Dr. Dre is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dre has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including 2Pac, The D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, Knoc-turn’al, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar. He is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as having a heavy rhythm, thick bass, and a slow, relaxed tempo.
Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru in 1985. In 1986, he produced “Dre Day” and “Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”, two of the West Coast rap genre’s most influential songs. He later founded Aftermath Entertainment in 1996, and produced and co-produced a number of successful albums for artists such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar.
Dre has won six Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. He is the founder of Beats by Dr. Dre, a line of headphones and speakers. In 2014, he was ranked as the second richest figure in the US hip hop industry by Forbes, with a net worth of $550 million.
Andre Romelle Young was born in Compton, California, on February 18, 1965. His mother, Verna, was a hospital administrator, and his father, Theodore, was a thermostat salesman. Young has two younger brothers, Tyree and Curtis, and a sister, Shameka. His middle name, Romelle, is derived from his father’s amateur R&B singing group, The Romells. His parents married in 1964, separated in 1968, and divorced in 1972. His mother later remarried and had three children: sons Jerome and Tyree (both of whom died in 1987) and daughter Shameka.
In 1976, Young began attending Vanguard Junior High School in Compton, but due to gang violence, he transferred to the much safer suburban Roosevelt School the following year. His mother later divorced Ted Young, and married Curtis Crayon, with whom she had three children: sons Nile and Curtis Jr., and daughter Kandice. Young was raised by his mother and first stepfather, then by his father and second stepfather, Warren Griffin.
Griffin recalled that Young would often wake up his siblings at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. “And I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘I’m making beats.’ Seems like he always had a knack for beats even then.” Young later told biographer Mark Ribowsky that those early years shaped much of his character: “I’ve always had a different outlook on life. I was always like the little engine that could, you know. I was always hustling.”
1985–1991: World Class Wreckin’ Cru and Ruthless Records
In 1985, Young began his career as a member of the electro-hop group World Class Wreckin’ Cru under the alias “Dr. J”, along with DJ Yella. The group would become one of the first West Coast rap groups to achieve mainstream success with their debut album, World Class.
In 1986, he produced “Dre Day” and “Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”, two of the West Coast rap genre’s most influential songs. The single “Dre Day” peaked at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while “Fuck Wit Dre Day” reached number 64. In 1987, Young left the group and co-founded N.W.A with fellow rapper Ice Cube, where he used the name “Dr. Dre”.
N.W.A released their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, in 1988. The album was a commercial and critical success, reaching number two on the Billboard 200 and selling over nine million copies in the United States. It included the singles “Fuck tha Police” and “Straight Outta Compton”, which peaked at number 37 and number 64 on the Hot 100, respectively. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In 1989, Dre produced the rap single “Express Yourself”, for N.W.A’s second album, Efil4zaggin. The single peaked at number 26 on the Hot 100, and helped the album reach number one on the Billboard 200.
In 1990, Dre co-produced and performed vocals on “Deep Cover”, a single by rapper Snoop Dogg, which was included on the soundtrack to the film Deep Cover. The song peaked at number 92 on the Hot 100 and was later included on Snoop Dogg’s debut album, Doggystyle.
In 1991, Dre left N.W.A and co-founded Death Row Records with Suge Knight. The label’s first release was The Chronic, Dre’s solo debut, which was released in December 1992. The album featured Snoop Dogg on several tracks, including the hit single “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang”. The Chronic peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and has been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA.
1992–1995: Death Row Records
In 1992, Dre produced “Lady Luck”, a single by rap group Tha Dogg Pound, for their debut album, Dogg Food. The song peaked at number 64 on the Hot 100 and was later included on the soundtrack to the film Menace II Society.
In 1993, Dre produced “Doggy Dogg World”, a single by Snoop Dogg, for his second album, Doggystyle. The song peaked at number 22 on the Hot 100 and was later included on the soundtrack to the film Above the Rim.
In 1994, Dre produced “Natural Born Killaz”, a single by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, for the soundtrack to the film Murder Was the Case. The song peaked at number 64 on the Hot 100.
In 1995, Dre produced “California Love”, a single by 2Pac, for his fourth album, All Eyez on Me. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100 and was later included on the soundtrack to the film Gang Related.
1996–2000: Aftermath Entertainment
In 1996, Dre founded Aftermath Entertainment, a record label and production company, and released his second album, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath. The album featured the single “Been There, Done That”, which peaked at number 67 on the Hot 100.
In 1999, Dre produced “Forgot About Dre”, a single by Eminem, for his album The Slim Shady LP. The song peaked at number 51 on the Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
In 2000, Dre produced “The Real Slim Shady”, a single by Eminem, for his album The Marshall Mathers LP. The song peaked at number four on the Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
2001–2003: The Wash and 8 Mile
In 2001, Dre produced and starred in the film The Wash, alongside Snoop Dogg. The film was a commercial and critical failure, and was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards.
In 2002, Dre produced “Lose Yourself”, a single by Eminem, for the soundtrack to the film 8 Mile. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and peaked at number one on the Hot 100.
2004–2010: Compton and Detox
In 2004, Dre produced “Encore”, a single by Eminem, for his album Encore. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100.
In 2008, Dre produced “Crack a Bottle”, a single by Eminem, for his album Relapse. The song peaked at number one on the Hot 100.
In 2010, Dre began work on his third album, Detox, but it was ultimately shelved due to creative differences.
2011–present: Beats Electronics and Compton
In 2011, Dre co-founded