Red Bull Music Academy

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

Documentary Explores the Golden Era of New York Radio

In addition to their huge collection of lectures with influential hip-hop, funk, and electronic artists, Red Bull Music Academy also makes high-quality documentaries.
One of our favorites is a piece about the golden era of New York radio titled, “Revolutions On Air.” The 17-minute video, which was uploaded back in April, tells the story of the DJs who helped make hip-hop a worldwide phenomenon and paved the way for today’s urban contemporary radio.
Hosted by MC Lyte, the documentary features commentary from legends like Marley Marl, Kool DJ Red Alert, Stretch Armstrong, and DJ Spinna. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in the development of hip-hop and urban radio.
Related: Diplo Discusses the Importance of Radio

DJ Australan – Fre3style Academy Vol. 2

In part two of his ongoing “tutorial” sessions for Redbull CZ, DJ Australan demonstrates some multi-genre quick mixing and a few key elements of what it takes to make a good Red Bull Thre3style routine.
Australan has appeared on DJcity TV’s “Bedroom Sessions” and recently recorded a guest mix for the popular DJcity Podcast.
Related: DJ Australan – Fre3style Academy Vol. 1

In-Depth Interview with Hip-Hop Pioneer Marley Marl

Marley Marl
There’s been a lot of talk over the last year about how producing is a great way for DJs to take their careers to the next level. The idea isn’t new, though, and in the early 1980s, legendary hip-hop DJ/producer Marley Marl was working hard behind a sampler to differentiate his sets with “tools for DJs.”
The main difference is that Marl didn’t aim for fame as a producer. In fact, the New York native admitted he was “bugged out” upon seeing his first production credit — worried it might tarnish his reputation as a DJ. Despite that, Marl revolutionized hip-hop when he pioneered the practice of sampling drum sounds. His production for influential artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, and LL Cool J established him as rap’s first super-producer.
Last month, Mr. Marl sat down with Red Bull Music Academy for a three-hour lecture that contained many insights on the history of hip-hop and sampled based production. The video is not only a must-watch for rap fans, but any DJ looking to take their game to the next level.

Topics covered:

0:01:10 – Starting as a DJ and becoming a producer later
0:02:20 – How his early productions were intended as tools for DJs
0:06:00 – Producing LL Cool J’s “The Boomin System”
0:08:00 – How James Brown’s music led him to sampling
0:08:50 – Growing up in Queensbridge, New York
0:18:30 – How recording bands got him into producing
0:22:30 – How he stumbled on sampling by mistake
0:25:50 – Triggering samples before there was MIDI
0:27:50 – How Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (produced by Giorgio Moroder) changed his life
0:35:40 – Meeting MC Shan, producing his classic track “The Bridge”
0:54:40 – Producing Eric B. & Rakim’s breakout record, “Eric B. Is President”
0:56:50 – Tragedy Khadafi’s influence on Queensbridge rappers Nas, Mobb Deep, Cormega, etc
1:02:50 – How the Juice Crew and Boogie Down Productions beef started
1:12:20 – DJing on Mr. Magic’s legendary “Rap Attack” show
1:21:50 – Producing Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw”
1:28:30 – How his production on “Nobody Beats the Biz” influenced DJ Premier’s style
1:31:10 – The importance of owning your own publishing and masters
1:35:40 – Hiring Pete Rock to DJ on his “In Control” radio show
1:38:40 – How remixing LL Cool J’s “Jingling Baby” elevated his career
1:51:40 – Giving advice to Nas
1:56:00 – Recognizing Jay Z’s talent early in his career
2:05:50 – Focusing on your dreams and letting go of people who don’t understand your path
2:07:40 – Q&A session

Related: Which Hip-Hop Producers Have Used the Most Samples?

Salva is Rooting for Hip-Hop as EDM Rises

Los Angeles-based DJ/producer Salva is known for delivering adventurous and bass-heavy tracks that straddle the worlds of hip-hop and dance. His breakout came in 2012 when he teamed with RL Grime for a remix of Kanye West’s “Mercy,” which has received extensive club and radio play, not to mention over five million SoundCloud streams.
While his style has distinct electronic influences, the Chicago-bred producer grew up on hip-hop and turntablism and still believes the genre has creative potential despite EDM’s increasing dominance.

“[EDM has] been done to death and personally I’m rooting for the hip-hop revival. . . . there’s still room for innovation in hip-hop music and R&B music.”

In May, Salva released “Drop That B#tch” — a collaboration with rappers Schoolboy Q, Kurupt, Problem, and Bad Lucc. The track became one of the most-downloaded on DJcity of the month and set the stage for producing an original for Young Thug.
Red Bull Music Academy recently spoke with Salva, who’s an alumni of the school, to discuss his approach to producing and mission to help revive hip-hop.

Related: Salva’s Power 106 ‘Jump Off Mix’

DJ Australan – Fre3style Academy Vol. 1

Australia’s DJ Australan puts down a three minute mix with scratching, tone play and juggling for the first of a four-part video series by Red Bull.
The Brisbane-born DJ/producer was previously featured on DJcityTV’s “Bedroom Sessions” back in December, and as of today, holds the record for the most-viewed episode of the series.
Related: Bedroom Sessions x DJ Australan