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The Life of Dr. Dre

There may be no bigger icon in the world of hip hop than Dr. Dre. He has accomplished a multitude of things in entertainment that few can rival. Learn more about the life of Dr. Dre below.

The Life

Dr. Dre was born Andre Romelle Young in 1965. Dre’s parents were both musicians. Music was in his blood and something he grew up around. He was obsessed with making music and listening to it growing up. He grew up in Southern California and was a part of the rising hip hop culture. He would start hanging out at clubs and working the turntables as a DJ. This is when he developed his alter ego, Dr. Dre. He would then join one of the most iconic groups ever, N.W.A.

dr dre nwa


When the album Straight Outta Compton, from N.W.A, was released in 1988 it brought with it a whole new era of hip hop. Straight Outta Compton was highly provocative and painted a violent picture of West Coast life that mainstream culture had never seen or heard before. Its release helped to usher in a new era of music and brought rap a heap of attention—even though a lot of that attention was negative in nature.


Straight Outta Compton reached double platinum status and that is an impressive accomplishment for any album. The feat is made even more impressive when you factor in that songs off the record received practically no radio airplay. Songs like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fuck the Police” were far too vulgar and violent for radio stations to feature. The highly explicit nature of N.W.A’s content made Straight Outta Compton one of the first albums to receive a parental advisory warning.

straight outta compton

Gangsta Rap

Many consider N.W.A to be one of the first “gangsta rap” acts. Gangsta rap shaped how lots of people would come to view rap as a whole. Post Straight Outta Compton, individuals in certain segments of society used the phrase “gangsta rap” to categorize any type of rap they found to be abhorrent. Many failed to distinguish the difference between rap and gangsta rap—lots thought all of rap was gangsta. Plenty of others, especially those who felt a relation to what N.W.A talked about, believed N.W.A’s music to be a form of storytelling. N.W.A proponents felt strongly that the group’s work shed light on the issues that accompany living in non-affluent areas of the country.

Impossible To Deny

Regardless of whether you found their work utterly offensive or as a form of street poetry, you have probably been affected in some way by N.W.A. The group (DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Easy-E, Ice Cube and MC Ren) brought a unique perspective and set of experiences to hip hop. N.W.A changed an entire genre of music and at the same time helped to create a sub genre of rap. Their massive role in the rise of hip hop becoming an art and form of self-expression is impossible to deny.


The Chronic

The Chronic is a commercial and artistic triumph. It was Dre’s first solo project and solidified what he could do on his own, away from N.W.A. It sold over 3 million copies in less than a year. The reaction from critics and fans was overwhelmingly positive when it was released. It was hard to find a household that did not own a copy of The Chronic, whether it was audio cassette or CD. The project took Dr. Dre to new heights. Dre already had a name thanks to him being a member of N.W.A. But his first solo project took him to another height of fame. Dr. Dre got a huge push thanks to his first album, but his collaborator skyrocketed to a level of celebrity few had seen before. The Chronic helped Snoop Doggy Dogg become one of the biggest artists ever. Dr. Dre mentored Snoop, and the young rapper proved to be the perfect protégé.

the chronic


Dr. Dre is a legend in hip hop. His brilliance and business savvy has made him one of the most powerful and successful names in entertainment. Few names in entertainment have accomplished more than Dr. Dre.


- Adam C. Better