Last (Music) Man Standing
With all the ferment in the music biz, a 10-year prediction is for suckers. So we’re betting on a sure thing: the producer. Sure, labels long for self-produced breakout artists (the Killers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), but since the days of George Martin and Phil Spector, the producer has consistently shaped hits. Take the self-dubbed “Meyer Lansky of hip-hop,” Scott Storch. Not only has Storch, 32, a onetime disciple of Dr. Dre, mined platinum for 50 Cent, Lil’ Kim, and Mario, he’s midwifing Paris Hilton’s summer debut album. If he can pull a winner out of her, he’ll prove that the producer truly is the wizard of the industry.