Just Blaze has an excellent memory. Moments after we took a seat in his new digs at Stadium Red Studios in Harlem, the producer behind a plethora of platinum tracks you can recite on command gets right to business and begins running off the gadgets he feels had a great impact, good or bad, on his life. Some date all the way back to when he was just a New Jersey young'in with a penchant for tinkering and reverse engineering. It's not the recollection of the list that surprises us—he had a bit of time to prepare, to be fair—it's the detailed fabric of memories he wraps around each entry. Memories like building the Pro Tools rig that led to him meeting Hov. Or deciding which keyboard to buy after seeing Rza in Rap Pages.
Technology has been ever-present in the lives of those who grew up in the era of the personal computer. It's affected the way we interact, learn, communicate, work, and play. Similar to the way you can hear a song and immediately remember the period of your life when it was blaring on the radio, if you're like us, you can take a look at an old gadget or piece of software, and recall how your life was when it was still stocked on store shelves, or being checked as regularly a Twitter an Facebook. Just Blaze is like us. Show him a phone, laptop, or piece of studio equipment he can tell you where he was, who had it, and what made the damn thing so dope. That's why we tapped him to run through the 50 Gadgets That Changed His Life.