Scott Storch, who for a little while seemingly produced every song on the radio, has been having a rough time lately. Lucky for us, the AP is happy to catalog his troubles, and helpfully point out that producing hip-hop singles might not be the best long-term career move.
Storch started off as a keyboardist in the universe of the Roots before moving on to Dr. Dre’s camp, but then jumped to the top of the production game, with hit after hit in 2003 through 2005, including 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” and the Terror Squad’s “Lean Back.” In 2004, Rolling Stone said that Storch had earned over $70 million from his production work, but lately, things haven’t been going so well.
Nowadays, Scott Storch, 34, is missing in action. He owes over $500,000 in real estate taxes and had a warrant out for his arrest when he failed to show up in court in a child-support case last month. He has not had a top 10 hit in three years. He still has his waterfront marble mansion, but his lawyer, Guy Spiegelman, says Storch is attempting to refinance it after a “catastrophic occurrence this year” resulting from “mismanagement.” Storch no longer works with his old manager or publicist. He hasn’t talked to either of his children in months…
Storch’s career had some serious stumbles: He was supposed to help his then-girlfriend Paris Hilton become a music star, but he said his songs for her were deemed too sexual and not released as singles. He signed reality TV show star Brooke Hogan to his Storch Music Company label and produced eight of 12 tracks on her album “Undiscovered,” but the record flopped.
Storch has continued to work with top-name artists, including producing tracks on recent albums by Mariah Carey and Fat Joe. But he has not been able to crack Billboard’s Top 10 since 2005.
Storch has paid neither his 2006 nor 2007 real estate taxes. At the start of this year, he stopped paying child support for both his kids and fell into several months of arrears before being sued by both mothers in separate cases.
Deciding to hitch his wagon to Brooke Hogan might have been a bad idea in retrospect, but in general, the Storch sound has become less appealing over time, which seems to be the fate of most producers not named Timbaland. The other problem, not surprisingly, is the state of the music biz in general.
“Costs have come down because it’s an absolute necessity. We’re certainly not able to spend beyond what our budgets are for making records,” said Kallman. “If a producer’s out of our price range, we’ve gotta move to another producer. There’s always new people.” The executive says Storch has not produced any recent Atlantic tracks but that they have “been talking.”
When sales of 50 Cent discs tumble from six million to five to a little more than a million, sure, the budgets are going to come down, which is good news for guys selling beat tapes on Craigslist. While I can sympathize with the difficulty of keeping you income up when working freelance, I guess I didn’t buy a $10.5 million mansion or lots of fancy cars either, so it’s hard to feel too sad for Storch.