Dr. Dre (born André Romelle Young, 18.2.1965)
Dr. Dre is an American hip-hop producer and rapper, as well a record company executive. He has worked with a number of high profile artists, including Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige
Dr. Dre: Childhood
Dr. Dre was born to Verna and Theodore Young when Verna was just 16. They divorced in 1968 and Verna married Curtis Crayon, with whom she had more children. Her third marriage was to Warren Griffin, adding more children to the family. One of Dre's stepbrothers, Warren Griffin III went on to become the rapper Warren G.
Aged 17, Dre fathered a child with Lisa Johnson but did not raise him and he only met his son Curtis Young when he had assumed the rap alias of Hood Surgeon, about 20 years later.
Dr. Dre: Starting Out
Dr. Dre became a DJ at a club named The Eve After Dark; under the name Dr. J. At the same club, he met Antoine Carraby, who became DJ Yella of his group N.W.A.
Dr. J. later became Dr. Dre and he named himself the 'Master of Mixology', joining the World Class Wreckin' Cru in 1984. The outfit dominated the West Coast electro / hip-hop scene of the early 1980s and their track 'Surgery' sold over 50,000 copies in the Compton area alone. Some of Dre's earliest mixes were released retrospectively as a compilation entitled Concrete Roots.
In 1986, Dr. Dre met the rapper Ice Cube. They worked on tracks together, releasing songs on Ruthless Records, which was run by local drug dealer and rapper, Eazy-E. Along with fellow rapper Ice T, N.W.A. were a hard-hitting, hardcore rap outfit, depicting a grisly tale of life on the streets of Compton. The band's debut album Straight Outta Compton featured the hit 'Fuck tha Police' was a financial success, despite an almost complete lack of airplay, following warnings from the FBI due to the band's lyrical content. With Ice Cube leaving the band over financial quarrels, Dr. Dre took on the bulk of the production duties for the second album Efil4zaggin. He also worked on albums for other artists such as Above The Law and The D.O.C.
Following advice from Suge Knight, Dre left N.W.A. and became the debut artist for Knight's new Death Row Records. His first track on the label was 'Deep Cover', on which he collaborated with Snoop Dogg. Dre's debut solo album was entitled The Chronic. He went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for 'Let Me Ride'.
Acting on concerns that Suge Knight was corrupt and dishonest, Young left Death Row Records and set up his own Aftermath Entertainment label. In 1996, he released Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, which earned a Platinum certification.
In 1997, following the critical failure of Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature Present The Firm: The Album, rumours began to circulate that Aftermath was facing financial difficulties. Dre's fortunes changed, however when, in 1998, he signed the white Detroit rapper Marshall Mathers (also known as Eminem) to Aftermath.
Dre's second solo album, 2001 featured Nate Dogg, Eminem and Xzibit. Following 2001, Dre concentrated on his production skills and worked with Mary J. Blige on 'Family Affair' as well as 'Let Me Blow Ya Mind', by Gwen Stefani and Eve. He also produced 50 Cent's major label debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin' and the Game's 'How We Do'. In addition to this, he worked on tracks for Jay-Z's Kingdom Come and Timbaland's album featuring Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake, Timbaland Presents Shock Value.
Work on Dr. Dre's final album, Detox, began in 2004 and has finally been granted a release date for 2008, from Interscope Records. Known collaborators on the album are Hi-Tek, Jay-Z, J.R. Rotem, warren G and RZA.
Dr. Dre: Personal Life
In 1991, Dr. Dre fathered another son, Marcel, to the singer Michel'le.
In 1996, he married Nicole Threatt. They have two children: a son named Truth (b.1997) and a daughter called Truly (b.2001).