Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), primarily known by
his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American 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 that 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. Dr. Dre signed Eminem and 50 Cent to his record label in 1996
and 2003 respectively while contributing production on their albums.
Rolling Stone named Dr. Dre 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.
The first child of Theodore and Verna Young, Dr. Dre was born André Romelle
Young on February 18, 1965, when his mother and father were ages
16 and 17; they married in 1964. Young's middle name, "Romelle," came
from his father's unsigned amateur R&B singing group, The Romells.
In 1968, his parents divorced, and his mother later married Curtis
Crayon. They had three more children together, two sons named Jerome
and Tyree (both deceased) and daughter Shameka.
In 1976 Young began attending Vanguard Junior High School but due
to gang violence around Vanguard he transferred to the safer suburban
Roosevelt Junior High School. Verna later married Warren Griffin,
whom she met at her new job in Long Beach, which added three new
stepsisters and one new stepbrother to the family. That stepbrother,
Warren Griffin III, would eventually become rapper Warren G.
Young attended Centennial High School in Compton during his freshman
year in 1979, but transferred to Fremont High School due to poor
grades. Young attempted to enroll in an apprenticeship program at
Northrop Aviation Company, but poor grades at school made him ineligible.
Thereafter, he focused on his social life and entertainment for the
remainder of his high school years. Young fathered a son, Curtis,
born December 15, 1981, with Lisa Johnson. Curtis Young was brought
up by his mother and first met his father 20 years later, when Curtis
became rapper Hood Surgeon.
World Class Wreckin' Cru (1984–1985)
Main article: World Class Wreckin' Cru
Dr. Dre (in red) during his time in World Class Wreckin' Cru
Inspired 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)
Main article: N.W.A
Fuck Tha Police"
from Straight Outta Compton
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In 1986, Dr. Dre met rapper Ice Cube, who collaborated with Dr.
Dre to record songs for Ruthless Records, a rap record label run
by local rapper Eazy-E. N.W.A and 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 gang lifestyle. Not feeling constricted to racially
charged political issues pioneered by rap artists such as Public
Enemy or Boogie Down Productions, N.W.A favored 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 in 1989 over financial disputes, Dr. Dre
produced and performed for much of the group's second album Efil4zaggin.
He also produced tracks for a number of other rap acts on Ruthless
Records, including Above the Law, and The D.O.C. for his 1989 album
No One Can Do It Better. In 1991, 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)
Further information: Death Row Records
Nuthin' But a "G" Thang"
from The Chronic
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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 The Chronic, released under Death Row Records. Young ushered
in a new style of rap, both in terms of musical style and lyrical
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 1994 Dr. Dre produced some songs on 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)
Further information: Aftermath Entertainment
The 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
trademark infringement 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
Despite the mixed reception to his label's album, Dr. Dre was featured
on two Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles in 1996, those being 2Pac's "California
Love" and R&B group Blackstreet's "No Diggity".
They were Dr. Dre's first #1 singles as a lead or featured artist.
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. The album was eventually certified 4x Platinum
and helped to revive the Aftermath label. Also during this time,
Dre assisted on the mix for Nine Inch Nails track "Even Deeper",
from 1999 album The Fragile.
Main article: 2001 (album)
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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. Stephen 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 Grammy Award
for Producer of the Year in 2000, and joined the Up in Smoke
Tour with fellow rappers Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube that year
During the course of 2001's popularity, Dr. Dre was involved in
several lawsuits. Lucasfilm Ltd., 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 (2001–2008)
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 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, and he appeared in the award-winning video for “Without
Another copyright-related lawsuit hit Dr. Dre in the fall of 2002,
when Sa Re Ga Ma, a film and music company based in Calcutta, India,
sued Aftermath Entertainment over an uncredited sample of the Lata
Mangeshkar song "Thoda Resham Lagta Hai" on the Aftermath-produced
song "Addictive" by singer 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 on the Aftermath label was Get Rich or
Die Tryin', the 2003 major-label debut album by Queens, New York-based
rapper 50 Cent. Dr. Dre produced or co-produced four tracks on the
album, including the 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 album The Documentary. For an issue
of Rolling Stone magazine in April 2005, Dr. Dre was ranked 54th
out of 100 artists for Rolling Stone magazine's list "The Immmortals:
The Greatest Artists of All Time". Kanye West wrote the summary
for Dr. Dre, where he stated Dr. Dre's song "Xplosive" as
where he "got (his) whole sound from".
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
Detox and The Planets (2009–present)
Main article: Detox (Dr. Dre album)
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
July 2010. 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. Along with this single, in 2009 Dr.
Dre produced or co-produced 19 of 20 tracks on Eminem's album Relapse.
These included other hit singles "We Made You", "Old
Time's Sake", and "3 a.m.". (the only track Dre didn't
produce was the Eminem produced single "Beautiful")
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.
The album is now scheduled to be released in 2010, after the announcement
of the first single, "Under Pressure", being released soon.
An unfinished version of the single hit the internet June 16, 2010.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will honor
Dr. Dre with its Founders Award for inspiring other musicians.
In an August 2010 interview, Dr. Dre stated that an instrumental
album titled The Planets is in its first stages of production; each
song being named after a planet in the Solar System. On September
3, Dr. Dre showed support to longtime protégé Eminem,
and appeared on his and Jay-Z's Home & Home Tour, performing
hit songs such as "Still D.R.E.," "Nuthin' But A G
Thang," and "Crack A Bottle," alongside his longtime
Eminem and another protégé, 50 Cent. Sporting a "R.I.P.
Proof Shirt," Dre was honored by Eminem telling Detroit's Comerica
Park to do the same. They did so, by chanting "DEEE-TOX," to
which he replied, "I'm coming!."
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 tentatively
titled Straight Outta Compton.
Beats By Dr. Dre logo
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.
Relationships and family
Dr. Dre's eldest son is named Curtis Young, whose mother is Cassandra
Joy Greene. When Curtis Young was born, Greene was 16, and Dr. Dre
was 17. Curtis Young is an aspiring rapper who goes by the rap moniker "Hood
Surgeon". In 1988, Dr. Dre had his second son, Andre Young
Jr., with Jenita Porter. Porter sued Dr. Dre in 1990 in Orange County
Superior Court seeking $5,000 of child support per month. From
1990 to 1996, Dr. Dre dated singer Michel'le, who frequently contributed
vocals to Death Row Records albums. In 1991, the couple had a son,
Marcel. In 1996, Dr. Dre married Nicole Threatt, the ex-wife
of NBA player Sedale Threatt. They have two children together:
a son named Truth (born 1997) and a daughter named Truly (born 2001).
On August 23, 2008, Young's second son, Andre Young Jr., died at
the age of 20 at his mother's Woodland Hills home. The coroner
determined that he died from an overdose of heroin and morphine.
In 2001, Dr. Dre earned a total of about $52 million from selling
part of his share of Aftermath Entertainment to Interscope Records
and his production of such hit songs that year as "Family Affair" by
Mary J. Blige. Rolling Stone magazine thus named him the second highest-paid
artist of the year. Dr. Dre was ranked 44th in 2004 from earnings
of $11.4 million, primarily from production royalties from such projects
as albums from G-Unit and D12 and the single "Rich Girl" by
singer Gwen Stefani and rapper Eve.
Musical influences and style
Dr. Dre has said that his primary instrument in the studio is the
Akai MPC3000, a drum machine and sampler, and that he often uses
as many as four or five to produce a single recording. He cites George
Clinton, Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield as primary musical influences.
Unlike most rap producers, he tries to avoid samples as much as possible,
preferring to have studio musicians re-play pieces of music he wants
to use, because it allows him more flexibility to change the pieces
in rhythm and tempo. In 2001 he told Time magazine, "I
may hear something I like on an old record that may inspire me, but
I'd rather use musicians to re-create the sound or elaborate on it.
I can control it better." Other equipment he uses include
the E-mu SP-1200 drum machine and other keyboards from such manufacturers
as Korg, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Moog, and Roland.
After founding Aftermath Entertainment in 1996, Dr. Dre took on
producer Mel-Man as a co-producer, and his music took on a more synthesizer-based
sound, using fewer vocal samples (as he had used on "Lil' Ghetto
Boy" and "Let Me Ride" on The Chronic, for example).
Mel-Man has not shared co-production credits with Dr. Dre since approximately
2002, but fellow Aftermath producer Focus has credited Mel-Man as
a key architect of the signature Aftermath sound. About.com
ranked Dr. Dre #2 (tied with Pete Rock) on their "Top 50 Hip-Hop
In 1999 Dr. Dre started working with Mike Elizondo, a bassist, guitarist,
and keyboardist who has also produced, written and played on records
for female singers such as Poe, Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette,
In the past few years Elizondo has since worked for many of Dr. Dre's
productions. Dr. Dre also told Scratch magazine in a 2004
interview that he has been studying piano and music theory formally,
and that a major goal is to accumulate enough musical theory to score
movies. In the same interview he stated that he has collaborated
with famed 1960s songwriter Burt Bacharach by sending him hip hop
beats to play over, and hopes to have an in-person collaboration
with him in the future.
Dr. Dre has stated that he is a perfectionist and is known to pressure
the artists with whom he records to give flawless performances.
In 2006 Snoop Dogg told the website Dubcnn.com that Dr. Dre had made
new artist Bishop Lamont re-record a single bar of vocals 107 times.
Dr. Dre has also stated that Eminem is a fellow perfectionist, and
attributes his success on Aftermath to his similar work ethic.
He gives a lot of input into the delivery of the vocals and will
stop an MC during a take if it isn't to his liking. However,
he does give MCs he works with room to write lyrics without too much
instruction unless it is a specifically conceptual record, as noted
by Bishop Lamont in the book How to Rap.
A consequence of his perfectionism is that some artists that initially
sign deals with Dr. Dre's Aftermath label never release albums. In
2001, Aftermath released the soundtrack to the movie The Wash, featuring
a number of Aftermath acts such as Shaunta, Daks, Joe Beast and Toi.
To date, none have released full-length albums on Aftermath and have
apparently ended their relationships with the label and Dr. Dre.
Other noteworthy acts to leave Aftermath without releasing albums
include King Tee, 2001 vocalist Hittman, Joell Ortiz, Raekwon and
Over the years word of other collaborators has surfaced. During
his tenure at Death Row Records, it was alleged that Dr. Dre's stepbrother
Warren G and Tha Dogg Pound member Daz made many uncredited contributions
to songs on his solo album The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg's album
Doggystyle (Daz received production credits on Snoop's similar-sounding,
albeit less successful album Tha Doggfather after Young left Death
It is known that Scott Storch, who has since gone on to become a
successful producer in his own right, contributed to Dr. Dre's second
album 2001; Storch is credited as a songwriter on several songs and
played keyboards on several tracks. In 2006 he told Rolling Stone:
"At the time, I saw Dr. Dre desperately needed something," Storch
says. "He needed a fuel injection, and Dr. Dre utilized me as
the nitrous oxide. He threw me into the mix, and I sort of tapped
on a new flavor with my whole piano sound and the strings and orchestration.
So I'd be on the keyboards, and Mike [Elizondo] was on the bass guitar,
and Dr. Dre was on the drum machine".
Current collaborator Mike Elizondo, when speaking about his work
with Young, describes their recording process as a collaborative
effort involving several musicians. 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 Young later programmed the song's beat
A group of disgruntled former associates of Dr. Dre complained that
they had not received their full due for work on the label in the
September 2003 issue of The Source. 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, the songs "If I Can't" and "Back
Down" on 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', and the beat featured
on Dr. Dre's commercial for Coors beer.
Although Young studies piano and musical theory, he serves as more
of a conductor than a musician himself, as Josh Tyrangiel of Time
magazine has noted:
Every Dre track begins the same way, with Dre behind a drum machine
in a room full of trusted musicians. (They carry beepers. When he
wants to work, they work.) He'll program a beat, then ask the musicians
to play along; when Dre hears something he likes, he isolates the
player and tells him how to refine the sound. "My greatest talent," Dre
says, "is knowing exactly what I want to hear."
Although Snoop Dogg retains working relationships with Warren G
and Daz, who are alleged to be uncredited contributors on the hit
albums The Chronic and Doggystyle, he states that Dr. Dre is capable
of making beats without the help of collaborators, and that he is
responsible for the success of his numerous albums. Dr. Dre's
prominent studio collaborators, including Scott Storch, Elizondo,
Mark Batson and Dawaun Parker, have shared co-writing, instrumental,
and more recently co-production credits on the songs where he is
credited as the producer.
It is acknowledged that most of Dr. Dre's raps are written for him
by others, though he retains ultimate control over his lyrics and
the themes of his songs. As Aftermath producer Mahogany told
Scratch: "It's like a class room in [the booth]. He'll have
three writers in there. They'll bring in something, he'll recite
it, then he'll say. 'Change this line, change this word,' like he's
grading papers." As seen in the credits for tracks Young
has appeared on, there are often multiple people who contribute to
his songs (although it should be noted that often in hip hop many
people are officially credited as a writer for a song, even the producer).
In the book How to Rap, RBX explains that writing The Chronic was
a "team effort" and details how he ghostwrote "Let
Me Ride" for Dre. In regard to ghostwriting lyrics he says, "Dre
doesn't profess to be no super-duper rap dude - Dre is a super-duper
producer". As a member of N.W.A, The D.O.C. wrote lyrics
for him while he stuck with producing. New York City rapper Jay-Z
ghostwrote lyrics for the single "Still D.R.E." from Dr.
Dre's album 2001.
Main articles: Dr. Dre discography and Dr. Dre production discography
* The Chronic (1992), Death Row
* 2001 (1999), Aftermath
* Detox (2011), Aftermath
Awards and nominations
* "Let Me Ride" — Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo
Performance - 1994
* "Forgot About Dre" — Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance
By A Duo Or Group - 2001 | (with Eminem)
* The Marshall Mathers LP — Grammy Award for Best Rap Album - 2001 (with
* Various Productions — Grammy Award for Producer of the Year - 2001
* "Crack a Bottle" — Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance
By A Duo Or Group - 2010 | (with Eminem and 50 Cent)
* Relapse — Grammy Award for Best Rap Album - 2010 (with Eminem)
* "California Love" — Grammy Award Nomination as
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with 2Pac and Roger Troutman)
* "Still D.R.E." — Grammy Award Nomination Best Rap Performance
by a Duo or Group (with Snoop Dogg) and The Source Awards Nomination Single
of the year - 2000
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Niggaz4Life: The Only Home Video Himself Documentary
1996 Set It Off Black Sam
2000 Up in Smoke Tour Himself Documentary
2001 Training Day Paul
The Wash Sean
2012 Shady Talez Filming