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Dr. Dre
Birth Name Andre Romelle Young
Name Dr. Dre
Born February 18, 1965
Years Active 1983–present
Latest Album Death Row: The Lost Sessions, Volume 1
Associated With World Class Wreckin' Cru, N.W.A, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Game, Akon, Jay-Z, Nate Dogg, Obie Trice
Label(s) Priority, Death Row, Aftermath, Interscope, Ruthless
Website www.drdre.com
Andre Romelle Young born February 18, 1965, known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an record producer, rapper, record executive, and actor. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records, also having produced albums for and overseeing the careers of many rappers signed to those record labels, such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent. As a producer he is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats.

Dr. Dre began his career in music as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru and he later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E and Ice Cube which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. His 1992 solo debut, The Chronic, released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993 and to win a Grammy Award for the single "Let Me Ride". In 1996, he left Death Row to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. Under the label, he produced a compilation album titled Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath in 1996, and released a solo album titled 2001 in 1999, for which he won the Grammy producer's award the next year.

During the 2000s, he focused his career on production for other artists, while occasionally contributing vocals to other artists' songs.Rolling Stone named him among the highest-paid performers of 2001 and 2004. Dr. Dre has also had acting roles in movies such as Set It Off, and the 2001 films The Wash and Training Day.

Professional CareerEdit

World Class Wreckin' Cru (1984–1985)Edit

Dr. Dre during his time in World Class Wreckin' CruInspired by the Grandmaster Flash song "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel", he often attended a club called The Eve After Dark to watch many DJs and rappers performing live. Thus, he became a DJ in the club, initially under the name "Dr. J", based on the nickname of Julius Erving, his favorite basketball player. At the club, he met aspiring rapper Antoine Carraby, later to become member DJ Yella of N.W.A. Soon afterwards he adopted the moniker Dr. Dre, a mix of previous alias Dr. J and his first name, referring to himself as the "Master of Mixology". He later joined the musical group World Class Wreckin' Cru under the independent Kru-Cut Records in 1984. The group would become stars of the electro-hop scene that dominated early 1980s West Coast hip hop, and their first hit "Surgery" would prominently feature Dr. Dre on the turntables and sell 50,000 copies within the Compton area. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella also performed mixes for local radio station KDAY, boosting ratings for its afternoon rush-hour show The Traffic Jam. Dr. Dre's earliest recordings were released in 1994 on a compilation titled Concrete Roots. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of the website Allmusic described the compiled music, released "several years before Dre developed a distinctive style", as "surprisingly generic and unengaging" and "for dedicated fans only".

His frequent absences from school jeopardized his position as a diver on his school's swim team. After high school, he attended Chester Adult School in Compton following his mother's demands for him to get a job or continue his education. After brief attendance at a radio broadcasting school, he relocated to the residence of his father and residence of his grandparents before returning to his mother's house. He later dropped out of Chester to focus on performing at the Eve's After Dark nightclub.

N.W.A and Ruthless Records (1986–1991)Edit

In 1986 Dr. Dre met rapper Ice Cube, who collaborated with him to record songs for Ruthless Records, a rap record label run by local rapper Eazy-E. N.W.A, along with fellow west coast rapper Ice T are widely credited as seminal artists of the gangsta rap genre, a profanity-heavy subgenre of hip hop, replete with gritty depictions of urban crime and the black gangster lifestyle. Not feeling constricted to racially charged political issues pioneered by rap artists such as Public Enemy or Boogie Down Productions, N.W.A favoured hardcore themes and uncompromising lyrics, offering stark descriptions of violent, inner-city streets. Propelled by the hit "Fuck tha Police", the group's first full album Straight Outta Compton became a major success, despite an almost complete absence of radio airplay or major concert tours. The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent Ruthless Records a warning letter in response to the song's content.

After Ice Cube left N.W.A over financial disputes, Dr. Dre produced and performed for much of the group's second album. He also produced tracks for a number of other rap acts on Ruthless Records, including Above the Law, and The D.O.C. for the album No One Can Do It Better. In 1998, at a music industry party in Hollywood, he assaulted television host Dee Barnes of the Fox television program Pump it Up, feeling dissatisfied with a news report of hers regarding the feud between the remaining N.W.A members and Ice Cube. Thus, Dr. Dre was fined $2,500 and given two years' probation and 240 hours of community service, as well as a spot on an anti-violence public service announcement on television.

The Chronic and Death Row Records (1992–1995)Edit

Dr. Dre's debut solo album, The Chronic, was among the top-selling albums of the 1990s and spawned three hit singles. After a dispute with Eazy-E, Dre left the group at the peak of its popularity in 1991 under the advice of friend, and N.W.A lyricist, The D.O.C. and his bodyguard at the time, Suge Knight. Knight, a notorious strongman and intimidator, was able to have Eazy-E release Young from his contract and, using Dr. Dre as his flagship artist, founded Death Row Records. In 1992 Young released his first single, the title track to the film Deep Cover, a collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg, whom he met through Warren G. Dr. Dre's debut solo album was, released under Death Row Records. Young ushered in a new style of rap, both in terms of musical style and lyrical content.

On the strength of singles such as "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang", "Let Me Ride", and "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin')" (known as "Dre Day" for radio and television play), all of which featured Snoop Dogg as guest vocalist, The Chronic became a cultural phenomenon, its G-funk sound dominating much of hip hop music for the early 1990s. In 1993 the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album multi-platinum, and Dr. Dre also won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for his performance on "Let Me Ride". For that year, Billboard magazine also ranked Dr. Dre as the eighth best-selling musical artist, The Chronic as the sixth best-selling album, and "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" as the 11th best-selling single.

Besides working on his own material, Dr. Dre produced Snoop Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, which became the first debut album for an artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts. In 1997 Dr. Dre produced the soundtracks to the films Above the Rim and Murder Was the Case. He collaborated with fellow N.W.A member Ice Cube for the song "Natural Born Killaz" in 1995. For the film Friday, Dre recorded "Keep Their Heads Ringin", which reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Singles (now Hot Rap Tracks) charts.

In 1995, just as Death Row Records was signing rapper 2Pac and positioning him as their major star, Young left the label amidst a contract dispute and growing concerns that label boss Suge Knight was corrupt, financially dishonest and out of control. Thus, in 1996, he formed his own label, Aftermath Entertainment, under the distribution label for Death Row Records, Interscope Records. Consequently, Death Row Records suffered poor sales by 1997, especially following the death of 2Pac and the racketeering charges brought against Knight.

Move to Aftermath Entertainment (1996–1998)Edit

Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath album, released on November 26, 1996, featured songs by Dr. Dre himself, as well as by newly signed Aftermath artists, and a solo track "Been There, Done That", intended as a symbolic farewell to gangsta rap. Despite being classified platinum by the RIAA, the album was not very popular among music fans. In October 1996, Dre performed "Been There, Done That" on Saturday Night Live. In 1997, Dr. Dre produced several tracks on The Firm's The Album; it was met with largely negative reviews from critics. Rumors began to abound that Aftermath was facing financial difficulties. Aftermath Entertainment also faced a lawsuit by the underground thrash metal band Aftermath.First Round Knock Out, a compilation of various tracks produced and performed by Dr. Dre was also released in 1996, with material ranging from World Class Wreckin' Cru to N.W.A to Death Row recordings.

The turning point for Aftermath came in 1998, when Jimmy Iovine, the head of Aftermath's parent label Interscope, suggested that Dr. Dre sign Eminem, a rapper from Detroit. Dre produced three songs and provided vocals for two on Eminem's successful and controversial debut album The Slim Shady LP, released in 1999. The Dr. Dre-produced lead single from that album, "My Name Is", would help propel Eminem into stardom. Also during this time, Dre assisted on the mix for Nine Inch Nails track "Even Deeper", from 1999 album The Fragile.

2001 (1999–2000)Edit

Dr. Dre's second solo album, 2001, released on November 16, 1999, was considered an ostentatious return to his gangsta rap roots. It was initially titled The Chronic 2000 to imply being a sequel to his debut solo effort The Chronic but was re-titled 2001 after Death Row Records released an unrelated compilation album with the title Chronic 2000: Still Smokin in May 1999. Other tentative titles included The Chronic 2001 and Dr. Dre. The album featured numerous collaborators, including Devin the Dude, Hittman, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Nate Dogg and Eminem. Thomas Erlewine of the website Allmusic described the sound of the album as "adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae" to Dr. Dre's style. The album was highly successful, charting at number two on the Billboard 200 charts and has since been certified six times platinum, validating a recurring theme on the album: Dr. Dre was still a force to be reckoned with, despite the lack of major releases in the previous few years. The album included popular hit singles "Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre", both of which Dr. Dre performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live on October 23, 1999. Dr. Dre won the Producer of the Year in 2000, and joined the Up in Smoke Tour with fellow rappers Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube that year as well.

During the course of 2001's popularity, Dr. Dre was involved in several lawsuits. The film company behind the Star Wars film franchise, sued him over the use of the THX-trademarked "Deep Note". The Fatback Band also sued Dr. Dre over alleged infringement regarding its song "Backstrokin'" in his song "Let's Get High" from the 2001 album; Dr. Dre was ordered to pay $1.5 million to the band in 2003. The online music file-sharing company Napster also settled a lawsuit with him and heavy metal rock band Metallica in the summer of 2001, agreeing to block access to certain files that artists do not want to have shared on the network.

Focus on production (2001–present)Edit

Following the success of 2001, Dr. Dre focused on producing songs and albums for other artists. He co-produced six tracks on Eminem’s landmark The Marshall Mathers LP, including the Grammy-winning lead single, “The Real Slim Shady”. The album itself earned a Grammy and proved to be the fastest-selling rap album of all time, moving 1.76 million units in its first week alone. He produced the single "Family Affair" by R&B singer Mary J. Blige for her album No More Drama in 2001. He also produced "Let Me Blow Ya Mind", a duet by rapper Eve and No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani and signed R&B singer Truth Hurts to Aftermath in 2001. Dr. Dre was the executive producer of Eminem’s 2002 release, The Eminem Show. He produced three songs on the album, one of which was released as a single ("Business"), and he appeared in the award-winning video for “Wit

nger Truth Hurts. In February 2003, a judge ruled that Aftermath would have to halt sales of Truth Hurts' album Truthfully Speaking if the company would not credit Mangeshkar.

Another successful album that Dr.Dre produced for Aftermath was Get Rich or Die Tryin', the 2003 major-label debut album by Queens, New York-based rapper 50 Cent. It featured the Dr. Dre-produced hit single "In Da Club", a joint production between Aftermath, Eminem's boutique label Shady Records and Interscope. Eminem's fourth album since joining Aftermath, Encore, again saw Dre taking on the role of executive producer, and this time he was more actively involved in the music, producing or co-producing a total of eight tracks, including three singles. In November 2004, at the Vibe magazine awards show in Los Angeles, Dr. Dre was attacked by a fan named Jimmy James Johnson, who was supposedly asking for an autograph. In the resulting scuffle, then-G-Unit rapper Young Buck stabbed the man. Johnson claimed that Suge Knight, president of Death Row Records, paid him $5,000 to assault Dre in order to humiliate him before he received his Lifetime Achievement Award. Knight immediately went on CBS's The Late Late Show to deny involvement and insisted that he supported Dr. Dre and wanted Johnson charged. In September 2005, Johnson was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to stay away from Dr. Dre until 2008.

Dr. Dre also produced "How We Do", a 2005 hit single from rapper The Game from his debut album The Documentary. For an issue of Rolling Stone magazine in April 2005, Kanye West reviewed Dr. Dre as 54th out of 100 artists for Rolling Stone magazine's list "The Immmortals: The Greatest Artists of All Time".

In November 2006 Dr. Dre began working with Raekwon on his album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. He also produced tracks for the rap albums Buck the World by Young Buck, Curtis by 50 Cent, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment by Snoop Dogg, and Kingdom Come by Jay-Z. Dre also appeared on Timbaland's track "Bounce", from his 2007 solo album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value along side, Missy Elliott, and Justin Timberlake.

Planned but unreleased albums during Dr. Dre's tenure at Aftermath have included a full-length reunion with Snoop Dogg titled Breakup to Makeup, an album with fellow former N.W.A member Ice Cube which was to be titled Heltah Skeltah, an N.W.A reunion album, and a joint album with fellow producer Timbaland titled Chairmen of the Board. Other upcoming albums for which he will produce include The Reformation by Bishop Lamont, The Nacirema Dream by Papoose, Flirt by Eve, and an upcoming album by Queen Latifah.

DetoxEdit

Detox is to be Dr. Dre's final album. In 2002, Dre told Corey Moss of MTV News that he intended Detox to be a concept album. Work for the album dates back to early 2004, but later in that year he decided to stop working on the album to focus on producing for other artists, but then changed his mind; the album had initially been set for a fall 2005 release. After several delays, the album was finally scheduled to be released sometime in 2010 by Interscope Records, which has not set a firm release date for the album as of February 2009. Producers confirmed to work on the album include DJ Khalil, Nottz, Bernard "Focus" Edwards Jr., Hi-Tek, J.R. Rotem, RZA, Jay-Z, Warren G, and Boi-1da. Snoop Dogg claimed that Detox was finished, according to a June 2008 report by Rolling Stone magazine.

After another delay based on producing other artists' work, Detox is now scheduled for a 2010 release, coming after 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct and Eminem's Relapse, an album for which Dr. Dre handled the bulk of production duties. Dre appeared in the remix of the song "Set It Off" by Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall (also with Pusha T); the remix debuted on DJ Skee's radio show in December 2008. At the beginning of 2009, Dre produced, and made a guest vocal performance on, the single "Crack a Bottle" by Eminem and the single sold a record 418,000 downloads in its first week and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week of February 12, 2009. In a Dr. Pepper commercial that debuted on May 28, 2009, he premiered the first official snippet of Detox. 50 Cent and Eminem asserted in an interview on BET's 106 & Park that Dr. Dre had around a dozen songs finished for Detox. Detox is likely to be released sometime in 2011.

Film careerEdit

Dr. Dre made his first on screen appearance as a weapons dealer in the 1996 bank robbery movie Set It Off. In 2001, Dr. Dre also appeared in the movies The Wash and Training Day. A song of his, "Bad Intentions" (featuring Knoc-Turn'Al) and produced by Mahogany, was featured on The Wash soundtrack. Dr. Dre also appeared on two other songs "On the Blvd." and "The Wash" along with his co-star Snoop Dogg. In February 2007 it was announced that Dr. Dre would produce dark comedies and horror films for New Line Cinema-owned company Crucial Films, along with longtime video director Phillip Atwell. Dr. Dre announced "This is a natural switch for me, since I've directed a lot of music videos, and I eventually want to get into directing." Along with fellow member Ice Cube, Dr. Dre will produce a biographical film about N.W.A.

EntrepreneurEdit

In July 2008, Dr. Dre released his high-performance brand of headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. The line consists of Beats Studio, a circumaural headphone, Beats Tour, an in-ear headphone, Beats Solo & Solo HD, a supra-aural headphone, Beats Spin, Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, also an in-ear headphone, and Diddy Beats. The headphones are made by Monster. He is also planning to release an "Aftermath Cognac and vodka" at around the same time he releases Detox. For the 2009 Fall season, HP and Dr. Dre are teaming up to release Beats By Dr. Dre with the sale of all HP laptops and headsets. HP and Dr. Dre announced the deal on October 9, 2009, at a press event in Santa Monica, California. The new laptop, known as HP ENVY 15 Beats limited edition, will be available for sale October 22 and be priced around $2,299. Besides the laptop, the PC comes with Dr. Dre's signature  headphones.

Beats

Dr Dre's Beats headphones.

Relationship with EminemEdit

In 2004 he claimed to Songwriter Universe magazine that he had written the foundations of the hit Eminem song "The Real Slim Shady", stating, "I initially played a bass line on the song, and Dr. Dre, Tommy Coster Jr. and I built the track from there. Eminem then heard the track, and he wrote the rap to it." This account is essentially confirmed by Eminem in his book Angry Blonde, stating that the tune for the song was composed by a studio bassist and keyboardist while Dr. Dre was out of the studio but later programmed the song's beat after returning.

In the September 2003 issue of The Source, a group of disgruntled former associates of Dr. Dre complained that they had not received their full due for work on the label. A producer named Neff-U claimed to have produced the songs "Say What You Say" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy" on The Eminem Show.

Official Account Edit

Track Listing (with Eminem)Edit

  • Guilty Conscience
  • Forgot About Dre
  • Bitch Please II
  • Say What You Say
  • Encore
  • Crack a bottle
  • I Need A Doctor