Dr. Dre

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Dr. Dre (2011)
Dr. Dre performing at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Dr. Dre (born February 18, 1965 in Compton , California ; real name André Romelle Young ) is an American rapper . He is regarded as a major hip-hop - producer and the founder of G-funk . In addition to his previous engagement with the World Class Wreckin 'Cru and NWA , he was active as a solo artist. His productions are believed to be responsible for the breakthroughs for Snoop Dogg , Eminem , The Game , 50 Cent , Xzibit , Kendrick Lamar , Jon Connor and more.


André Romell Young was born in 1965 as the first child of Verna and Theodore Young. His middle name Romell is derived from the name of his father's former band The Romells . The parents divorced when André was three years old. He grew up with his mother, who has three other children with her second husband. His mother's third marriage to Warren Griffin made him the stepbrother of Warren Griffin III, who later released rap albums under the name Warren G.

After elementary school, Young attended Centennial High School in Compton in 1979 , but transferred to Fremont High School due to poor performance. Young was more focused on his music than on school. In 1981, at the age of 16, he became the father of a son, Curtis, who grew up with his mother and did not meet Young until 20 years later. Curtis Young is active as a rapper under the stage name Hood Surgeon .

From 1990 to 1996 he was in a relationship with the singer Michel'le , who was also under contract with Death Row . With her he had a son in 1991. In May 1996 he married Nicole Threatt, with whom he has two other children.

In August 2008, Young's second son, whom he had with a former girlfriend, Andre Young Jr., died at the age of 20. He was found dead by his mother in their common house. The final report of the forensic medicine gives the cause of death an overdose of heroin and morphine .

Musical career

World Class Wreckin 'Cru (1984–1985)

Young began going regularly to The Eve After Dark nightclub in 1984 , working under the stage name Dr. J. as a DJ. During his work he met Antoine Carraby, who later became known as DJ Yella . Young called himself Dr. Dre around.

During this time he started working with the World Class Wreckin 'Cru (WCWC), which made electro hop music. The first success was the independent released single " Surgery ", of which over 50,000 copies were sold in the Los Angeles area. In contrast to the gangster image shown later, Dr. Dre at WCWC in glittering costume and with lipstick on. The music consisted of fast rhythms from a drum machine and many scratch elements. To this end, simple texts were often repeated (" Calling Dr. Dre for Surgery "). The group got a $ 100,000 record deal with CBS Records in 1985 after the single " Juice " . With the treaty, conflicts arose within the group over the distribution of the money. Dr. Dre, not only with the fashion focus of the group, but also with the musical - he would rather the P-Funk of George Clinton oriented - was dissatisfied, left the group 1985th

Together with DJ Yella, he started working on Los Angeles' first hip-hop radio station, KDAY . There they were in the program Mixmasters of Ice-T participates. While Yella was the station's first permanent DJ, Dr. Dre a 15-minute set for the Traffic Jams show every day .

Breakthrough with NWA (1986–1991)

Dr. Dre met Ice Cube and the petty criminal Eazy-E in 1986 . Dre and Cube began working together for the Eazy-E Ruthless Records label . After the electro-hop from the World Class Wreckin 'Cru, the new productions were tougher both musically and in terms of content. Street life in Compton served as motif and inspiration.

In 1986 they founded the group NWA (short for " Niggaz Wit Attitudes "). DJ Yella and MC Ren also joined . Within the group, Dr. Dre mainly responsible for the production and the music, but also had rap parts. In 1987 NWA's unsuccessful debut album " NWA and the Posse " was released. The first commercial success came with the second album " Straight Outta Compton ", released in 1988 , which was produced within six weeks on a budget of 8,000 US dollars. In total, NWA sold 2.5 million units of the album, which is now considered the first major production by Dr. Dres applies. The controversy over the song " Fuck tha Police " and investigations against NWA by the FBI made the album known nationwide. In the conservative American public, NWA has become the stereotype of dangerous black America.

Dre produced the rapper The DOC's first album " No One Can Do It Better " in 1989 , which was also released on Ruthless Records. The DOC was considered one of the shooting stars on the west coast, but shortly after the album was released, he had a car accident that injured his vocal cords. For Dre, the production of the album was the first commissioned work as a producer.

Two more albums by NWA came out in 1990 and 1991. Ice Cube left the group in 1989 and began a solo career. In an interview with Dee Barnes , a television presenter and rapper, Ice Cube commented on his exit. Dr. Dre and the rest of NWA saw themselves negatively and announced revenge. On January 27, 1991, at a party in Hollywood, Dee Barnes met Dr. Dre. He punched and kicked her several times, broke into a room into which she escaped, and continued to beat her there. A Los Angeles court sentenced Young to a fine of $ 2,500 and a two-year suspended sentence for the attack. It was his first conviction.

After internal disputes over finances and personal problems between Dre and Eazy-E, NWA dissolved in 1991.

Death Row Records and the solo debut (1992–1996)

After separating from NWA, Dre founded the rap label Death Row Records in 1991 together with his then bodyguard Suge Knight . The first collaboration with the hitherto unknown Snoop Doggy Dogg appeared here in 1992 with the single " Deep Cover ", a song from the soundtrack for Jenseits der Weiße Linie (OT: " Deep Cover ") . The song was a diss against Eazy-E, with whom the relationship became increasingly worse. It came to the beef , in the course of which Eazy-E used photos of Young from his time at the World Class Wreckin 'Cru, where Young wore lipstick, against him, indirectly accusing him of being homosexual.

On December 15, 1992 the first solo album Dr. Dres, " The Chronic, " on Death Row. The album was a commercial success, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard charts and selling over 3 million copies. In the United States, the album received three platinum records . Singles released were " Nuthin 'but a' G 'Thang ", " Fuck wit Dre Day " and " Let Me Ride ", all of which were in the single charts. At the 1994 Grammy Awards , Dr. Dre a Grammy for " Let Me Ride ".

In addition to Dr. Dre was mainly involved as a guest rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg on 12 of the 16 songs on the album. With the album, the style of G-Funk became popular, which was a little less aggressive than the style of NWA. The music was characterized by slow rhythms with a strong, bass-heavy groove , as George Clinton showed at P-Funk. The pieces were enriched with soul samples. A novelty was the use of synthesizers , which appeared in many of Dr's productions at the time.

In the following three years Dre worked as a producer with other rappers from Death Row, which included Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac Shakur , Nate Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound . In early 1996, Dr. Dre removed the label after disputes with Suge Knight and Tupac. Dre felt hindered in his work by Knight: In addition to financial problems at Death Row, there were regular robberies in the studios, in which sound engineers and other servants were beaten up. After saying goodbye, Tupac accused him of lacking loyalty to Snoop Doggy Dogg during his 1993 murder charge. Tupac also used the pictures from the World Class Wreckin 'Cru period against Dre and referred to him as a homosexual. Dre founded his own label Aftermath Entertainment under the umbrella of Interscope.

Aftermath Entertainment and 2001 (1997-2000)

In the year the label was founded, Aftermath released the sampler “ Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath ”, on which previously unknown rappers of the label were introduced. The album achieved platinum status. The later single " Been There, Done That ", on which Dr. Dre rapped himself, and it included the song " East Coast West Coast Killas " by Group Therapy , a group made up of East Coast rappers Nas and KRS-One , and West Coast rappers B-Real and RBX . With the selection of the west and east coast rappers Dre wanted to show that the conflict between the coasts , in which his former label Death Row was significantly involved, was independent of him.

At Aftermath, Dr. Dre co-produced producer Mel-Man . This influenced the musical style, which from then on had a larger proportion of synthesizers and dispensed with vocal samples , as in " Let me ride " and other songs from the Death Row era. In 1997 he produced seven songs on the album Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature Present The Firm: The Album , which was also released through Aftermath and received platinum status. His only rap part was on " Phone Tap ". Jimmy Iovine , President of Interscope, introduced Dr. Dre introduced Detroit rapper Marshall Mathers, later known as Eminem , in 1998 . Dre produced three songs and made a guest appearance for his debut album " The Slim Shady LP ", which was released in 1999 .

On November 15, 1999, Young's second solo album, " 2001 ", was released, which was also titled " The Chronic 2001 ", " Dr. Dre 2000 ”and“ The Chronic 2 ”. In contrast to his first solo album, various other rappers from Los Angeles were represented here in addition to the now only Snoop Dogg . The album included guest contributions from Eminem, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Mary J. Blige and former NWA rapper MC Ren. Dr. Dre produced the album together with Mel-Man, his student Scott Storch was involved in two songs . As a ghostwriter Royce wrote 5'9 " parts of the lyrics. In addition to the three singles " Still DRE ", " Forgot About Dre " and " The Next Episode ", the album also contained the song " The Message " about his brother Tyree, who died in a shooting on Compton Boulevard in 1989. " 2001 " sold over 7.2 million units and went six times platinum in the United States. In Germany, the IFPI awarded the album the Golden Record . Dre was named Producer of the Year at the 2001 Grammy Awards for the album .

Focus on producer activity (2001-2008)

After the release of his second solo album, Dr. Dre rarely appears as a rapper. The work as a producer for the artists on his label and commissioned work for others came to the fore. He helped New York rapper Curtis Jackson, known as 50 Cent , to break through. 50 Cent is under contract with Shady / Aftermath - a joint venture between Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and Eminem's Shady Records . On the first two albums " Get Rich or Die Tryin ' " and " The Massacre ", Dr. Dre is the executive producer and produced two songs on Curtis . The total of the three albums sold over 25 million units.

He also produced other albums by rappers from 50 Cents Crew G Unit and their former member The Game . The Game, whose solo debut " The Documentary " was released by Aftermath Entertainment, had to leave Aftermath after a dispute with 50 cents. He dedicated his second album to Dr. Dre and named it " Doctor's Advocate " as a tribute . Several songs on the album are about The Games - he later deleted the "The" from his name - relationship with Dre, who is a father figure to him, and his departure from Aftermath. In 2010 Game came back to Aftermath.

At the 2004 Vibe Awards , a 26-year-old man attacked Dr. Dre and slapped him several times in the face. The rapper Young Buck , then still a member of the G Unit , joined Dr. Dre came to the rescue and stabbed the attacker with a knife, causing a ruptured lung. At the trial, the attacker alleged that Suge Knight paid him $ 5,000 for the attack.

Last studio album and The Planets (2008-today)

André Romell Young alias Dr. Dre Backstage, March 2008

Since 2004, Young's third solo album called Detox has been announced, the release of which has been postponed for various reasons.

In 2009 Eminem released his sixth studio album Relapse , on which Dr. Dre produced 19 of the 20 songs and contributed to the lyrics of 13. In addition, he was involved as a guest rapper on two songs, including the first single Crack a Bottle .

In August 2010, Young stated in an interview that he had started work on an instrumental album called The Planets . Each song should have the name of a planet.

On November 18, 2010, the single Kush was released on iTunes. A few days after Kush was released, the song I Need a Doctor , starring Eminem and Skylar Gray , leaked to the internet. The song produced by Alex da Kid was released on February 1, 2011 as a download single. On 6 May 2011, as part of the Showtime telecast 360 Fight Camp a section of another song, Die Hard (feat. Eminem) , sent.

On August 1, 2015, Dr. Dre announced that he would not publish Detox because it simply did not completely convince him. Instead, he announced his final third studio album Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre , based on the film Straight Outta Compton about Dr. Drs rap group NWA is inspired.

The Rolling Stone listed Dr. Dre ranks 56th among the 100 greatest musicians of all time .

Film career


After a small supporting role as an arms dealer in the 1996 action film Set It Off , Young played in two movies in 2001. He starred alongside Snoop Dogg and Eminem in the film The Wash, written by DJ Pooh , as a car wash clerk. In Training Day he played the corrupt cop Paul .


Dr. Dre produces the horror thriller "Thaw" together with David Schnider, which is based on a script by Vik Weet. The film comes under the banner of Crucial Films, which he leads with Schnider.

Dre was involved as a producer on the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton .


2018 appeared on Netflix , the four-part documentary The Defiant Ones about the career of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine . For four and a half hours, she sheds light on the early days of both protagonists up to the sale of Beats by Dr. Dre to Apple . The documentary contains personal anecdotes from various rappers, such as Eminem , Snoop Dogg , Nas and other companions of Iovine, including Bono and Gwen Stefani .


In cooperation with Monster Cable , Dr. Dre launched a series of headphones called Beats by Dr. Dre .

In 2014, he sold Beats Electronics for $ 3 billion to Apple Inc. Young earned approximately $ 500 million from the sale, according to press reports.

Together with Apple he is planning the autobiographical series TV format “Vital Signs” (working title). He is intended to be the lead actor and executive producer of the six-part series.

According to the BBC, Dr. Dre against a gynecologist who owns the “Dr. Drai ”, lost a trademark litigation. Dr. Dre sued the medic for fear of confusion. After three years of dealing with the case, the US trademark law enforcement agency has brought Dr. Dre rejected.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1992 The Chronic DE74 (9 weeks)
- - UK43 1

(8 weeks)UK
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(95 weeks)US
First published: December 15, 1992
Sales: + 7,500,000
1999 2001 DE20th

(49 weeks)DE
- CH36

(69 weeks)CH
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(108 weeks)UK
Six-fold platinum
× 6
Six-fold platinum

(164 weeks)US
First published: November 16, 1999
Sales: + 9,325,000
2015 Compton DE4 (6 weeks)
AT3 (4 weeks)
CH1 (11 weeks)

(12 weeks)UK

(16 weeks)US
First published:
Aug 7, 2015 Sales: + 685,000
1 The Chronic only entered the UK charts in 2000 as a result of the 2001 success and only peaked in 2004.


  • Ronin Ro: Dr. Dre. The biography . Thunder's Mouth Press, New York NY 2007, ISBN 978-1-56025-921-3 .
  • John Borgmeyer, Holly Lang: Dr. Dre. A biography . Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport CT 2006, ISBN 0-313-33826-4 ( Greenwood Biographies ).
  • Kelly Kenyatta: You Forgot About Dre! The Unauthorized Biography of Dr. Dre and Eminem . Amber Books Publishing, Phoenix AZ 2000, ISBN 0-9702224-9-1 ( Google Books ).

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Ro 2007: 4-17.
  2. Son of rap producer Dr. Dre found dead; Andre Young Jr. was 20
  3. People-Magazine: Coroner: Dr. Dre's Son Died from Overdose of Heroin and Morphin , January 2, 2009.
  4. ^ Ro 2007: 18-22
  5. ^ Alan Light: Beating Up the Charts. Rolling Stone, Aug. 8, 1991. p. 66
  6. Rolling Stone : Biography of Dr. Dre ( Memento from May 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on February 1, 2009 (English)
  7. ^ Allmusic : entry
  8. ^ A b RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America
  9. Gold Record
  10. Game Officially Returns To Aftermath Records | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales | HipHop DX ( Memento of the original from August 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.hiphopdx.com
  11. Jerry Barrow: Dr. Dre Talks The Detox Wait, Frustration And Instrumental Album "Under Pressure" In: Vibe, August 3, 2010. Accessed March 3, 2011
  12. Alex Da Kid: Dr. Dre Trusted Me With 'I Need a Doctor' on mtv.com - Accessed December 9, 2010
  13. ^ Status of Dr. Dre on Twitter May 3, 2011. Accessed May 4, 2011
  14. Jason Lipshutz: Dr. Dre & Eminem's 'Die Hard' single to Debut on 'Fight Camp' (May 2, 2011) on Billboard.com - Accessed May 4, 2011
  15. Last studio album Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre on August 7, 2015
  16. 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 8, 2017 .
  17. Dr. Dre to Put His Spin on Horror with Thaw , accessed March 22, 2012
  18. Dr. Dre to produce horror-thriller 'Thaw' Crucial Films banner taps Vik Weet to script Yukon-set pic ( Memento of the original from July 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Accessed March 22, 2012  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.variety.com
  19. The Defiant Ones in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  20. ^ "Dr Dre's Apple deal will make him the richest man in hip-hop," The Guardian, accessed August 24, 2015
  21. a b "Dr. Dre in the lead role | Apple produces its first own series ” , Bild Zeitung, February 13, 2016
  22. Mark Savage BBC Music reporter: Dr Dre loses trademark case to Dr Drai. Accessed May 10, 2018 .
  23. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US
  24. a b Worldwide album sales on statisticbrain.com, 23 August 2015, English. Retrieved November 1, 2015.

Web links

Commons : Dr. Dre  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files