Producer Deep Focus - Dr. Dre
Andre Romelle Young, professionally known as Dr. Dre is widely considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time. He was born in 1965 in Compton, California, which is a large part of his identity.
In his 20s, he met several other producers and rappers which led to the formation of N.W.A. In 1988, N.W.A. released their debut record, “Straight Outta Compton,” in which Dre both produced and rapped. The group would eventually split, leading to Dre pursuing a solo career.
In 1992, “The Chronic” dropped and is regarded as one of the best rap albums ever.
Throughout his lengthy career, he has only released three studio albums but has collaborated with various legendary artists via features and production. Some of these stars include Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.
Dr. Dre currently boasts seven Grammy wins and 26 nominations. In 2006, he founded Beats headphones, and Apple would later buy them in a three-billion-dollar deal. His net worth is just under one billion, making him one of the wealthiest artists ever.
In 2016, Dr. Dre was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Overall, Dre has had one of the most successful careers in the several ventures he engaged in.
5 Essential Dr. Dre Songs:
“Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” (feat. Snoop Dogg) - Dr. Dre (1992)
The track opens with arguably the most iconic line in rap history. “One, two, three and to the four Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the door.”
This marked the second collaboration between Snoop and Dre, and was the first single released for The Chronic. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it 427 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, and the song was also nominated for a Grammy.
“Gin and Juice” - Snoop Dogg (1994)
This classic West Coast track shows the more laid back and chill side to the streets. The G-funk smash hit features a catchy chorus and the iconic synth whistle that was tremendously popular at the time.
“Gin and Juice” was nominated for a Grammy in 1995, and has sold almost one million units worldwide.
“California Love” (feat. Roger Troutman & Dr. Dre) - 2Pac (1995)
“California Love” examines the party scene of SoCal in the 90s, and shouts out various neighborhoods in the area. From the memorable Roger Troutman vocoded chorus, to verses from both Dre and the late Tupac Shakur, it makes for a classic that anyone can enjoy.
The track charted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and was nominated for a Grammy.
“Still D.R.E.” (feat. Snoop Dogg) - Dr. Dre (1999)
“Still D.R.E.” is conceivably the best beat Dre has ever produced.
The lead single for his second studio album, “2001,” features the most iconic piano riff in all secular music history. This also marked another collaboration with Snoop Dogg after years apart.
The song went 2x Platinum, but did not initially find radio success.
“In Da Club” - 50 Cent (2004)
This track contains one of the most infectious choruses in rap history. 50 opens the track rapping, “Go shawty, it's your birthday | We gon' party like it's your birthday.”
“In Da Club” was nominated for two Grammy’s and was ranked No. 13 in Rolling Stone's "Best Songs of the Decade."
Essential Dr. Dre Albums:
“The Chronic” - Dr. Dre (1992)
Almost no other album compares when it comes to the impact on rap when it comes to “The Chronic.”
Dr. Dre’s debut album combined the sounds of West Coast hip hop and G-funk to make an album that put him and his posse on top of the entire industry. He dropped the album through Death Row Records, which he co-founded.
Rapping about growing up in the streets, police violence, women and money, he encapsulated a sound that had never been heard before. Teaming up with Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Warren G and several others, he found a way to make all 16 tracks cohesive, yet unique at the same time.
Featuring three huge singles, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” “Dre Day” and “Let Me Ride,” he quickly snatched the charts, and then a Grammy as well.
The album is certified 3x platinum, and almost six million copies have been sold worldwide. “The Chronic” is ranked No. 138 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Needless to say, without this inspiring record, the rap game would look entirely different now. Also, he produced the entire record by himself, and only himself.
Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third Year / Marketing & Journalism