The Life & Times Of Dr. Dre was originally published on globalgrind.com

1. A World Class Start

A World Class Start

Dr. Dre got his start in the early ‘80s DJing at nightclub Eve’s After Dark. “Me and Dre did all, from Wreckin’ Cru to Ruthless, all that,” said DJ Yella, who was also a member of the Wreckin’ Cru and N.W.A with Dre, during a VladTV interview. “We started making songs first…back then it was the slow songs, techno, whatever they called it back then. ‘Planet Rock,’ that kinda stuff.”

2. Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything

After linking up with Eric ‘Eazy E’ Wright and creating music for his up-and-coming label Ruthless Records, Dre met young, hungry rhymer O’Shea Jackson, aka Ice Cube, in 1986. They would form pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A. “We gave the suburban kids an opportunity to get up close,” Dre said to Billboard. “If N.W.A had done it softer, it wouldn’t have gotten the attention. It wouldn’t have worked.”

3. A Ruthless Producer

A Ruthless Producer

During his time at Ruthless (1986-1991), N.W.A wasn’t the only act Dr. Dre went behind the boards for. He produced Eazy E’s solo debut, D.O.C.’s Nobody Does It Better, Michel’le’s debut, JJ Fad’s Supersonic and Above The Law’s Livin’ Like Hustlers. About producing, Dre told Billboard, “It’s all about my passion for this hip-hop thing. Can’t let anything get in the way of that. It’s my first love.”

4. Life On Death Row

Life On Death Row

After leaving Ruthless Records following a rift with Eazy E and Jerry Heller in 1991, Dre formed Death Row Records with Marion “Suge” Knight. The label would see Dre’s star rise considerably and the introduction of new talents like Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Lady of Rage, Kurupt, Nate Dogg and Daz Dillinger. It would also be the final label home of the legendary 2Pac.

5. A Chronic Hit

A Chronic Hit

Dr. Dre’s 1992 album The Chronic put the rapper/producer on the map as a solo artist. The album produced chart-topping singles “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” “Let Me Ride” and “F**k Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” and won Dre a GRAMMY Award for “Let Me Ride.” About the album, Dre told Rolling Stone, “I’ve never heard the perfect hip-hop album, but I’d like to make one. The Chronic is about the closest.”

6. Starting Over In The Aftermath

Starting Over In The Aftermath

In 1996, Dr. Dre parted ways with Death Row under less than amicable terms and started another label, Aftermath Entertainment, with Interscope Records. The label would be home to many acts with already established careers, including Nas, AZ and Foxy Brown’s supergroup The Firm, Rakim and Busta Rhymes. However, the label’s biggest signing came in 1998, when Dre signed Detroit rapper Eminem.

7. Discovering Slim Shady

Discovering Slim Shady

After Dre signed him to Aftermath at the behest of Jimmy Iovine, Eminem shocked the world with his major label debut, The Slim Shady LP. It turns out Jimmy was right, as Eminem’s career took off. Em also became one of Dre’s favorite collaborators. “We just love being in the studio recording,” Dre told Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe. “We’re in there not trying to be okay, not trying to be good; we’re trying to be great.”

8. Billion-Dollar Buyout

Billion-Dollar Buyout

After rocketing to success with Beats, Apple came calling. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine eventually sold Beats and their Beats Music streaming service to the tech giant to the tune of $3 billion. Excited about the deal and the money it would land him, Dre told USA Today, “Financially, I’m in a place I never dreamed of. Now I’m just ready to get started with the work.”

9. 2001: A West Coast Odyssey

2001: A West Coast Odyssey

Dr. Dre dropped his second solo album, 2001, in 1999, seven long years after changing the game with The Chronic. Though a Dre solo album, it featured a host of collaborators. “All the people that appear on my album, I think I listened to ’em for maybe 10 seconds and just knew,” Dre told Kronick Magazine. “It’s weird, man. It was almost identical to making the Chronic album. I would have to say the saga continues.”

10. Coming Back To Compton

Coming Back To Compton

After alluding he’d like to make a movie, Dr. Dre finally got the chance alongside friend and former group member Ice Cube, with the serving as producers on the 2015 N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which told the story of the group’s beginnings and their breakup. “The story had to be told right,” Dre said to Rolling Stone while the film was still in production. “And it’s incredible, man. I’m really excited.”

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