Dr. Dre: Beat by Beat (2023) Movie Script

Whenever we go in the studio,
I try to make something much better
than the last thing I created.
You know what I'm saying?
So there, in my opinion,
a lot better than the last
shit I produced.
You know what I'm saying?
It's just that. That's just
something that I believe in.
I believe in artists
or producer or whoever
should try to top themselves
every time they go out there,
and that's what I try to do.
No other rap
artist in the world of hip-hop
has constructed a successful
and solid reputation
as Dr. Dre.
The control is in the
studio where he actually,
he calls the shots.
Renowned for being
one of the founding fathers
of gangster rap.
He has been revered
for bringing innovation
and slick technique to
the world of hip-hop
since the late eighties.
Dre's place in the history
of hip-hop is unarguable.
He's clearly one of the
most important producers
and one of the most
important creative forces
that the music's ever seen.
He enriched the genre
through his stern commitment
and innate ability to
recognize musical talent.
If you don't have that sound
that just makes him say, "yay,"
you're gonna keep making
hooks. The hook's not right.
Okay, we need you to change the verse.
Okay, we need to add this. He's like that.
Dr. Dre's clinical
approach to making music,
coupled with his notorious
perfectionist ethic,
has gained respect in the
studio, divided music critics,
and more often than not,
left fans thirsting for more.
He's been working on detox for 15 years
and he still doesn't
feel it's good enough.
So it remains to be seen
if it's ever gonna see the light of day.
With only three
studio albums of his own,
punctuated by long interludes.
The balance between Dr.
Dre's science as a producer
and the artistic impact of
his own musical evolution
still fascinates to this day.
If you ask a group of
people what hustle is,
you're probably gonna get
a lot of different answers.
What I think, is doing
whatever you need to do
to become successful.
Discover his driven journey
from the depths of the ghetto
to the heights of the studio
Throughout a self-selected
career spanning over two decades,
Dre has become one of the most
influential producers of all time.
And in recent years,
Dre's meteoric rise to the top of hip-hop,
encouraged his entrepreneurial spirit
to venture into building
his own commercial
billion dollar business.
Along with record executive Jimmy Iovine,
the two founded Beats Electronics,
a headphone and speaker brand.
This established Dre's universal influence
across the corporate
business infrastructure
of the industry at present.
And he is now one of the richest rappers
in the music industry
with an estimated net
worth of 850 million.
In the current era of hip-hop,
no producer is as innovative, as composed
and as polished as Dr. Dre.
A self-described perfectionist,
Dr. Dre creates beats and songs
that not only glamorize
the gangsta lifestyle,
but also warn against it.
Acknowledging hard work
and self-determination
is the main motivators behind his success.
Pairing this with drums,
distinct keyboard riffs,
and a magnificent mix,
he has built a benchmark
sound that many beat makers
aim for when mixing down their music.
Critics have held him
as one of the most valuable
figures in the hip-hop world
that aspiring artists should look up to.
Dre is now using the commercial success
of his latest album, "Compton,"
to support and fund a creative center
in his gang ridden hometown
that has catapulted him to stardom.
After 16 years, "Compton," the album,
replaced the abandoned "Detox" project
with a rich soundtrack of uproar,
self-sacrifice, and strong will.
Inspired by the forthcoming N.W.A. biopic
that takes Andre Young
back to the area code
that made his name.
Well, Dr. Dre's name when he was born
was Andre Romelle Young.
He's actually the child of two singers.
Both his mother and father were singers.
They split up and when
he was a young boy still,
he was living with his mother,
they moved around an awful lot.
At one point, they
ended up in a very dodgy
part of Los Angeles called Compton,
where he was very much exposed
to the kind of gangster life
that he would later on, of course,
go on to write about in his music.
So the first person I
like to thank is my mom.
I mean, a lot of people don't know this,
but my mom was pregnant
with me at the age 15.
Man. She was always told by
family, friends, neighbors,
or whatever, she's gonna ruin
her life and mine and, um...
Give me a second.
So throughout my entire childhood,
being a success was always
embedded in my head.
Steering clear
of the gang and gun violence
that was rife in his hometown.
The young Dr. Dre eventually
dropped out of school
to pursue his career as a DJ, rapper,
and later, the world's most
influential hip-hop producer.
Dr. Dre's initial flirtation with beats
started in his local
nightclub "Eve After Dark,"
which he would often revisit
to watch DJs and rappers perform live.
Dr. Dre himself later went
on to become a DJ in the club
where he also met aspiring
rapper, Antoine Carraby,
later known as DJ Yella of N.W.A...
In 1984, they formed a musical group,
World Class Wreckin' Cru.
The group would become an icon
of the electronic hip-hop scene
that dominated the early
1980s West Coast hip-hop.
Dre and Yella recorded
several demos in the studio,
and in their first recording session,
they recorded a song called "Surgery."
The release of this first single
prominently featuring
Dr. Dre on the turntable,
would also become the group's first hit,
selling 50,000 copies
within the Compton area.
Now this is his first ever group.
This is before N.W.A.,
and this is called World
Class Wreckin' Cru.
He's a really young guy,
he's actually a teenager at the time,
and in this video you
can see him on the decks
in like a red, shiny,
almost looks plastic suit.
The lead singers in gold
Lame with no shirt on,
dancing around, and they
look like a kind of cheesy,
tacky version of the Four Tops.
And it looks very Soul
Train, it looks very dated,
certainly a far cry from the image
that he would later project,
but it's really fun to
see where this global,
international billionaire
superstar started out.
Dr. Dre, Dr. Dre, Dr. Dre, Dr
Bom, bom, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bom
Bom, bom, ba bom bom, bom
Ba Bom bom, bom, bom bom, bom
Ahh ahh
Dre in the World Class Wreckin' Cru,
I never really listened to them
that much, but Dre was like,
you know, major R&B, and then suddenly,
he became this guy who
is behind the boards.
As Dre started performing
with the world class Wreckin' Cru
at parties and clubs around
South Central Los Angeles.
It wasn't long until he started to become
fully involved in hip-hop.
In 1986, he met Ice
Cube and the two rappers
began writing songs for Ruthless Records,
a label that was established
by former self confessed
drug dealer, Easy-E,
and businessman Jerry Heller.
When Easy tried to give
one of the duo songs,
"Boyz-n-the-Hood" to HBO,
a group signed to Ruthless,
and was turned down,
Easy teamed with Dre
and Cube forming N.W.A.,
an acronym for Niggas With Attitude.
With established music producer
Jerry Heller behind them,
N.W.A. were destined to take
the hip-hop world by storm.
He had a belief in them
that what they were doing was
part of the same sort of
rebel rock and roll tradition
of the artist that he knew
and that he'd grown up with
and worked with perhaps in some cases.
And he felt that what they
were doing was important
and also, felt that there
was money to be made there.
And you put him alongside
Easy, Andre and Ice Cube
and Ren, Yella as well,
and you have something that's greater
than the sum of its parts.
They released
their first album in 1987,
and a year later, Dre hit the
World with real hardcore rap
when he and N.W.A. stamped
onto the music scene
with their debut studio album,
"Straight Outta Compton,"
a vicious hardcore record.
It became an underground hit,
that received no support
from mainstream radio,
the press or MTV.
People tend to think of N.W.A.
as the foundation stone of gangster rap.
They probably weren't the
first people to do that.
Ice-T had had a record out before then.
Schoolly D over in Philadelphia
had been making records
that had what we would now
think of as gangster rap content
before N.W.A. came about.
But N.W.A. really took it from being
something that was off to
one side and in the margins
and made it a really
huge mainstream thing.
Stone Magazine described
the N.W.A. record, as
a hardship documentary
of LA Ghetto Life that
includes gang bangs,
drive by shootings and police sweeps.
The group portrayed themselves as
underground street reporters
and glamorized street life,
militant resistance to authority
and blatant sexist violence
through their hard hitting lyrics
and provocative performance.
I had some problems with N.W.A.,
I had some problems with them.
They were the first ones to
use the N word on a rap record,
in the way they used it.
I remember the first time I
heard "Straight Outta Compton,"
I was shocked. I was totally shocked.
I couldn't believe anyone would actually
put that on a record,
and I didn't realize that
all they were doing was
kind of, reprogramming people.
They were, they were ready,
they were determined to reprogram people
into an extreme ghetto mindset.
You are now about to witness
the strength of street knowledge.
Straight outta Compton
Crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube
From the gang called
Niggas With Attitude
When I'm called off, I got a sawed off
Squeeze the trigger and
bodies are hauled off
You too, boy, if ya fuck with me
The police are gonna
have to come and get me
Off yo ass, that's how I'm goin out
Well, the video for
"Straight Outta Compton"
really shows the guys
walking around Compton,
which is where they're from,
and you see Ice Cube, you know,
angry, angry, as per usual,
talking about the police,
come and get us, you know,
and just being really angry.
You see a map of Compton at one point
where they're kind of
showing their neighborhood,
they're proud of their neighborhood.
Despite the fact that Compton
has a terrible reputation
in terms of crime and and poverty.
These guys are saying,
"there's more to it than that,
and we're from Compton
and we're proud of it."
And it's a very low budget video.
I mean, you see them basically
walking around their neighborhood.
It doesn't look like there's
a high production value
on this yet. But you have to remember,
the guys weren't massive, huge,
international, multi selling
artists at this point yet.
After releasing the single
"Straight Outta Compton,"
N.W.A. went on to release
one of their most notorious
hits, "Fuck The Police,"
which explored the political
tension between black youth
and police officials, and
was an instant success.
The song provoked the FBI
to write to N.W.A.'s record company
about the lyrics expressing disapproval
and arguing that the song
misrepresented police.
The widespread attention triggered
by the song's controversial content
was indicative of the group's
growing universal popularity.
The music, the lyrics,
the attitude of this band
at that time was angry.
It was angry, it was frustrated,
and it was against the system.
And this was the first
time that we saw such
blatant anti-establishment
in the mainstream.
In fact, there was virtually
no radio play for this band
at the very beginning,
because radio stations
were afraid to play these songs.
There were so many curse words,
and other things that were
deemed to be dangerous.
They didn't dare put it on their playlist,
but despite that, the
public went mad for it.
They became massively successful.
And I think the song "Express Yourself,"
even though if you watch the video,
what you're seeing is
people expressing themselves
through crime and, you know,
running from the police,
not necessarily a model of good society,
but if you listen to the lyrics,
it talks about not doing drugs,
it talks about causes brain damage.
It talks about expressing yourself.
It is, I believe it's a very
positive message in some ways
because it's encouraging, in this case,
most likely young black people
in difficult neighborhoods
where there's racial tension and poverty
to express themselves and in a way,
finding an outlet through
outlet through music,
which would be something as
an alternative to the crime
and the gangs that they
see all around them.
In the video for "Express
Yourself," you see the members
of the group kind of
running from the police
and you see what's going on
is not really a happy picture,
but what you should understand,
and I think what they're
trying to show the world
is that this is their
reality. This is their life.
And for young people growing
up in these neighborhoods,
this is what they see every day.
All you got to do
now, express yourself
I'm expressin' with
my full capabilities
And now I'm livin' in
correctional facilities
'Cause some don't agree
with how I do this
I get straight,
meditate like a Buddhist
I'm droppin' flavor, my
behavior is hereditary
But my technique is very necessary
Blame it on Ice Cube,
because he says it gets funky
When you got a subject and a predicate
"Straight Outta Compton"
brought blockbuster success to N.W.A.,
all was not well within the group.
The famous point at
which the group basically
starts to disintegrate
is when Cube is presented with a contract
and a check for a six figure sum
that he can cash when
he signs the contract
and he decides not to sign the contract
and then other people get involved.
Cube begins to use N.W.A.'s
press agent as his manager
and extricates himself
from the group situation.
Cube departed in late 1989
amid many financial disagreements,
although Easy seemed to
be the undisputed leader
following cube's departure,
the music production was in Dre's hands.
N.W.A. went on to release
another record without Ice Cube,
but was N.W.A. still the same
without their lyrical mastermind.
They made that record without Ice Cube
and that put paid to their career. It did.
I reviewed that record and
man, I gave it three out of 10,
and in retrospect I
wasn't fair, but you know,
it had some really horrible tracks on it.
"Findum, Fuckum & Flee,"
you know, things like that.
A track about the killing of a prostitute,
all sorts of things like that.
They really, you know, they thought,
"okay, we've done 'Straight Outta Compton'
and Ice Cubes left. Oh,
we're up shit's creek,
what can we do?
We're going to push the
envelope out further."
And they did.
And it was terrible,
at the time to hear it.
But now, if you listen to that record now,
it's a classic record.
We can thank Dr. Dre.
On both the 1990
EP, "100 Miles And Runnin'"
and the 1991 album, "Niggaz4Life."
Dre produced dense, funky sonic landscapes
that still kept N.W.A.
at the top of the charts.
While the group was at the
peak of its popularity in 1991,
Dre began to make efforts
to leave the crew,
especially after he was charged
with assaulting Dee Barnes.
In 1991, Dr. Dre was
at a music industry party
when he assaulted a female
television journalist
with Fox News.
He didn't like the way she
reported Ice Cubes leaving N.W.A.
He didn't like what she
said, and according to her,
he grabbed her and slammed
her face against a wall
several times near a stairwell.
Later on, a very unapologetic
Dr. Dre at the time said,
he like fucking threw her down the stairs.
It was an aggressive, unacceptable
display of violence towards women,
that Dr. Dre would later go on to say
that he deeply regretted.
But unfortunately, there
were several incidences
of violence against women by Dr. Dre
around this time in his career.
A former girlfriend, a singer Michel'le
accused him of physical abuse
during their time together.
And a former label mate, called Tairrie B
also claimed that he assaulted
her at a post Grammy party.
So there were several incidences
where Dr. Dre was accused
of violence towards women.
And I think the fact that
this wasn't shown in the
film "Street Outta Compton"
caused a fair amount of controversy,
particularly from women's groups
who felt that it had been
whitewashed from the story,
and as if in some way excused.
Dr. Dre has been very
public and very contrite
in recent days, actually recent months,
where he has said very
publicly and in magazines
like "Rolling Stone" and
also in the "New York Times,"
how much he deeply regrets what happened,
how he's no longer the man he was,
and how he will remember
for the rest of his life,
the mistakes he made in his past.
There's no question that
Dr. Dre is not the man
that did those things, but unfortunately,
they very much are a part of his history.
After the controversy
of Dr. Dre's abuse had been exposed,
N.W.A. hit the headlines
with yet more negative press.
Over the next few years,
Dre and Easy engaged in
a highly publicized feud,
which included both rappers
attacking each other on their solo albums.
Dre left N.W.A. in 1992
and paired up with Suge Knight
to create Death Row Records label.
According to legend,
Knight held N.W.A.s manager
at gunpoint and threatened to kill him
if he refused to let
Dre out of his contract.
Dr. Dre felt gangs to rap was over.
He felt like that kind of angry,
frustrated theme had come to a close.
He wanted to do something different.
The members of N.W.A. disagreed with him
and they parted ways.
When Dr. Dre went over
to Suge Knight's label,
he started G-funk, which was
a really different sound.
It always had a much stronger
melody and one or two notes
that would kind of repeat
all the way through.
It wasn't so much shouting
and it was more almost
kind of singing and it was certainly more
musically based than the other was.
But additionally, it
wasn't quite so angry.
You know, you had songs like,
"Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"
and "California Love,"
which are actually positive uplifting.
"California love" is like
an anthem to California.
And these were early
songs that Dre produced
in that kind of G-funk vibe.
His debuted "The Chronic,"
instantly became the overarching force
in mid nineties hip-hop.
Most rap records started
to then imitated sound
and his productions for Snoop Doggy Dogg
and Blackstreet were instant massive hits.
One thing that you can't
take away from "The Chronic,"
is that it took a sound and
made it hugely successful,
popularized it globally,
and it did have a
transformative impact on hip-hop
that was to follow.
It's generally regarded as the record
that marks the end of
hip-hop's Golden Age.
Some people feel that the
Golden Age begins in about 1987
in New York with certain
records that that established
a gritty sound based on James Brown
and similar funk samples.
And that the, this period of the music
sort of mushrooming creativity.
Where there's constant
evolution and constant changes
in lyrics, styles, production techniques,
attitudes to the way the music is made.
That kind of reaches
its zenith in in 1992,
at which "The Chronic" marks
the sort of the end point
at which hip-hop is established now
as a mainstream pop music genre.
And the emphasis tends to
shift away a little bit
from this urge to create
something new and dynamic
and forward moving all the time
and starts to become more
about an industry capitalizing
on what it knows it already can sell.
On "The chronic," he had
all the south central rappers
who mattered at the time, on the record.
In the spring of 1992,
Dre released his first
solo single, "Deep Cover,"
a record that was going to
leave an indelible print
on the G-funk sound.
It cemented the launch
of a strong collaboration
with rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg,
who Dre discovered through
his stepbrother Warren G.
Thanks to the singles, "Nuthin'
but a "G" Thang," "Dre Day,"
as well as the release
of his collaboration
with Tupac on "California Love."
Dre was now the number one
producer in the industry.
The video for "California Love,"
which of course features
Tupac Shakur as well,
shows Dre and Tupac in these kind of
metallic leather ensembles,
which looks very "Mad Max" and
kind of apocalyptic in style.
And you see them singing
about, really California,
which is where they're both from,
and they talk about every part.
They talk about San Diego to
the Bay, meaning San Francisco,
and they talk about the kind
of the way California parties.
In the city, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin', we keep it rockin'
Now let me welcome everybody
to the Wild Wild West
A state that's untouchable
like Eliot Ness
The track hits your eardrum
like a slug to your chest
Pack a vest for your
Jimmy in the city of sex
We in that sunshine state
where the bomb-ass hemp be
The state where you never
find a dance floor empty
And pimps be on a
mission for them greens
Lean mean money-making-machines
servin' fiends
Dre directed several of the videos
for the singles from "The Chronic."
"Nuthin' but a "G" Thang"
was a very influential video.
It was the perfect video for the track.
It just shows a bunch of guys hanging out,
having a party in a good time
because that's what the song's about.
I think one of the things
that gets missed about that record,
and one of the things
that struck me at the time
was that in many respects that was the,
the Black American equivalent
of what Kurt Cobain was doing
with "Smells Like Teen
Spirit" for White America.
it's not a record that
says, "you should try
and live this life
because it's really cool."
It's just a record that says,
"here's the life we're living."
And the video for G Thang
reinforced those themes
of the lyrics of the song.
It's aimless. It's directionless,
but everyone seems to
be having a good time
despite the relative accrual of wealth.
It was very down home, it was very earthy.
It wasn't particularly something
that you would choose to
pattern your own life on,
but it was kind of saying,
"if this is what you've got,
then isn't that enough?"
And that was quite a positive thing.
Quite an empowering thing for
people to hear and to see.
Yeah and that's realer
than Real-Deal Holyfield
And now you hookers and
hoes know how I feel
Well, if it's good enough to
get broke off a proper chunk
I'll take a small piece of
some of that funky stuff
It's like this and like
that and like this and a
It's like that and like
this and like that and a
It's like this and like
that and like this and a
Dre, creep to the mic like a phantom
Well, I'm peepin' and I'm
creepin' and I'm creepin'
But I damn near got caught
'cause my beeper kept beepin'
Dr. Dre is a fantastic,
phenomenal producer
and one of his greatest skills
is his ability to talent spot.
Dre discovered Snoop Dogg
and turned him really into
the mega global superstar that he became,
"Nuthin' but a "G"
Thang" really highlights
Snoop's breathy, almost
kind of lyrical voice
and the way he raps and rhymes.
And Dre saw innately that he
was onto some superstar talent
and highlighted that in the song.
When Dre found Snoop,
he obviously understood
that here was, potentially,
somebody who could really
take the idea of gangster rap
and translate it to a much wider audience.
There was something about
Snoop as a character,
as a personality that you
can hear on the records,
even in the way that he rapped
right at the beginning of his career.
Very sing-songy, very lilting.
He came across in a very engaging,
very innocent sounding kind of a way.
Yeah, he was talking
about some really dark
and difficult things.
Dre understood intuitively
exactly what Snoop would
be able to achieve.
And you put that voice and that style
along with Dre's approach
to music at the time,
and you've got a very potent combination.
And the two of them together made records
that were obviously always
likely to achieve wide appeal,
but they took something that
in terms of its content,
what was very challenging
and very difficult
and they made it into pop music,
and that was unprecedented.
I interviewed Dr. Dre
himself on the tour bus
on the way to the concert
at Brixton Academy.
And Dr. Dre, he was more forthright.
He's like, boom.
Even though on the bus to, he too,
while he was trying to talk
in a forthright manner,
the others, you know, it
wasn't just Snoop Dogg,
it was a whole load of Death Row people
and people affiliated with them.
They were really merciless.
I think they were trying
to put Dr. Dre off
so he he would say something out of color,
they wanted them to talk about women.
Let's just put it nicely, women.
that's what they want, because
of the nature of the albums.
They wanted it to be as realistic
in that sense as possible,
as if the actual characters on the record
are the same as their projections.
They're not, they're not.
Dre's really chill. And
Snoop Dogg, too. Chill.
Not only did he produce
Snoop's 1993 debut, "Doggystyle,"
but he orchestrated
several film soundtracks
and helmed hit records,
such as Black Street's "No
Diggity," among others,
including a hit reunion with Ice Cube,
"Natural Born Killaz."
During this entire time,
Dre released no new records,
but he didn't need to.
All of Death Row was under his control
and most of his peers imitated his style.
The Death Row dynasty held
strong until the spring of 1996,
when Dre grew frustrated with
Knight's aggressive ways.
Dre left the label in the summer
of 1996 to form Aftermath,
when he declared that
gangster rap was dead.
While he was the target of many taunts
from his former Death Row colleagues,
their sales slipped by 1997
and Knight was imprisoned
on racketeering charges
by the end of the year.
Dre's first various
artist compilation album,
"Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath,"
received considerable media attention,
but the record did not
have the same impact
as his hit single "Been There Done That."
Even though the album
wasn't a massive hit,
the collapse of Death row in 1997
proved that Dre's instincts
were correct at the time.
The turning point for
Aftermath came in 1998
when Jimmy Iovine, the head of Aftermaths
parent label Interscope,
suggested that Dre signed Eminem,
a white rapper from Detroit.
Well one of the best stories
I think about Dre and
Eminem's collaboration
was at the very beginning,
the first time that Eminem
actually came into the studio,
Dre had called in some
of his friends to hear
this new guy that he had talent spotted
and wanted them to take a listen to.
Eminem walked in at the time
and didn't really look
the part to say the least.
At the time, Marshall
Mathers had no money.
He'd been wearing an
outfit like a jumpsuit,
which was bright yellow
that he'd been given
by some promotional company.
Had no money to buy any other clothes,
so had been wearing it for
like a week. The same ensemble.
He stunk, he looked ridiculous.
One of the guys sitting there
said he looked like Tweety Bird
and they were all laughing at him.
These were really serious rap producers
who thought he looked like a joke.
They called him Tweety Bird.
But as soon as Eminem went behind the mic,
got in the studio and started rapping,
you could have heard a
pin drop in that room.
The guys were all like, "whoa!"
And they immediately recognized
the incredible talent
that Dr. Dre had spotted.
When you first met.
This is a question for both of you.
What did you think of
each other, honestly?
I thought he was a fuckin' dick
and he probably thought worse of me.
I thought he was, I
thought he was Tweety Bird.
- No, 'cause he had this real-
- Fuck you.
He had this real bright
fuckin' yellow sweatsuit on.
Man, if I hear one more thing
about that goddamn sweatsuit.
I had this yellow outfit
on when I first met Dre,
it was like this outfit
that a clothing company had given me.
And I didn't have money like
some people had at the time,
you know, so I was going
on a week wearing it,
so it was actually turning kind of green,
but he called me a
banana when he met me so,
it was on from there.
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," brought
Eminem to public attention
for the first time.
"Hi, my name is." How'd you
come up with that concept?
figured like my name was,
and then I came up with it.
Now Dre like that was, it was really ill
because the first day me
and Dre got down together,
we did three songs,
and "My Name Is" was the
second song that we did
and we was in there. It was like
he played me in the beat
and it was like instantly,
I just started saying it like, you know,
the beat started talking
to me like," hi, my name."
I started like doing the hook
and he looked at me kind of funny, like,
"you gonna use that as a hook?" You know?
And the more I started saying it,
the engineers in the
studio started saying it,
you know what I'm saying?
Everybody was like, "oh,
hi, my name is, my name is."
And I was like, "yo,
that's him right there."
So I just went in and like
freestyled some verses
and then I hadn't had him wrote yet
and just went home that same night
and just wrote them and
then came back the next day.
Came back and just.
"The Slim Shady"
LP experienced immense success
reaching number two on the Billboard 200
and received universal
acclaim from critics.
Reviving Aftermath's commercial
ambitions and viability.
The other thing that that
often gets forgotten about
is that Eminem happened along
at a point where Dre
really needed to find him.
Over the years, he's made
records that have been a lot less
artistically valid or successful
than appeared on that
Aftermath compilation album,
but it wasn't this
super stratospheric hit.
Now who knows, if Eminem hadn't come along
to find his mojo again, if you like,
to get back to the top of his
game, commercially speaking,
would we be talking today
about this long career?
Would we have had the 2001
album? Would we have had Compton?
Would we have had this wait for Detox?
Would that narrative have been the same?
I very much doubt it.
So the idea of some new
blood coming into the mix,
a new discovery, a sort of
a new Snoop, if you like.
Someone who will come along
and take that role in his life,
be be a muse for him musically
and who will also have the
same relationship back with him
and who will be able to
come out of his beats
and take them into some other place.
It was absolutely vital that it happened
at the time that it did.
Dre, to be honest, was
trying to throw a spanner
into the works by bringing in Eminem.
Eminem is, you know, I like,
the Slim Shady record.
Yeah, that was okay.
But the one I like is the
Marshall Mathers record
where he's really,
really terrible.
He's like some sort of crazed bulldog
and he's doing it with a laugh.
And you know, that's
the one. That's the one.
By the time they got to that one,
their collaboration had
become really cemented
and Eminem had been absorbed
into the hip-hop process to that extent.
Dr. Dre actually didn't get that much
out of his partnership with Eminem,
because Dr. Dre's already established.
He didn't need to cross
over to middle America
because middle America is already hip-hop.
I mean, there are so many
people who are hip-hop,
even though they're middle Americans,
they were the ones buying hip-hop.
So it is more a case
of Dr. Dre throwing it
back at the people who
were buying his records
than anything else.
Because, really, he didn't
need to sign Eminem.
Eminem sold as many records as he sold,
but we actually were also on that meeting
the influence of Jimmy Iovine in this,
who's the head of the label,
the label Head, Interscope Records,
and Jimmy Iovine is a
big old rock producer
and he might have twisted
Dre's arm a little.
He might have just twisted his
arm a little that, you know,
yeah, okay. You know, get me an Eminem.
on November 16th, 1999,
Dr. Dre's second solo album, "2001,"
was considered an
explosive authentic return
to his gangster rap roots.
It's a brilliant record,
it's like a summation of
his career and it was,
not sad, but it was slightly disheartening
to find out afterwards
that Dr. Dre didn't actually
write his own lyrics
and that someone like Jay-Z
was actually spoon feedin' Dr. Dre lyrics,
but Mad Skilzs too, I think
had a hand in that record
'cause Mad Skillz is,
he's like one of the top ghost writers.
The whole thing is ghost writers.
But Dre sounds amazing on the record,
better than he sounded
on the records before
because Dre was just like over the years,
trying to get more and more into an MC,
into an MC that would be respected.
But you can't necessarily
be respected as an MC
if you don't write your own lyrics.
This is the hidden side of hip-hop,
ghost writers and people
writing lyrics for other people.
It's a hidden side. No one,
people don't get the credit
they deserve for writing those lyrics
because mostly the credits
go to the producers
and go to the musicians.
And Dr. Dre's a producer
and he didn't really have to do anything
other than actually, you know,
just be in his own studio.
So he was relaxed, he's really relaxed,
I mean, he said as many things
as he could on that album.
"2001" is still a great record.
You can still hear the
times in the record.
And that was when it was millennium fever,
that's why he called it "2001" album.
numerous collaborators
and was highly successful.
Hitting number two on
the billboard 200 charts.
In the video for "Still Dre,"
you see Dr. Dre and Snoop
Dogg driving around LA
with a car that's got the
wheels kind of jacked up
and bouncing. You see this a lot in LA.
I mean, I used to live there
and I would see literally see people
driving around like this all the time.
And it, again, it's just kind of a,
a tribute to Los Angeles and the culture.
You see Snoop get out
and he's in his baby blue
tracksuit kind of thing,
and he's cool and casual.
And Dre and he are having a
great time driving around LA
with their honeys in the backseat.
It's a very, I think it's a very typical,
kind of very fun look at
Los Angeles at the time.
"2001" Is probably the
one example in his career
where he has just done
what, in many respects,
would've been advisable for him to do
most of the rest of the time,
which is just get his head down,
finish a record, get it out.
It was a record that wasn't something
that people had been
talking about for years.
And because the previous album
had been relative commercial flop,
then it wasn't a record
that perhaps came freighted
with quite so much pressure
of expectations of high sales.
So it sold very well. The music
on it was pretty excellent,
for the most part.
It had people on it who were
already established stars,
who he'd help make established stars
and who clearly were enjoying
being back working with
him in this kind of
what one might term traditional
way, rather than just being,
you know, having Dre come in and do a beat
for a track on an album that was
otherwise pulled together
from other sources.
This was a Dre record. He was in charge,
he did it his way and it worked.
So fuck y'all, all of y'all
If y'all don't like me, blow me
Y'all are gon' keep
fuckin' around with me
And turn me back to the old me
Nowadays, everybody wanna talk
Like they got somethin' to say
But nothin' comes out
when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish
And motherfuckers act
like they forgot about Dre
It's not a high production glossy video,
it's a simple telling of a story.
Dre's talking about how he's
changed from the old Dre
and how people are
resentful of the success
that he has now and sometimes
trying to bring him down.
During the course of 2001's
undeniable popularity,
Dr. Dre was involved in several lawsuits.
Lucas Film Limited,
the film company behind the
Star Wars film franchise
sued him over the use of the
THX trademarked "Deep Note."
- Okay.
- Yes.
Okay, I'm sure there's a few people
who also wanna talk a bit
about the Lucas lawsuits.
Let's get this outta way now.
You're also being sued by George Lucas.
Yeah, there's a sound-
there's a sound at
the beginning of my album.
It's a THX sound.
I originally used his sound
and I tried to get it cleared,
and they said they wouldn't clear it,
so I said it, "fuck it,"
and went back in the studio
and created my own sound.
Now they're saying it sounds similar,
which it does, it sounds similar,
but it's my sound that
we created in the studio.
So that's what the lawsuit is about,
and I believe we're
going to end up settling
and they're going to
get what I was offering
them in the first place.
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 material
that artists do not want to
have shared on the network.
What Napster did is enable
people to get the music
that I work hard for, for
nothing. You know what I'm saying?
What they're basically doing
is taking food outta my kids mouth.
You know what I'm saying? Straight up.
They, in my opinion,
I believe if Napster succeeds
with what they're going to do,
you're never going to hear any new music
because there's not any
artists that are want to,
that are gonna want to go
in the studio and record
if their music is being
given away for free.
It's like, what is the whole element of
somebody putting out a album
and building a hype around it,
somebody being anxious
to hear someone's album.
It's like, we might as
well, like me and Dre
might as well cut a song and
put it right on the internet
before it comes out. Like, here you go,
this is the song we just did.
You know, why don't we
just put it song by song?
If Napster continues, it's gonna be like,
nobody's gonna want to
keep making music anymore
because it's like everybody
is gonna get it for free.
So what's the point of making the music?
It's like, you know, you make
the music from your heart
and you spend hours in the studio
and then somebody just gets it for free.
It's like you're working
for free. Like here I,
you can't support your kids or
nothing because they want to,
you know, they want,
they're basically taking
your music for free.
Straight up. But I don't
think there's anybody
in this room that wants to go to work
and not expect to see
a paycheck in return.
Straight up, this is my job,
this is what I do for a living.
Mm. Would you have used,
would you have used an
outlet like Napster now,
if you were just starting
out and you had a demo tape
and no one was listening to your music
and no record companies
were calling you back,
would you jump on there and try
and promote your music that way though?
Do you think there's a positive
aspect to young artists
through the internet
and downloading music?
Yes. Yes. I do think that's
a positive thing about it,
if it's done that way,
but they're taking our music
that we spend money on,
hard work and time and we're
professionals with this,
you know what I'm saying?
And they're just giving it away.
Following the
impact of his "2001" album,
Dr. Dre invested his
energy in making 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.
It's just a vibe I get. You know,
of course they have to
have a serious talent,
but sometimes you need a
little bit more than that.
You can have a person
that's seriously talented
and they can be an asshole.
You know what I mean?
So I have to find somebody
that has a serious talent
and I can vibe with 'em in the studio.
The person that I work with,
I have to see myself
maybe leaving the studio
and going out to eat with
'em and not being irritated.
You know what I'm saying? And vice versa.
they have to be able to get along with me
and accept my personality,
you know what I mean?
So that's pretty much it for
me. If we can vibe together,
we can have fun together
and you have a talent,
I'm gonna bring the best outta you
and you're gonna be a hit.
Dre is a really social person.
He loved people that
know him from back then,
before you know, Andre was a super dude.
He still a dude from Compton
and a loyal dude too.
His connections and his people,
if you're part of his team.
He's gonna look out for you.
More often than not.
Dre's production know-how
instincts paid off,
but because of the time and energy
he invested in producing for others,
he developed a reputation as
a perfectionist in the studio
as he pushed artists to
achieve their highest potential
whilst trying to discover
their own signature perfect beat.
In some cases, many of them
didn't end up releasing
any music due to Dr.
Dre's pedantic tendencies.
His work ethic as far as in the studio,
if you don't have that sound,
it just makes him say, "yay,"
you're gonna keep making
hooks. The hook's not right.
Okay, we need to change
you to verse, okay,
we need to add this. He's like that.
And some people would be like,
"I mean all you gotta do is put it out
and they're gonna buy it"
But he's not into that,
just putting out music.
He's like, I've seen
not even come out with an album.
He's giving him three checks.
So that tells you what kind of guy he is.
You don't give him what he wants
or that sound that he
thinks that's gonna stab
and solidify his name with.
He's not letting you put it out.
This not
only affected other artist
developing careers, but
it was later considered
to have a stifling effect
on his own creative process.
Sometimes maybe as an artist,
maybe you need to just say,
"look, it's not gonna be perfect,
but let's get it out there
'cause it is what it is."
Dr. Dre is a perfectionist,
so much so that several
of the artists he's worked
with on his record label
never actually got to finish their album
because he never thought it
was right or good enough.
As a lyricist, Dr. Dre has never
been considered a fantastic artist.
His lyrics are very simple.
He doesn't have the kind of poetic nature
of someone like Jay-Z.
He's not a brilliant writer
when it comes to lyrics.
What Dr. Dre is unbeatable at however,
is his skill as a producer.
Watching him in the studio,
people have said is
like watching a composer
or an artist at work.
Dr. Dre's greatest skill is
that he can hear something
that's genius that someone has done
and he can pull it out of them
and he can kind of put it together
into something that's amazing
in terms of music production.
You would be hard pressed
to find a more successful
or a more talented music
producer than is Dr. Dre.
He's a very famous perfectionist.
In fact, Snoop Dogg said at one time
he had made one rapper he was working with
pull out one line 107 times,
he had to repeat that lyric
until Dre thought it was good enough.
I think there's a elastic
limit with these things.
If you're pushing
somebody to get something
that you can hear in your head
and they can't get it right
and it takes them a
hundred goes to get it,
are you ever gonna get to whatever it is
that you think you want or that
you think you hear in them?
So I think there'll be a
law of diminishing returns
would apply there and maybe suggest that
that record isn't gonna work.
And maybe that's when we get to the heart
of why the projects like "Detox"
just never saw the light of day.
They've been worked on too
much. It's possible to do that.
Picasso is famously said something about
never finishing a painting,
just deciding to stop working on it.
Perhaps Dre felt that if
he kept doing more and more
and trying harder and pushing further,
and getting more out of his people
and insisting that each
vocalist redid each take
again and again and again,
somehow that that work
ethic that he's got,
that drive would turn into art.
But maybe it steamroll as
the inspiration part out of.
It. In 2002,
Dre announced a third album
that he planned to call "Detox."
The album suffered numerous
delays as he began to focus
more on moonlighting the
musical careers of others.
But was the failure to produce
"Detox" a mere consequence
of his perfectionism or
a product of his ego?
He was supposed to
put out the detox album
and he only released one single off it.
It featured Eminem and Skylar Grey.
And Skylar Grey really
dominated the track actually.
And Skylar Grey should actually
really have an album out
produced by Dre.
And he just kind of, I think
after the Eminem experience,
maybe he stopped from doing
what he was going to do.
But the "Detox" album is legendary
and he's in, he will put it out.
He's saying he's done with Compton.
With Compton, he's saying he's done.
That this is it,
and when he starts talking about
talking to my diary that he's done.
But I think he will actually
still put out "Detox."
He's always ended up talking about
and promoting the next thing
before the next even
really take begun to take
even the simplest, most
basic initial shape.
I really don't see how
as a creative person
that can be a healthy
place for you to be in.
Sometimes you just need to
do what you've got to do
to get the art out,
and then tell the world
about it once it's done.
Following 11 years
of barren work on his "Detox" album,
it was confirmed the album
would never be released
because of Dr. Dre's
entrepreneurial ventures
that had arguably interfered
with his recording work.
We then suddenly find Dre
abandoning this apparently,
and instead with the "Compton" record,
we get something that is apparently
as close as he's ever got
to a sort of an instantaneous reaction
to breaking news in current events.
He's decided that that the exercise
that he had to go through for the making
of the "Straight Outta Compton" film,
of looking back at his past
and seeing that past
through other people's eyes,
through the eyes of F. Gary Gray
and the writers and the the
production team involved
in this big production Hollywood movie
about his life and his group's past.
He starts to see himself
in a different light
and he decides "Detox" is
gone, he's scrapping it,
and instead he's gonna make a record
that gets to the heart of
what he was always all about
because he's been able to
see that past come alive
in a new way because of
this creative process
that he's been on with the film.
So if we read that narrative at face value
and we see no reason not to.
Then we see Dre going from
a stalled 15 year process
of trying to make one record
that he hasn't got anywhere with,
that he's willing to let anyone hear.
And instead abandoning that
and coming up with something
that by his standards,
is kind of dashed off
in an afternoon almost.
It's quick, it's unexpected.
It's finished, it's surprise.
It's out in the shops tomorrow
and you kind of wonder whether
what he'd lost by working,
overworking, reworking,
working again through "Detox,"
whether he is actually
gained that much back
by going completely in
the opposite direction.
And, and suddenly we, we get into Compton,
which he says is put together quickly,
rough and ready at the last minute.
And I don't know that either of those
is necessarily the best way for him.
In 2015, the N.W.A. drama,
"Straight Outta Compton"
was released in theaters,
Straight Outta Compton was
met with mixed reviews,
criticized for not painting
an accurate picture
of N.W.A.s earlier years,
as well as omitting previous
acts of violence against women
and for setting an unfair portrayal
of the people involved in making N.W.A.
The film of Compton.
I'm waiting for it to come
out on DVD and I'll watch it.
I won't have a problem watching it
because it's the story
of N.W.A. supposedly.
But I'm sure it being Hollywood,
it's sugar coated and as
long as it's sugar coated,
I'm not really, you know, that interested.
If it's considering the kind
of nature of their records,
it shouldn't really be sugar
coated, but that's Hollywood.
You have this group
whose main contribution
to the wider discussions about
the society that they inhabit
is to be those people
who were telling these difficult stories.
Regardless of how they came out of them,
they were gonna tell the truth
as they saw it in their music.
And you have a film, that takes
the real story of the band
and works itself into knots,
trying to sanitize
parts of that story for,
not just for public consumption,
because you'd imagine
that the public going
to see a film about N.W.A.
would have at least a vague
idea of who N.W.A. were,
why they might be important,
and therefore what sort of material
they're likely to encounter in the film.
But it seems almost designed
to have burnished an image
of Dre in particular as being a guy
who basically could never do any wrong.
The film
influenced the producer
to abort "Detox" in favor of
an LP Inspired by the film,
Dre announced that he would
be releasing his final
and brand new album entitled
"Compton" in August, 2015.
The compilation style album
features a number of collaborators
from various points in his career,
including Eminem, Snoop Dogg,
Kendrick Lamar, Exhibit,
and The Game, among others.
When Compton was released,
it received widespread
acclaim from music critics.
The Compton album is,
it's just excellent.
I listen to it, I'm like, "whoa."
And then I realized
that what he was doing,
what Dr. Dre was doing
was actually going through
chapters of his life in Compton.
While "The
Chronic" in 2001 were able
to cultivate and define both the landscape
and counter culture that surrounded them.
It's unclear whether his
most recent "Compton"
will be able to have the same impact.
It was very well received by critics.
It sold something like 250,000
units in the first week.
It wasn't the kind of success that he had
with some of his earlier work,
but at the same time it
was very widely received.
Dr. Dre said with the album "Compton,"
he actually had 20 to
40 tracks for the album
that he did not include
'cause he didn't think
they were good enough to make the cut.
He's a notorious perfectionist
and everything he does
has to be just right.
That's what I am, I'm
a I'm a record producer.
I'm just a creative and innovative person
that just love letting my
creative juices flow in any way.
So that's my love.
Most of the time I have to get talked into
performing on record or
performing in the videos
and what have you, because I
don't think that's my thing
and I don't think that's
what my true talent lies.
2021 Was a tough year for Dre
as he suffered a brain aneurysm
and was rushed to the hospital
for treatment in January.
He was discharged not long after,
later that year in December,
Dr. Dre and his wife Nicole Plotser,
settled their divorce for 100 million.
Then that same year, an
update for the video game,
"Grand Theft Auto Online,"
predominantly featured Dre
and some of his previously
unreleased tracks,
which were released as an EP,
the contract in February, 2022.
In 2022, a well recovered Dre
performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.
Dre's pay staking sensibility
can be heard in his production aesthetic,
which has changed intermittently
and grown increasingly
meticulous over the years
from his days as a member
of the gangsta rap group, N.W.A.
through his solo outings
and on to his mission
to discover and produce
for numerous artists today.
Dr. Dre remains one of the
most successful figures
in the music business.
It will take generations
to fully grasp the richness
of Dr. Dre's dexterity and
the ever changing impact
of his musical advancement,
both in their moment and for the future.
hip-hop is never in danger
of becoming too commercial,
especially when you have artists
and producers like myself out there
because I'm gonna always keep it raw
and keep it straight and keep it dirty,
straight up, no matter what.