If Storch's fall was fast and furious, his rise was only slightly less so. Born on Long Island and raised in Philadelphia and South Florida, he tasted success early, playing keyboards for the Roots as a teenager in the early nineties. He hated touring, so he made the move to the studio, where he had a preternatural ability to come up with intricate, memorable beats. Storch, who grew up idolizing Gershwin and 2 Live Crew, eschewed sampling and instead composed each rhythmic phrase himself. After he contributed to tracks by Busta Rhymes and the rapper Noreaga, his friend Eve introduced him to Dr. Dre. Dre tutored Storch on the finer points of studio work, and chose the beat prodigy to produce the single "Still D.R.E.," which became a hit. With Dre's blessing, Storch set up shop, founding Tuff Jew Productions, and the work started pouring in. In short order, he turned out some of the biggest hits of the early and mid-2000s: Chris Brown's "Run It!," 50 Cent's "Candy Shop," Beyoncé's "Me, Myself and I," and others. And Storch's beats, which he sold for $100,000 apiece, were ubiquitous. He was on every major pop, R&B, and hip-hop artist's speed dial. He quickly amassed a fortune of more than $70 million, and he couldn't spend it fast enough. "It was out of control," he says. "I was clubbing, drunk, and had more money than I knew what to do with."

At a party in Los Angeles in 2005, Storch was yanked into a bathroom by a friend—he won't say who—and given a line of cocaine. Almost immediately, he was addicted, using an eight-ball a day, often more, and supporting a group of 10 or 12 hangers-on who had become his new best friends. They partied at his $10 million mansion on Miami's Palm Island and blew rails on his 117-foot yacht, the Tiffany. Whenever they got tired of South Beach, a Gulfstream jet was on call. "We'd be at a club and I'd decide to take everyone to Las Vegas," he says. "Do more coke, fuck a bunch of girls. Be up for two days and decide at 11 in the morning to go buy a Rolls-Royce. I probably bought 10 cars when I was high."

The day after his session with Gucci, which ended at 6:30 a.m., Storch is spent. "I can't do that late-night shit anymore," he says. "It completely fucks up my routine. If it's just me, I'm out of the studio by 11." He's sitting behind a glass desk in a beachside penthouse that belongs to Adam Linder, an investment banker who cashed out before the crash. Storch sometimes stays with Linder—one of the few friends who stuck by him through his coke addiction—bunking in the bedroom next to that of Linder's 6-year-old son. Other times, he sleeps at the Fontainebleau hotel. But Storch can no longer be found at his gaudy Greco-Roman mansion on Palm Island. "It's a drug den—too big, too much space," Storch says. There's also the fact that the house is in foreclosure, and though Storch and those around him stress that he still has the keys and is trying to sell it (not that he has a choice—in addition to the $7 million mortgage, he reportedly owes $500,000 in property taxes), he is essentially homeless.