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Rick Rubin reveals the crazy way Serj came up with some of the 'magic' 'Chop Suey!' lyrics

“We were sitting in the library in my old house and Serj said ‘I don't have words for this… any ideas?’”
18 October 2022 4:22PM

Rick Rubin has shared a story about how one part of System of a Down’s classic song ‘Chop Suey!’ came to be. 

The influential music producer appeared on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan podcast, and the two got talking. 

System of a Down comes up after Rubin explains his belief in the world leaving hints and tips around for individuals if they look for them. 

“My experience is when you are open and looking for these clues in the world,” he said. 

“They’re happening all the time and they’re happening often right when you need them.”

“There’s a song, um, System of a Down song caaallled - I think the song is ‘Chop Suey!’. Do you know the song?” 

C’mon Rick mate, who doesn’t know the tune?

“It has this big bridge section in it where Serj the lyric writer/the singer, didn’t have words for this one part of the song,” Rubin continued.

“We were sitting in the library in my old house and he [Serj] said ‘I don't have words for this… any ideas?’”

“I said ‘Okay. Pick a book off the wall.’ He picked a book randomly off the wall, I said ‘open it to any page, tell me the first phrase you see.’”

“He opened it, and the first phrase he sees, that’s what’s in the song and it’s a high point in the song. It’s incredible. It’s like magic.”

Rick couldn’t remember the exact lyrics, but Joe’s assistant Jamie knew what he was talking about, and the three of them started watching the music video for the song. 

The part in question is this bridge, near the end of the song. 

Lyrics to Bridge of System of a Down's 'Chop Suey!' Credit: Genius.com

If the story is true, that means Serj picked up The Bible off the wall and opened it up to one of the most famous parts of the book.

The lyrics come from Luke 23:36, where Jesus was crucified on the cross. 

Crazy stuff.