Perhaps the most crucial contribution to Kanye West‘s Yeezus came from producer Rick Rubin. With just weeks to go before Yeezus was due, West recruited Rubin to finish tracks and help give the album a cohesive sound. During a semi-public listening session in New York, West told the crowd, “It was good for me to go to the god, Rick Rubin, and play him my shit, ask him questions, and allow him to take this project to an entirely new level.”

Rubin is credited on Yeezus as an executive producer. The Wall Street Journal asked the producer to describe his role, and here’s what he had to say via email, less than a week after West submitted the completed album to Def Jam.