This week, New Times slogged knee-deep into the messy world of Scott Storch-- the coke, the family he ditched, the fortune he blew in spectacular fashion, it's all in there in unprecedented detail. But before he was a prime candidate for the best VH1: Behind the Music ever, Storch was a massive hitmaker. Here are our top ten Scott Storch productions:
10. The Roots feat. Erykah Badu: "You Got Me"
It now seems hard to believe that Storch's career started as a member of acoustic jazz/rap group the Roots. And that this was one of his first co-writing hits-- a chill, pseudo love ballad with a hook sung by hip-hop's Queen of Bohemia, Erykah Badu, in 1999.
9. Justin Timberlake: "Cry Me a River"
Three years later, he had a major hand in this: Justin Timberlake moonwalking away his Britney angst. Wow, this song got annoying that summer. Though Timbaland's sonic stamp is all over this thing, Storch was a co-producer, and the smash hit started a feud between the two producers over who was the real maestro behind the song.
8. Nas feat Snoop Dogg: "Play on Playa"
This is about as complex as a Storch beats gets. He said he refrained from "sand bagging" a track-- adding unnecessary frills and trills. He believed that radio hits were always sonically simple.
7. Ja Rule: "Clap Back"
Look at this nice mousey fellow with his dainty little moustache.
6. 50 Cent feat. Olivia: "Candy Shop"
This is a pure Scott Storch joint, and "Candy Shop" was an example of what became his specialty-- the mindless, addictive anthem, usually the first single on a major rapper's album.
5. Terror Squad feat. Fat Joe, Remy Martin: "Lean Back"
Tell us: Is this not the exact same beat as "Candy Shop", or are we missing something here? As Storch's former bandmate on the Roots Dice Raw told New Times : "When they're paying you that much money, label execs aren't looking for a piece of music. They're looking for what you did before. They're looking for a ringtone."
4. 50 Cent: "Just a Lil Bit"
There's nothing wrong with having a signature sound, but still... It possible to sue yourself for copyright infringement?
3. Eve feat. Gwen Stefani: "Let Me Blow Your Mind"
A Dr. Dre collaboration. Makes you think: Why couldn't Storch be more like Dre-- a consummate studio rat who carefully hand-picks his clients and has a reputation as hip-hop's mad scientist bunkered down in the hills of Los Angeles, making money hand over fist? TMZ wouldn't recognize Dre if he bounced a low-rider on their front steps. And that's a good thing.
2. Beyonce: "Naughty Girl"
What's really befuddling about Storch-- even more than the $3 million pinkie ring or the Maybach he gave Paris Hilton-- is the fact that the guy who could make a hit like this agreed to produce Hulk Hogan's daughter's rap album.
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1. Dr. Dre feat Snoop Dogg: "Still D.R.E."
One of his earliest hits-- and another Dre collabo-- this is still, in our book, uncontested as Storch's best beat.