"Still D.R.E." was the earliest preview of a typical Scott Storch beat: fluttering keyboard melodies crafted with crossover rap and R&B potential in mind. In 2002, Storch co-produced (with Timbaland) and played clavinet on solo Justin Timberlake's second-ever hit single, "Cry Me a River"; and he worked with songwriters Linda Perry and Alicia Keys to write and produce much of Christina Aguilera's pivotal fourth album, Stripped.
Not until the release of Ja Rule's "Clap Back" and G-Unit's "Poppin' Them Thangs" in 2003, however, did Storch have a fully fleshed, commonly recognized sound within mainstream hip-hop. Storch emerged from Dr. Dre's tutelage as a super-producer in his own right. Between 2003 and 2005, Storch was arguably the biggest producer in hip-hop and R&B, with Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits like Fat Joe's "Lean Back," 50 Cent's "Candy Shop," Mario's "Let Me Love You," and Chris Brown's "Run It!" His sound was ubiquitous on pop radio, and Storch became one of the wealthiest musicians in the world.
As his bankroll swelled, so did Storch's profile. In 2004, he dated Lil' Kim, thus forging what XXL deemed "hip-hop's most eye-rolling couple" and underscoring to many unwitting rap fans that Scott Storch is, in fact, a white dude. In 2006, Storch dated Paris Hilton and, unfortunately, produced her debut pop album, Paris, which street artist Banksy and producer Danger Mouse hacked and remixed to controversial effect.
In these glitziest years of his prominence, Scott Storch was on a mission to be the most annoying white person in the history of hip-hop. "I don't ever want to be considered some vanilla sherbet kinda guy," he told XXL in 2004. In the following years, Storch would demonstrate his exceptional flair in the most expensively self-destructive ways imaginable.