Andre Romelle Young is a rapper better known as Dr Dre, born on February 18 1965 in Compton, California. He began his career as a member of World Class Wreckin’ Cru as a DJ. He then joined gangsta rap group NWA, which featured the likes of Eazy-E and Ice Cube.
In 1989, Ice Cube left the group over financial disputes, leaving Dre to produce their second album ‘Efil4zaggin’. He also produced tracks for other acts on label Ruthless Records. He eventually left NWA in 1991 after a disagreement with Eazy-E and began to work on his own material under Death Row Records.
He released his debut single ‘Deep Cover’ in 1992, taken from the soundtrack to the film of the same name. His debut album ‘The Chronic’ followed on December 15 of the same year, and was produced by Dre and his label boss Suge Knight. Rolling Stone placed it at 138 on their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list. The track ‘Let Me Ride’ won Dre the Best Rap Solo Performance award at the 36th Grammys.
After the release of ‘The Chronic’, Dre worked on records by other artists, including Snoop Dogg’s ‘Doggystyle’. When 2Pac signed to Death Row in 1995, Dre collaborated with him on the single ‘California Love’. The track went on to top the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first Number One single for either artist.
Dre left Death Row in 1996 following a contractual dispute and concerns over Knight’s corruption. Dre formed his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. His first record on the label, ‘Dr Dre Presents The Aftermath’, was released on November 26 1996 and featured songs by Dre himself and other acts he’d signed to the imprint.
In 1998, Dre signed Eminem on the advice of Jimmy Iovine, the head of Interscope. He produced three songs and featured on two tracks on the rappers’ debut album, ‘The Slim Shady LP’.
Dre’s second solo album was released on November 16 1999. ‘2001’ featured guest appearances from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Xzibit and Eminem. It charted at Number Two on the Billboard 200 and is now certified six times platinum.
After the release of ‘2001’, Dre began to concentrate on producing for other artists. His work has featured on Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers LP’, Mary J Blige’s ‘Family Affair’ single and Eve and Gwen Stefani’s collaboration, ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’, amongst others.
Dre confirmed that he was working on a new album, ‘Detox’, which was also set to be his last. Various tracks said to be taken from the record have been leaked or officially released since the release of ‘2001’ but the full album has yet to appear. In September 2014, Dawuan Parker, a producer for Aftermath, confirmed that Dre was working on a new album but said the title ‘Detox’ had been scrapped years before.
In 2008, Dre launched his own headphones, Beats By Dr Dre. The company was taken over by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion, making Dre the richest man in hip-hop.
In August of 2015, Dre released his final album ‘Compton’ which was inspired by the N.W.A biopic movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’. The album features collaborations from artists Dre has worked with over the years including Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Ice Cube and Xzibit amongst others.