Dr. Dre: The Biography

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Overview

Born on February 18, 1965 to a sixteen-year-old single mom, Andre Young, AKA Dr. Dre, co-founded the notorious rap group N.W.A. The group was one of the most successful hip-hop groups of the late 1980s and, most importantly, started what the media quickly dubbed Gangsta Rap. His departure from N.W.A. was a story right out of a pulp fiction novel. His new mentor, Suge Knight, allegedly used guns, baseball bats and a kidnap threat to get Dr. Dre released from his contract. Dre and Knight went on to build Death Row ...

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Overview

Born on February 18, 1965 to a sixteen-year-old single mom, Andre Young, AKA Dr. Dre, co-founded the notorious rap group N.W.A. The group was one of the most successful hip-hop groups of the late 1980s and, most importantly, started what the media quickly dubbed Gangsta Rap. His departure from N.W.A. was a story right out of a pulp fiction novel. His new mentor, Suge Knight, allegedly used guns, baseball bats and a kidnap threat to get Dr. Dre released from his contract. Dre and Knight went on to build Death Row Records and turned it into a multi-billlion dollar company. Yet despite its unprecedented success with stars such as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur, the company quickly unraveled in a firestorm of rivalries, greed, violence, and scrutiny by both the government and the media. Not one to fade into the background, Dr. Dre's next move was to start his own record company, Aftermath Entertainment. As CEO, he discovered and created new stars like Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Eve. In this essential addition to any music section, award-winning author Ronin Ro details the rise, fall, and resurrection of one of the biggest names in rap music.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The most successful producer in rap . . . is duller than Perry Como?Hip-hop journalist Ro (Raising Hell, 2005, etc.) recounts the storied career of Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, arguably the most significant producer in the history of rap music. His accomplishments are legion: As a co-founder of the controversial group N.W.A., he helped establish the genre of "gangsta" rap, which focused on violent, reportorial tales of street life, in stark contrast to much of rap music's historically light-hearted, party music approach. As a producer, he pioneered a sonically rich palette of layered drum machines, synthesizers, samples and live instruments that came to be known as "G-funk," a highly commercial sound that defined the West Coast hip-hop approach. As a solo artist, he released The Chronic, one of rap's defining albums. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded Aftermath Records, and he has been instrumental in establishing the careers of such luminaries as Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, Eve and many others. He has successful soundtracks on his resume, has directed music videos and even acted in some small film roles. It is a mystery, therefore, that in Ro's chronicle he comes off as a singularly uninteresting person: A remote perfectionist and workhorse with little direct exposure to the "thug life" he so lucratively celebrated, Dre seems to have spent the majority of the past 20 years behind a mixing board, cranking out hits like some marijuana-driven savant. The occasional glimpses of Dre the man are unflattering; he has run into trouble for striking women, and many of his collaborators have alleged that Dre has taken more credit for his productions than he perhaps deserves. Ro'sjournalistic approach is impressive in its comprehensiveness, but the endless dry descriptions of contract negotiations, petty intramural beefs and depressingly frequent violent outbursts quickly become monotonous. The lack of musical or socio-cultural analysis leaves the book an impressively researched but dryly assembled resume. No beat, and you can't dance to it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560259213
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 970,755
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronin Ro is an award-winning author and music journalist. He has written for Vanity Fair, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe, The Source, The Boston Herald, Spin, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. He is the author of five other books, including the critically acclaimed Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Great Book

    This book is about Dr. Dre and how his life panned out. The Book starts out with him as a young child and what he went through to become what he is today. It lets you know what he had to do to get where he is now. A Major theme in this book is to not give up. As well as letting the youth know that they should stay in school and work hard to achieve goals. I liked the fact of how it related to my life so much and it gave me inspiration. I also liked the fact that I am very similar to Dre and how we share the same interests. I didn't like the fact that it went off about people that I didn't know a thing about and there wasn't very much explanation behind them. Some one should read this book if they want to be inspired or are ver interested in rap music. I would also recommend to some one into Dj-ing, i feel like they will receive a great amount of insight on todays music. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    Dre's True Story

    DR. DRE: THE BIOGRAPHY shows you everything you'd want to know about the producer. The book starts with a different more detailed look at Dre's teenage years, from his point of view, then covers the World Class Wreckin' Cru and N.W.A. with amazing detail before reaching the Death Row period. What's great is the book shows this label in a new way. Then it shows how Dre had troubles with Aftermath before working with Eminem, 50, The Game and others. Every phase is presented with new details and respect for Dre the artist and Dre the human being. And the book does get into the music, Dre's many images over the years, his few political lyrics, and the drama of recent years that capsized The Source, lowered rap's sales and led to overlapping feuds. DR. DRE: THE BIOGRAPHY is easily the best thing ever written about Dre and one of the best rap books ever.

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