Dr. Dre

The Pioneer Page 2

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Dr. Dre - The Pioneer Page 2
By Del F. Cowie1989
In the middle of touring Straight Outta Compton, Dre learns his brother Tyree has died after being attacked and left with a broken neck. Meanwhile, opposition to N.W.A. is growing. The FBI sends a letter to Priority Records expressing concern over the lyrical content of "Fuck Tha Police." Before performing in Detroit, the mayor requests a face-to-face meeting with the group to request that they not perform the song. When the group defies this request, local police rush the stage as the song starts and search for the group backstage. The group are later located at their hotel room and are handed citations. Meanwhile, Ice Cube is becoming increasingly disgruntled about the revenue share he is receiving from the tour and album, on which he was a principal writer. Dre continues to work on records, producing albums for Michel'le and the D.O.C. among others for Ruthless. Shortly after the D.O.C.'s acclaimed No One Can Do It Better is released, he is in a car crash that leaves him with shattered vocal chords.

Frustrated with money issues, Ice Cube leaves N.W.A. and goes to New York to start a solo career. He soon releases critically acclaimed solo debut Amerikkka's Most Wanted. N.W.A. continue without Ice Cube; Dre works on producing the 100 Miles and Runnin' EP and his girlfriend Michel'le gives birth to a son named Marcel. N.W.A. do an interview to promote the release with Fox TV's Pump it Up, but when the segment airs, an Ice Cube interview is added at the end, incensing Dre. When he sees the show's host Dee Barnes at an industry party soon after, he attacks her, kicking and punching her into the ladies' room. A lawsuit is filed against him and he is charged with assault; Dre's attack is criticized by many in the hip-hop community on songs like Tim Dog's vitriolic "Fuck Compton."

Dre continues working on an N.W.A, sophomore album, trying to incorporate live instrumentation, but progress is slow and he becomes increasingly disenchanted with Ruthless. The D.O.C., still eager to be involved with the music industry, has formed a new label with Suge Knight, a bodyguard friend who remained close to him after the accident. Knight urges the D.O.C. to look into his contract with Ruthless, and after seeing some problems, Dre is urged to do the same. Convinced he could be doing better financially, Dre joins Knight and the D.O.C.'s new label venture. Suge Knight begins to visit Ruthless demanding money for Dr. Dre produced projects. Eventually Eazy-E agrees to meet with Dre about the situation, but only Knight appears at the meeting, allegedly with two men brandishing lead pipes. Eazy-E reportedly signs release papers to allow Dr. Dre along with other artists to leave the label. Efile4Ziggan, the sophomore N.W.A. album, is released and debuts at #2 on the newly reconfigured Soundscan charts. Stepbrother Little Warren, now going by the name Warren G, has a group called 213 featuring two friends he is constantly asking Dre to listen to. When Dre hears it at a party, he immediately sets up a meeting and recruits one of the other members, Snoop Doggy Dogg, to record a song called "Deep Cover" for the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. He soon begins to work with the other artist, Nate Dogg, on upcoming projects and signs both to the new label partnership he has forged with Knight and the D.O.C. Dre even looks into working with Ice Cube, despite the fact there have been public disses on record, but Dre backs away when he hears about "No Vaseline" a song on which Cube disses all the N.W.A. members.

Dr Dre finally gets a distributor for the label with Interscope in a deal arranged with music executive Jimmy Iovine. The process took some time after word spread in the industry of how Dre's departure from Ruthless was handled. Meanwhile, many stories about his personal life begin to surface, including a Rolling Stone report that said he was shot four times in the leg, a claim Dre denies. A fire that occurs at his house during a barbecue leads Dre to move back to his mother's house. Dre is also charged with assault after the jaw of a female acquaintance's boyfriend is broken ― Dre maintains it was the female acquaintance who actually hit the man. In the studio, he continues to work on a solo album project using live musicians, recreating and reinterpreting '70s funk songs as the starting point, with Dre often ad-libbing or humming how he wants the music to sound. The songs feature Snoop Doggy Dogg and a number of new artists. Several Blood gang members associated with Suge Knight are hanging around, adding tension to the surroundings. Eazy-E sues Dre for the way artists were released from their Ruthless contracts. Jimmy Iovine settles things by giving Eazy-E a deal where he receives a percentage of money on future Dr. Dre productions. Dr. Dre's solo album The Chronic is released on the new label, Death Row Records, in December.
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Article Published In Jun 11 Issue