Music Production

Robin Thicke and Pharrell

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Lose ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit

Robin Thicke and Pharrell

A California judge has ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay nearly $5 million in damages over similarities between “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye‘s “Got To Give It Up.”

In addition, Gaye’s estate will also receive 50 percent of future songwriting and publishing royalties from the 2013 hit.

The ruling ends a landmark five-year legal battle in which Gaye’s family alleged that the artists were guilty of copyright infringement. The pair filed for an appeal in 2015 after a jury ordered them to pay $7.4 million in damages, later reduced to $5.3 million.

Related: Watch N.O.R.E.’s ‘Uno Más’ Video Feat. Pharrell Williams

Watch: Scott Storch Reflects on Career, Talks Today’s Rappers

Scott Storch
Scott Storch at the Red Bull Music Festival in Toronto. (Credit: Maria Jose Govea/Red Bull Music Academy)

In October, legendary producer Scott Storch sat down for an interview with the Red Bull Music Academy. The conversation took place during the Red Bull Music Festival in Toronto.

The 44-year-old is experiencing a comeback, having recently produced 6ix9ine‘s single “KIKA” (currently No. 1 on DJcity). He has also worked on tracks for Trippie Redd, Russ, and other buzzing rappers over the past year.

Storch covered many topics during the interview, including his early days with The Roots, producing Dr. Dre‘s classic “Still D.R.E.,” and today’s rappers. He also shared details about his fall from grace and the lessons he learned from it.

Joining The Roots:

“I started cutting school and taking the train from the suburbs of Philly into the city, and I met this guy Richard Nichols, who went on to become the manager of The Roots. And he took me under his wing. Eventually, after my parents found out I wasn’t going to school, they said, ‘You either go to school and you can stay or you’ve got to go.’ And I went. I did odd jobs and did whatever I had to do to support myself at 15, 16 years old. And I got a record deal with The Roots. It’s believing in what you do.”

Today’s rappers:

“I don’t want to offend anybody with this answer, but I feel like it’s more melodic today, and people were spitting bars more before. But you know, everybody has their own style. I’m finding a lot of these cats have what they bring to the table. Like Trippie [Redd], he’s almost like a rockstar. He’s very daring in what he does. … He’s an innovator, man, pioneer, which is the most important kind of musician to be.”

Advice for aspiring producers:

“Be a pioneer. Listen to what’s in the market but make it your own. And be the guy that creates the new sound, not just copies what’s out there. Break ground. And stay strong and don’t give up.”

Watch the interview below.

Related: Watch: Timbaland on Getting His Start as a DJ and Collaborating With Superstars

DECAP

Watch the Making of DECAP and Damianito’s Track ‘Brazil’

San Francisco-based producer DECAP recently broke down the making of his and Damianito‘s track “BRAZIL.”

The behind-the-scenes look took place in a workshop at the 2018 Music Expo in San Francisco. DECAP explained how they made the different elements of the track, using both Ableton Live and FL Studio.

The 34-year-old beatmaker has worked with artists like Joyner Lucas, Talib Kweli, and more. He is also the creator of the popular sample pack series Drums That Knock.

Watch the video above and download “BRAZIL” here.

Related: Watch Boi-1da and Jahaan Sweet Explain How They Produced Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’ Feat. Joyner Lucas

Murda Beatz

The Top Hitmakers of 2018, According to Variety

Murda Beatz
Murda Beatz (Source: Instagram)

Variety magazine has shared its second annual list of the year’s top hitmakers. The list highlights the producers, songwriters, and executives behind the year’s biggest tracks.

The 2018 list includes producers and songwriters like Pharrell Williams (Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Migos’ “Stir Fry“), Murda Beatz (Drake’s “Nice for What” and 6ix9ine’s “FEFE“), Boi-1da (Drake’s “God’s Plan“), Alex da Kid (Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder“), and Frank Dukes (Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Post Malone’s “Better Now“).

Check out the list here.

Related: The Top Hitmakers of 2017, According to Variety

James Hype

Watch: James Hype Breaks Down His Craig David-Assisted Single ‘No Drama’

In September, U.K. DJ/producer James Hype connected with R&B legend Craig David for a feel-good house single, “No Drama.” The track, which reached No. 8 on DJcity UK’s monthly top 20 chart, has gone on to amass 15 million streams. It has also been named a “Future Dance Anthem” by BBC Radio 1’s MistaJam.

We recently stopped by James’ studio in London to see how he made the track. The Liverpool native explained how the song came together and broke down each layer in Ableton Live. He also discussed his creative process and the role that DJcity has played in his career.

Watch above and download “No Drama” on DJcity.

Follow James Hype on on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

Related: DJcity UK’s Most Downloaded Tracks of Oct. 2018

Timbaland

Watch: Timbaland on Getting His Start as a DJ and Collaborating With Superstars

Legendary producer Timbaland recently stopped by the Drink Champs podcast for an interview.

The Grammy award-winner has worked with superstars like Beyonce, Jay Z, and Justin Timberlake, among others. During the interview, Timbaland talked about getting his start as a DJ, the collaborations that defined his career, and more.

On how he got his start in music:

“I was beatboxing… [but] my main passion back then was DJing. And how I got into making beats is… let me try to make a beat so I can blend my records too… so I just took what I had, and I was passionate about sounds. I love noises.”

On first finding success in the industry:

“We weren’t thinking like, you know, ‘this is a hit,’ we’re thinking ‘we’re getting recognized… our passion is getting looked at, it’s not taken for granted…’ because we put in a lot of work, and our work was accepted.”

On working with Dr. Dre, and his influence on hip-hop’s sound:

“Dr. Dre. was the God of rap… he made rap sound clean, he made it sound so clean… I wanted to know like ‘yo how do you mix that drum, how do you get them drums to sound like [that]?’”

Watch the interview above.

Related: Watch: Marley Marl Talks Producing Electronic Music, Current State of Hip-Hop

Alesso

Watch Alesso Explain How He Produced ‘REMEDY’

Swedish DJ/producer Alesso dropped his catchy, dancehall-influenced single “REMEDY” in late August. The song has since accumulated over 56 million streams on Spotify and more than 40 million views on YouTube.

Now, the 27-year-old has explained how he produced the track on the latest episode of Genius’ Deconstructed.

Alesso begins by discussing his inspiration for the track and then breaks down its elements in Logic Pro X.

Watch Deconstructed above.

Related: Watch Boi-1da and Jahaan Sweet Explain How They Produced Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’ Feat. Joyner Lucas

a-trak

Watch A-Trak Make a Beat by Sampling Random Records

After over five years of Rhythm Roulette, Mass Appeal has finally featured A-Trak on an episode. The series challenges producers to make a beat by sampling three records that they randomly select while blindfolded.

In the video, A-Trak stops by Good Records in New York City to get his vinyl. He then heads to the studio where he cooks up five different sounding beats with samples from all three records. The Montreal native shares some insightful production tips along the way.

Watch Rhythm Roulette above.

Related: Watch A-Trak’s ‘DJs Gotta Dance More’ Video Feat. Todd Terry

Boi-1da & Jahaan Sweet

Watch Boi-1da and Jahaan Sweet Explain How They Produced Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’ Feat. Joyner Lucas

Boi-1da and Jahaan Sweet have broken down how they co-produced Eminem‘s “Lucky You” featuring Joyner Lucas on Genius’ Deconstructed. The track, which also features production from Em and IllaDaProducer, was DJcity’s third most-downloaded song of September.

In the video, Boi-1da and Jahaan recall how the collab came together then take turns explaining their contributions to the beat.

The two have collaborated in the past on tracks such as Drake‘s “Duppy Freestyle” and THE CARTERS’ “FRIENDS.” Both have also previously appeared on Deconstructed (Boi-1da in 2018 and Jahaan last 2017).

“Lucky You” is the highest-charting single from Eminem’s tenth studio album, Kamikaze. It peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and has reached the top 10 in over a dozen countries.

Watch Deconstructed above.

Related: Watch the Producers of Sheck Wes’ ‘Mo Bamba’ Explain How They Made the Track

Marley Marl

Watch: Marley Marl Talks Producing Electronic Music, Current State of Hip-Hop

Hip-hop legend Marley Marl recently down with the Drink Champs show for an extensive conversation.

A key figure in the development of hip-hop, Marley is considered to be the first producer to sample and chop drums. His credits include some of the most iconic tracks from the hip-hop’s golden age, including LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin’,” Eric B. & Rakim’s “Eric B. Is President,” Biz Markie’s “Vapors,” and MC Shan’s “The Bridge.”

Most of the interview focused on Marley’s career, but he also spoke about the current state of hip-hop.

On the new generation of hip-hop:

“I look at it is evolution … The people who don’t like what the young kids is doing, you too old. Because when I fell in love with what I was doing, I was about 18 years old, so whoever is 18 years old [is] probably falling in love with what they doing right now and that’s their sh#t.”

On how he started out as an electronic music producer:

“Before I started making hip-hop, I was making electronic music … That’s why I had the edge over everybody, because I was already tech savvy.”

Watch the full convo above.

Related: Watch: Inside DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2018 PLAYLIST Retreat