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Style & Culture

Trip Down Memory Lane: Dr. Dre more than flashy, high-end headphones

Andre Remelle Young was born in 1965 and grew up to be a prominent figure in the hip-hop industry. Along with rapping, Young has produced for big name artists, discovered numerous hip-hop artists, founded two record companies and most recently, created a brand of headphones. More famously known as Dr. Dre, Young has contributed a lot to the industry.

Dr. Dre got his start in the mid-1980s as a member of a group called World Class Wreckin’ Cru. Dre would take on the title of “Doctor” after the release of the group’s first hit song, “Surgery.” After the dissolution of World Class Wreckin’ Cru, Dre would meet up with fellow rappers Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella to form the group N.W.A.

Their debut record, “Straight Outta Compton,” would inspire many future rappers and contribute to the start of “Gangsta Rap.” Unfortunately, the group was short lived. Three years after their debut, N.W.A. would release their second and final record. Dr. Dre would leave the group due to contract disputes and, as a result, went on to form Death Row Records with Marion “Suge” Knight Jr.

In 1992, Dr. Dre would release his debut solo album which created a whole new sub-genre of hip-hop dubbed “G-Funk.” The album in question, titled “The Chronic,” has been certified Platinum four times. It spawned three singles, including the infamous “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” which features Snoop Dogg. The album was different in that it relied heavily on guest appearances. At times you might think it was a Snoop Dogg record. There are some songs that don’t even feature Dr. Dre. It is widely known that Dr. Dre is more of a producer than a rapper. Fellow rappers, such as The DOC and Jay-Z, have publicly stated that they have ghost-written for Dr. Dre.

Three years after the release of “The Chronic,” Dre went on to form his second record label, Aftermath Entertainment, which is still in full swing today. To promote the label, Dre released “Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath” in 1996. The album not only showcased new talent but also featured the Dr. Dre track “Been There, Done That.” The record label struggled in its beginnings but everything changed when Dre decided to sign Detroit rapper, Eminem.

In late 1999, Dr. Dre released his second solo studio album, “2001.” The album, much like its predecessor, featured many guest appearances including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit and Nate Dogg. The album went Platinum six times and spawned four singles. Since this release, Dre has focused solely on production.

Since the release of “2001,” Dre has supposedly been working on a follow-up record titled “Detox.” Though the album has no official release date, there have been reports that it is near completion. Recently there have been several tracks — supposedly from the album — released as singles, including the hit song “I Need a Doctor.”