Dr. Dre: The Biography
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Dr. Dre: The Biography

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by Ronin Ro
     
 

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,

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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:
02/28/2007
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.03(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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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