Just Blaze at Red Bull Music Academy Info Session Chris Vanderyajt / Red Bull Content Pool

A surprise early spring ice storm couldn’t prevent a full house at Red Bull Music Academy Info Session in New York City. Given that the lecturing guest of honor was super-producer Just Blaze it all made sense.

Just Blaze Quick Bio

  • Born Justin Smith
  • from Patterson, NJ
  • CEO of Fort Knocks Entertainment

Just Blaze has worked with the likes of Eminem, Kanye West, Ghostface Killah, Big Pun, Jay Electronica, and most famously, Jay-Z and the entire Roc-A-Fella Records family, making him one of hip-hop’s most successful and respected beat-maker of the past decade. 

null Chris Vanderyajt / Red Bull Content Pool

Long time RBMA content team member Jeff “Chairman” Mao provided the questions. “Just” generously touched on a myriad of topics, the sound of thunder outside accentuating his points.

Amongst the jewels: recollections of his humble beginnings as a DJ at a Paterson, NJ skating rink as well as long days and sleep-less nights interning at famed NY recording studio, the Cutting Room.

Blaze also spoke of the glory years with the Roc and the label’s eventual dispiriting dissolution. There was also the time he almost pissed off Marshall Mathers, and he spoke on the explanation of his approach to expertly dissecting samples as well. 

null Chris Vanderyajt / Red Bull Content Pool

Two hours passed like 10 minutes – a rapt room of fans and aspiring music makers savored every story told and enjoyed every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. By evening’s end all understood at least this much: Such is the RBMA way.

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