Dr. Dre has opened up about the near-death experience he faced at the start of last year, when he found himself in an LA hospital’s intensive care unit after suffering a brain aneurysm.
The legendary rapper and producer faced his health scare at the start of last year, when on January 4, he was admitted to the ICU at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dre assured fans a day later that he was “doing great”, however he would stay in the ICU for two weeks. During that time, he explained in a new interview for the Workout The Doubt podcast, doctors welcomed in his family because they feared he would die from the incident.
“They weren’t allowing anybody to come up – meaning visitors or family or anything like that – because of COVID,” Dre told host Dolvett Quince. “But they allowed my family to come in [and] I found out later, they called them up so they could say their last goodbyes, because they thought I was outta here. I didn’t know it was that serious… Nobody told me, I had no idea. That was crazy.”
Dre went on to speak about the hourly procedures involved in his recovery, where “because of what was going on in my brain, they had to wake me up every hour, on the hour, for two weeks to do these tests [that were] basically like sobriety tests – touch your nose, rub your heel on your calf and all that shit.”
Though he admitted to feeling incredibly tired throughout his ICU stint – “as soon as [the doctors would] leave, I would try to go to sleep because I knew they were coming back in the next hour” – Dre pointed out he never worried about the potential of any serious complications, let alone death. “I never felt like I was in trouble,” he asserted to Quince. “I felt like, ‘OK, I’m just going through [a] procedure, and I’m ready to go home. I’m hungry.’ I didn’t eat for two weeks… That was a really crazy experience.”
See a clip from Dre’s Workout The Doubt episode below:
Dre was released from hospital by January 15 last year, and was spotted in the studio just a few days later. Within a month, Dre had turned his experience into the basis for a new song. His first live performance since he suffered the aneurysm came in February of this year, where he appeared alongside Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak for this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show.
While he was in hospital, Dre’s house was targeted by burglars, leading to four people being arrested after they set off Dre’s infrared cameras. Meanwhile, Dre received support from colleagues like Ice Cube and Ice-T.
The rapper opened up about his treatment last June, saying in an interview that the aneurysm itself was “a really weird thing” because he’d never experienced any contributing symptoms. He said: “I’ve never had high blood pressure And I’ve always been a person that has always taken care of my health. But there’s something that happens for some reason with black men and high blood pressure, and I never saw that coming. But I’m taking care of myself.”
In July of this year, Dre revealed that he’d spent the last two years working on at least a dozen albums’ worth of material, telling Busta Rhymes in a video: “N****, I [made] 247 songs during the pandemic, and then we paused and did a whole album with Marsha Ambrosius. And then we came back, and … I did the Grand Theft Auto shit, and now we’re working on my n**** Snoop.”
The “Grand Theft Auto shit” that Dre mentioned refers to the six songs he made for the Grand Theft Auto Online expansion The Contract, which was released last December and featured Dre as a character. For the songs – which were later compiled into an EP that landed on streaming services this February – Dre collaborated with the likes of Eminem, Anderson .Paak, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg.
A new album from Dre was rumoured to be on the cards for last December, after Grandmaster Flash claimed a few months prior that it “will change the game”. Work on that record – which Flavor Flav has also claimed he will be a guest on – was reportedly finished in November of 2020. According to Diamond D, the album could have a runtime of around two hours. The album is, of course, yet to be formally announced.