- HIP HOP -
Andre Romelle Young, better known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.
Andre Young was born in the black L.A. barrio called Compton. Young struggled in school and transferred several times to escape the permeating influence of gang violence. Following a brief tenure at the Chester Adult School, Andre dropped out and, joining with Ice Cube and Eazy-E in 1986, changed the face of popular music.
With N.W.A., Dre helped rap some of the starkest, frankest, and most frightening street poetry ever recorded. With their debut, Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A. opened a window into black life in the L.A. ghettos, detailing a violent world in ways that had never been outlined so bluntly, in music or elsewhere. So evocative was their message that their label, Ruthless Records, even earned itself a cautionary letter from the FBI.
At the height of its success, Dr. Dre departed N.W.A. to become the flagship artist at Death Row Records, subsequently releasing 1992’s The Chronic, which stands today as a strong contender for the greatest hip hop record ever pressed. Smoothing out N.W.A.’s rough edges, Dre innovated a slow, drawling, groove-heavy production style fueled by Funkadelic and Ohio Players samples. He also introduced a shy, lanky stoner named Snoop Dogg, who instantly emerged as rap’s most charismatic young talent.
With consequently inescapable MTV and radio smash hits “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” and “Let Me Ride,” The Chronic went triple platinum, earned Dre a Grammy, and segued directly into Snoop’s ’93 debut, Doggystyle.
Over the course of the next decade, Dr. Dre had the Midas touch, launching some of the most successful careers in rap history through discovery, musical collaboration, and production, including Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent, and—the current king of West Coast rap—Kendrick Lamaar. All this and Dr. Dre was ranked by Forbes in 2014 as the highest-paid musician alive. The six-time Grammy Winner recently completed a deal which sent his Beats by Dre line of audiophile headphones to Apple, Inc., for a reported $3 billion, making him hip hop’s top-ranking millionaire.
Clancy's comment: One hellova rich musician.