Last updated: 06/15/2013 08:16:52 PM
Dre (Andre Young) was born in February 18, 1965, Los Angeles, California.
He was raised in Compton, and got his nickname by adoring basketball superstar, Dr. J. His step-brother is Warren G. His brother got killed in a fight while Dre was on tour with N.W.A "My brother was my best friend. He was three years younger than me." Dre tells of being on the road when he received a phone call with the bad news. "You never forget that."
He started off as a D.J for parties as a teenager, and soon earned himself a spot in the "Eve After Dark" club, where he would play keyboards and sing.
Once a member of the rather anonymous group, "World Class Wreckin' Cru", Dre earned himself a name by producing tracks for Eazy-E, the D.O.C and others, and later became a gangsta rap pioneer as a co-founder, member, co-producer and rapper in the controversial group, N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude).
The band was extremely successful and was very promoted by endless scandals and unfettered messages of street violence. The debut album (Straight Outta compton) went platinum with minimal radio play, the second LP entered the charts at number one. "We loved the controversy. It's the reason we blew up as big as we did. It wasn't hurting us, it was helping us."
The group disbanded in '91, but Dre didn't stop for a second:
He established Death Row Records along with Marion "Suge" Knight, and shortly after released "The Chronic" (1992), which sold over three million copies, won two Grammy Awards, and is still considered to be one of the most influential rap albums ever.
The album introduced the new Death Row artists, such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, and marked Dr. Dre not only as one of the most creative producers in the rap/hip-hop industry, but also as a fantastic rapper.
The following Death Row album, Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Doggystyle", was produced by Dr. Dre, and sold four million copies.
"I was trying to take it places no other record company had ever been," he says.
"Not just limiting myself to R&B and hip hop. I wanted to branch off into jazz, reggae,
and black rock 'n' roll."
In 1994 he directed the short film "Murder Was The Case", and co-produced the soundrack. He also added a song to the soundtrack entitled "Natural Born Killaz", which marked the reunion with former fellow band member, Ice Cube. That was his last work with protege Snoop Doggy Dogg. He decided that Snoop, who didn't make a single step without his mentor, should stick to his own work. In that same year he released a compilation album, entitled "Concrete Roots", which contained some old and some newer material.
In 1995 Dre contributed a track for the "Friday" soundtrack, "Keep Their Heads Ringin'". The track was a massive success, and won Dre the MTV "Best Rap Song" award in '96.
In that same year he left Death Row, and started his own label, "Aftermath Entertainment", a joint venture with Interscope Records.
"At first it was just a big family thing," he says. "But the more money that got made, the further apart everybody came. It's like, certain people started becoming what they hated." He adds:
"I wasn't feeling comfortable with the people I was around. Everybody wasn't professional. I always wanted things at Death Row to be right and positive, because I'm a positive person. And the situation I was in wasn't, plain and simple. It was too much negativity. Most likely, there are gonna be records coming out dissing me, dissing people I've worked with and am going to be working with. It's just a lot of negative bullshit. So from here on out, Death Row Records don't even exist to Dre."
In November 26, 1996, Dr. Dre released the compilation album "Dr. Dre Presents... The Aftermath", which featured new performances from several well-known artists as well as introducing more than a dozen Aftermath Entertainment artists and producers.
The albums unites hip-hop and R&B , east coast and west coast, hardcore and pop, male and female, old school and new school, delivered by talented performers hand picked by Dre, the album's executive producer.
One of the tracks in the album is "East Coast/West Coast Killas", which collaborates various artists from both coasts such as Nas, KRS-1, B-Real, RBX, and of course Dr. Dre.
"Now I'ma be able to do whatever I wanna do," he claims. "If it works, it's on me. If it fails, it's on me. But I'm an innovator. I like trying things." In that year he also released another compilation album, "First Round Knockout".
On top of the list of Dre's future projects is Helter Skelter, Dre's long-awaited reunion with Ice Cube, which Dre wanted to do since '94.
"If Cube is still into it, I definitely wanna do that record. I don't give a fuck if it's 10 years from now, and we're like walking on canes with gray hair. I wanna do that record, cuz I think it'll be amazing."
There were also rumors of an N.W.A. reunion, but it seems that Dre is not interested. "That was my past," he says. "What I thought was the thing to do then. I mean, I think 'Straight Outta Compton' was a classic hip-hop album. But I do look back on a lot of the things we were saying and doing then and go, "Damn!". But the shit was dope at the time. Would I ever do that N.W.A. material right now? No. No way. I'm more into totally positive moves."
And what about a solo album?
Dre is working on "The Chronic 2000: No Seeds", which will be released on November '99, and has already announced the album will contain two tracks with Snoop Doggy Dogg, with whom he hasn't worked for almost four years, and should also include tracks with Redman, Eminem, RBX, Xzibit and others.