Above, if you can see through all the weed smoke, you get a scene that's something like the aftermath of a bad LAN party—clutter, shitty laptops, and monitors everywhere. But music's being made in this budget-tech dungeon.
Alex Pappademas' stellar NYT profile of young, stoned-to-hell beats phenom Lex Luger highlights how little he relies on sophisticated gear. In fact, his famous sound is grounded on cheap software, old hardware, and a savant-like ability to just dick around for several minutes and create a song you won't be able to avoid on the radio.
Kanye's got his lavish Hawaii studio—Lex Luger has, well, less:
"He had his black Compaq laptop jacked into the mammoth recording console on the other side of the room and was using an old copy of Billboard as a mouse pad, moving his mouse back and forth on Enrique Iglesias's face, clicking through folders.
He has the tunnel vision of a hard-core gamer or a programmer, someone who can wire into an interface and shut off his perception of time's passage - someone who feels more comfortable doing that than he does living in the world. And having his picture taken and answering questions about his craft ultimately takes him out of the zone where he's most comfortable, the one where everything else falls away and it's him and the screen and the beat."
That last part—I think we can all feel like that sometimes, when we're plugged in beyond recognition. The only difference is his pants are full of cash because of it. [NYT]