On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sat down with Scott Storch to discuss his career highlights, the time he spent dating Paris Hilton, his “embarrassing” Rihanna story, not performing at Super Bowl LVI, and more.
Born in Long Island, New York, Storch started as a keyboard player for The Roots during the early 90s. He got his big break after co-producing Dr. Dre’s 1999 single “Still D.R.E.” featuring Snoop Dogg, trailed by his production on Xzibit’s “X” the following year. The beatmaker primed his career through a series of placements in the early 2000s, including “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera, “Baby Boy” by Beyoncé, “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent,” and “Run It!” by Chris Brown, to name a few. Elsewhere, Storch also produced records for Jadakiss, Fat Joe, DMX, The Game, Ja Rule, and many others.
Over the course of the past several years, the producer continued to showcase his versatility and ability to keep up with modern-day hip hop, working with the likes of Jack Harlow, Russ, Toosii, The Kid LAROI, Megan Thee Stallion and more. This year, Storch produced Kodak Black’s “Sink My Ship,” Shenseea’s “Body Count” from her debut album ALPHA, and Chlöe’s “Surprise” from her forthcoming project. He’s also working on a personal documentary that details his career and battle with drug addiction.
1. On his production discography extending across multiple genres
Scott Storch knows no boundaries when it comes to producing music. He’s worked with hip hop icons such as Nas, Dr. Dre, Eve, and Rick Ross; R&B titans like Mario and Beyoncé; and pop stars like Christina Aguilera. When speaking on his discography, Storch shares that he just enjoys good music and challenging himself to step outside of the box. “I’m a chameleon. I just love all music, good music is what I like. If music is good, it’s good. I don’t work on whack shit, and it’s a challenge to go where I haven’t gone before and excel at it,” he explains.
2. On his Verzuz match against Mannie Fresh
Before the massive brands and partnership with Apple, Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch were among the first producers to do a Verzuz match. As co-creator Swizz Beatz has shared in the past, the match was “a little off.” Storch emphasizes that sentiment, saying their production catalogs don’t lineup with each other.
“We had no idea how big it was going to get. It was still, even at that time, crashing Instagram and shit. It was an amazing thing, and I think I could’ve had a better-suited opponent. It’s not a shot, but our catalogs live in a different place. No disrespect, me and Fresh got joints,” he shares. “I left a lot of my pop-ier stuff out. At that time, this kind of fell out the window, but it was song-for-song type stuff. Like, ‘What you got for this? That.’ Now people just put whatever.”
3. On Fat Joe co-producing 50 Cent’s hit song “Candy Shop”
50 Cent’s smash hit “Candy Shop” has remained a club classic and summer jam since its release in 2005. Having gone RIAA-certified Platinum the year following its release and being nominated for Best Rap Song at the GRAMMYs, it’s certainly one of Scott Storch’s most recognizable records as well. Although, as the producer shares, it was initially made for Fat Joe, who, despite playing a part in the production, passed on the beat.
“The main part of the song, it’s obviously my language. My keyboard, my drums, all that stuff. I sat and he was an inspiration to me during the making of that, and then he suggested to put the ‘do-do-do-do-do.’ Technically, [he’s a writer] by saying let’s use this sound,” Storch states. He later shares that the beat was initially meant for Fat Joe himself, but the record ended up being in the hands of 50 Cent amid the rappers’ beef. “I’m not taking credit away from him either. I love collaborating with people but in this particular instance, we were in the room, I was making that song for him. I wasn’t making that song for 50 Cent.”
He continues, “I remember right before that shit was coming out, I got a call from 50 for whatever reason. I don’t know what the politics behind the call were but he said, ‘You saved me. You gave me fire.’ I’m like, “Okay, cool, I love it.”
4. How working with new artists has helped him remain relevant in hip hop culture
Having worked with hip hop veterans during the early stages of his career, Scott Storch was hesitant to produce music for younger acts following his hiatus and battle with drug addiction. Although, as he tells N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, it was a leap in the right direction since “they all blew up.” Thus far, Storch has worked with artists like Russ, Roddy Ricch, Chloe x Halle, IDK, Post Malone, and several others from newer generations of hip hop and R&B.
“They all blew up, every single one. A Boogie [wit da Hoodie], Russ, Trippie Redd. They were all new and they all blew up. Roddy Ricch,” he says in regards to some of the younger artists he’s worked with. “Real legends, they know what they’re doing. It don’t matter if they’re 16 years old or whatever it is. They’re going to spit some fire, they’re going to write some fire shit.”
5. On not performing during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show
“Drink Champs” alumni The Game shared his issues concerning Dr. Dre not inviting him to perform during Super Bowl LVI. Both he and Storch have collaborated with Dre on numerous occasions — Storch produced 1999’s “Still D.R.E.” and Game signed to the legendary producer early on in his career. Though Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent performed, neither Storch or The Game made a cameo during the show.
“I was there in spirit. I got a chance to listen to my music through the whole Super Bowl arena — either ‘Make It Rain’ or ‘Lean Back’ was on in the crowd, playing through the whole shit. Then, the halftime show was a lot of my shit, but it’s Dre’s moment. It’s not Scott Storch’s moment. The world already knows that I’m responsible for that song. Did I want to be there? Did I want him to have a chance to do that? Of course, I did. That’s some lifetime achievement shit,” he says. Storch later admits that he asked Dr. Dre to perform, but the venue wanted him to perform it himself.
6. On dating Paris Hilton during the early 2000s and sleeping with Kim Kardashian afterward
Back in 2005, household name Paris Hilton and Scott Storch were dating. On “Drink Champs,” the producer shares that she introduced him to party culture, drugs and other vices. Though the two worked together on her debut album, Paris, Storch says the publicity “ended up backfiring” following their breakup and him stepping away from production to party instead. He recalls how the pair met. He also talks getting intimate with Kim Kardashian after their split.
Speaking on his relationship with the actor and model, he says, “I had a little social anxiety, I wasn’t cool yet. I was this mad scientist, then Paris [Hilton] came in, then it was paparazzi. We were supposed to be working … we hooked up. We became a thing, and she introduced me to the nightlife.” N.O.R.E. interjects, stating that Storch should’ve gotten her pregnant, to which he responds, “My pull-out game is strong. She turned me on to that nightlife. It was paparazzi, cocaine, fucking trips to exotic places. The whole world, but we met in Miami.”
Storch adds, “It ended up backfiring, that whole shit. Just in general, the publicity of working with her, A. Then B, the shit that I was doing because I stopped working. She opened the door for me to partying. Then I was cool all of a sudden, now people knew who I was.” He later admits to sleeping with Hilton’s then-assistant, Kim Kardashian.
7. On Dr. Dre being there for him during his cocaine addiction
When N.O.R.E. asks Scott Storch why he stopped working with Dr. Dre despite their success with each other, the producer admits he was too strung out to make music at that time. “We never fell out, I was too fucked up, I was high … He gave me chances, chances, he would’ve still gave me chances, then I stopped coming. He never turned his back on me,” Storch says.
“I remember him saying to me one day, ‘Was the bite worth the bellyache?’ I was like, ‘Oh shit.’ Basically, the food you eat giving you a stomachache was the drugs I was doing. That motherfucker cares about people, he’s a serious dude,” he adds. Continuing to pay his respects to Dre, Storch recalls receiving texts from the legend during the holidays and other special moments.
8. On the time he embarrassed himself in front of Rihanna
Towards the end of the interview, Storch recalls a time when he met Rihanna at Green House, a popular nightclub located in NYC. While giving the singer a hug, her earring got caught on his shirt, causing her to yelp. “I’m at Green House in New York, I finally get a chance to meet Rihanna and say, ‘I want to work with you.’ She’s mad cool, I go up to her VIP section where she’s at, say ‘What’s up?’ and I gave her a hug goodbye. And my shirt got caught on her hoop earring. That shit was so embarrassing, that was one of the most fucked up shits … I ain’t never getting a fucking Rihanna [verse] ever,” he says. “She was like, ‘Ouch, my ear!’ I was like, ‘I just fucked up so bad.’”
9. On Beyoncé being the best vocalist he’s ever worked with
Scott Storch worked with Beyoncé on a trio of singles from her 2003 debut album Dangerously in Love: “Baby Boy” featuring Sean Paul, “Me, Myself and I,” and “Naughty Girl.” All three records, in conjunction with the album, debuted at number one, won five Grammy Awards, and have gone RIAA-certified Platinum numerous times around the globe.
Speaking on his work with Beyoncé, Storch shares, “That’s the best vocalist I’ve ever worked with. Her voice is an instrument … God-given talents, creative person, and just believed in me. On one album, we made three fucking number ones or whatever. I still work indirectly for her — I’m doing stuff for her with Chloe x Halle right now. We got a GRAMMY nom last year for the song ‘Do It’ for her group. They just called and said we got another one.”