Creative Act

By Rick Rubin

This review was transcribed from a video so please pardon grammatical errors and bad writing. You can view the video here.

Slayer, L.L. Cool J, Run-D.M.C., Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Avett Brothers (my favorite band). What do all these musical artists have in common? They’ve all been produced by Rick Rubin.

I’ve been obsessed with Rick Rubin for a long time. If you look at him, he’s a slightly overweight white guy with a big bushy beard, who looks a bit like a monk.

While he comes across as a monk, he’s actually the foundation of hip-hop music. Every hip-hop or rap artist will tell you that this industry wouldn’t exist without Rick Rubin. He’s a creative genius. It is not just that he’s a creative genius. He’s able to suck the creativity out of these artists and produce amazing things.

One of my favorite examples is “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. It was originally performed by the Nine Inch Nails, but Johnny Cash took it and sang it. Has there ever been a satirical song? It’s sad, and sometimes I want to cry when I listen to it, but while it’s sad, it’s so beautiful. That’s something that Rick Rubin took out of Johnny Cash and gave to the world.

From a spiritual standpoint, I am obsessed with Rick Rubin, which is why I love this book. The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. It came out on Tuesday, and I devoured it in 48 hours.

I say from a spiritual standpoint because a lot of religions have so much in common, yet people act like they’re so different. They all think everything’s connected and there’s some sort of being out there. As a Christian, I call it God.

Humans are simply a focal point where the universe becomes conscious. Rick Rubin argues that as creators, we are funnels for the universe. Creativity is present in the universe, and we harness this creative energy to put something beautiful out into the world.

Because of the Internet, we’re all creators. My joy in life comes from writing scripts and putting out creative content. That’s why I built Push Digital to be a creative firm before I went out and started doing advertising.

I’m going to read this book five or six times, and this is going to become my daily devotional for 2023. Much like Marcus Aurelius’ meditations, you shouldn’t speed through this book. You need to read each chapter, then meditate, and think about it all day long.

Since we are all creators, we should all learn more about the creative process and how to harness this energy in the universe that God has given us.

This might be one of my new top ten favorite books. Maybe it’s because I love Rick Rubin. Maybe it’s because it really is that good. Either way, I’m going to do another review on this later in the year. I’ve truly spent a full day meditating on every single chapter here.

This will be a book I’m carrying with me everywhere. It’s always going to be my suitcase or briefcase. This book is going to be my hard focus in 2023.

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