Dr. Dre is one of the most influential hip hop artists in the music industry. Through hard work and perseverance, Dr. Dre made a name for himself and helped other artists create names for themselves. The rap and music industry would not be what it is today without the influence of Dr. Dre and the hip hop genre as a whole is heavily influenced by the work of Dr. Dre.
Andre Romelle Young, famously known as Dr. Dre, was born in Compton, California on February 18, 1965. His parents, Theodore and Verna Young split when Dr. Dre was seven years old, and Dr. Dre has been vocal about how his grandmother mainly raised him in the New Wilmington Arms Housing Projects in Compton. His parents were both singers and musicians. Verna Young was a part of The Four Aces group but left the group before Dr. Dre was born. His father was a part of a band called The Romells. Dr. Dre wasn’t the best student and attended Centennial High School but due to poor grades transferred to Fremont High school in L.A. At Fremont High School, Dr. Dre was a diver on the school’s diving team, but his spot was constantly in jeopardy due to his poor grades. After graduating from high school, Verna Young (Dr. Dre’s mother) strongly encouraged Dr. Dre to continue his educational career at Chester Adult School in Compton. Along with attending Chester Adult School, Dr. Dre also participated in a radio broadcasting school. Eventually, Dr. Dre would drop out of school to focus on his social and entertainment life, which began at Eve’s After Dark nightclub.
In 1984, Dr. Dre received a music mixer for Christmas which ultimately got him into making beats. His home became his own personal studio as he spent hours on end chopping, reversing, and piecing together music. Dr. Dre has said that Grandmaster Flash was his main inspiration, specifically the song “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” which inspired him to get into music.
Dr. Dre would begin his career at Eve’s After Dark nightclub as a D.J., where he called himself Dr. J after his favorite basketball player Julius Erving. Eventually, Dr. J would adopt the infamous name Dr. Dre after combining Dr. J with his real name, Andre. The nightclub had many successful D.J.s and rappers, and it was at this nightclub that Dr. Dre met Antoine Carraby, better known as D.J. Yella. D.J. Yella would eventually be a D.J. for N.W.A. With the use of a small studio in the back of Eve After Dark, Dr. Dre and Yella would record multiple demos where the talent of both men was demonstrated in the demos. From here, Dr. Dre would join a group called World Class Wreckin’ Cru. This group was a popular west coast electro and hip hop group that was prominent during the 80s and included Dr. Dre and D.J. Yella. The group’s first significant hit was called “Surgery,” which sold over 50,000 copies in just Compton alone. Dr. Dre showcased his skills on the turntables in this group. In 1986 Dr. Dre would meet O’Shea Jackson or Ice Cube and record a song with him for Eazy E’s record label, ruthless records. This was ultimately the beginning of N.W.A or Niggaz Wit Attitudes.
Eazy E would recruit Dr. Dre under Ruthless records, and in 1988 the group would release “Straight Outta Compton,” which kicked off gangsta rap and inspired many rap artists across the country. Dr. Dre was a rapper and producer in N.W.A. but predominantly preferred producing and DJing. N.W.A. brought gangsta rap into the spotlight with its very vulgar and violent lyrics.
Dr. Dre would leave N.W.A. in 1992 and focus on Death Row Records, a record label he founded with Suge Knight along with the DOC and Dick Griffey. Death Row Records was known in the 90s for signing and releasing multi-platinum songs from West Coast-based artists, including 2Pac and Snoop Dogg. Dr. Dre would go on to win his first Grammy Award under Death Row Records after releasing the solo “Let Me Ride.” This song would be known as the best rap solo performance at the 1994 Grammys.
In 1996, Dr. Dre would leave Death Row Records and create Aftermath Records. Under Aftermath Records, Dr. Dre would produce another Grammy-winning hit solo for the song “Forgot About Dre” featuring Eminem.
While having astonishing talents in DJing and rapping, Dr. Dre always preferred producing, and in 2000 he would take home yet another Grammy for producer of the year. This was primarily due to his incredible work with Eminem, who would produce the Grammy-winning album, The Marshall Mathers L.P under Dr. Dre. By the early 2000s, Dr. Dre was a significant producer and signed Eminem, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg.
By 2010, Dr. Dre would win two more Grammys, both due to his work with Eminem. In 2015, Dr. Dre created his third album, Compton, and released it right before the movie Straight Out of Compton. The film was released in 2015 and is dedicated to the story of the infamous N.W.A group.
In 2016, Dr. Dre would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his role, work, and contributions to N.W.A. Dr. Dre also established Beats Electronics with his long-time friend Jimmy Iovine (in-text link). Beats Electronics would dominate the market with its quality headphones and speakers. Six years later, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine would create and release Beats Music, a popular music platform that would be purchased along with Beats Electronics by Apple for $3 billion in 2014.
Artists Dr. Dre signed and worked with
Dr. Dre is credited for signing major artists Eminem, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg. He also oversaw and worked heavily with T.I, Mary J. Blige, 2Pac, the D.O.C., Xzibit, Knoc-turn’al, the Game, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson Paak. Dr. Dre signed Eminem in 1998 and 50 Cent in 2002 and co-produced their most influential albums. He also produced Snoop Dogg’s hit album Doggystyle in November of 1993 under Death Row Records. Furthermore, Dr. Dre and 2Pac would create “California Love” and produce it on December 3, 1995. “California Love” was one of 2Pac’s most well-known hits after his release from jail in 1995.
Dr. Dre has shown artists that anything is possible and inspired many to follow their dreams of becoming active in the music industry. Artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar have been vocal on how special Dr. Dre’s first album, The Chronics, is and how inspired they felt by the album. Furthermore, Dr. Dre has always kept an eye out for new talent and the next big artist. As a result, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg all rose to be very popular and prominent artists in the rap/hip hop genre. He has also changed the music game with his co-creation of Beats Electronics which delivers an amazing listening experience for customers through headphones, earbuds, and speakers.
Dr. Dre also popularized G-Funk which includes slower bass, synth-laden grooves, and live instruments instead of samples. G-Funk is also known for sampling 70s funk music along with Parliament-Funkadelic. Dr. Dre’s use of G-Funk can be seen in his first album, The Chronic.
Dr. Dre is one of the most influential artists in the music industry as a whole and specifically the rap/hip hop genre. After building a name for himself, he showed the world that anything is possible. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a member of one of the most famous and influential gangsta rap groups (N.W.A.), and created Beats Electronics, which products are widely used across the country. He also signed and produced some of the world’s most prominent artists including Eminem and 50 Cent.
Without Dr. Dre, the music industry would not be what it is today. With his versatile ability to rap, D.J., and produce, Dr. Dre forever changed not only the rap game but the music industry as a whole. He showed others what was possible and influenced, and still influences, many major artists to this day. His wisdom and knowledge of the industry cannot go unrecognized. The music industry is forever grateful for Dr. Dre and all of his outstanding work.
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