Learning From Dr Dre, His Story And Journey To The Top

 When the general public looks at Dr dre, they consider him a musical legend but when you're going deep into the topic, you slowly have the realization that Dre is not only one of the legendary rappers like say Tupac or Ice cube, but also a world renowned producer and composer.

Born Andre Romelle Young, known professionally as Dr. Dre, The music protege is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and previously co-founded, co-owned, and was the president of Death Row Records. 

 From his unparalleled work ethic, his inclination for innovation and the ability to shift the landscape of music as we know it and reinvent himself time and time again, Dr dre deserves his flowers as a producer every aspiring producer should emulate.

 The very first point to notice here is how Dr dre was able to achieve this legendary status and how one can cultivate a reputation such as his.

First, there are some elements of Dre's career that you can pull from but it can be said that his success can be attributed to two main factors, Dre's dedication to his craft and his approach and creative process to production.

To understand better, if one could find sometime to search Dr Dre on google, you'll see some photo shoots and some random photos with people but I'd say a good percentage of those photos, you'll see of him in the studio in front of a mixer, close to the mixer, touching the mixer and of course behind the mixer.

 This is a fact and its not surprising at all because in the words of Dr dre himself, for his year career, he's only been out of the studio for two whole weeks. The dedication that Dre has to his craft is unparalleled to anybody else, ,its completely out of this world, more like a Kobe Bryant mentality type of approach.

 He is one who refuses to let anybody outwork him. Even after his recent health scare from being placed in the ICU for a brain aneurysm, the very first picture released since that incident was a picture of himself in the studio.

With this, it's safe to say its hard to keep the sound doctor  out of the studio. 

Another point to note is that Dr Dre is an absolute perfectionist. He creates top notch beats and music generally and literally lives in the studio making sure everything came out perfect. An example of how far he has gone in his perfectionism is when he worked on a particular anticipated album for over a decade with many spectacular rappers in it but failed to release it, his reason being that it wasn't perfect enough.

Other  anecdotes regarding Dre's perfectionism include the time he made Bishop lamont rerecord a single bar over a hundred times and the fact that half the artists on his label have left simply because they were tired of waiting for the release of their material while Dr dre was doing his best to perfect it.

 Dr dre has had some very high profile and legendary rappers on his Aftermath roster with  artists such as Rakim and Busta Rhymes, but as of right now, Dre's label roster includes Dre himself, Eminem Kendrick lamar Anderson paak and Silk sonic.

 When you listen to Dre's albums from front to back, you can notice the transitions he uses such that if Dre is producing someones album, he's always keeping his eye on how one song will transition to another. Mostly its a simple fade but a lot of the times, beats spill from one to another.

To get a better understanding of this, try  listening to the sequencing of the songs on the 50 Cent's legendary album "Get rich or die tryin". Of course there's not much benefits for such a nerdy approach some will say its just cool but it also characterizes Dre's music approach for this "its just cool"  effect.

Sometimes he tries  to incorporate elements into the music where sometimes almost nobody except him would even notice and in those details you can see his perfectionism. 

Dre also has had the same approach to samples he is a bit of an oldschool producer and most of his beats especially the old ones are based on samples, but its not that simple with Dre. 

Most beat makers just cut out the sample from the songs process them and insert them into their production but for dre, if anything is simple its just not enough so Dre hell cut the sample, call his drummer, guitarist, pianist and all together recreate this sample in Dre's style. 

A great example of this is the "Next episode"  by Dre and Snoop dogg. listen to David Mccallums "The Edge"  and you'll be surprised there are of course much more examples but this is one of the more famous ones.

Dr Dre also stated  in one of his interviews that he said that he used the same drum sample on a few tracks from the album but he processed them so much that we wont realize in which tracks that he used.

  Dre's production has one more distinctive feature which comes from his perfectionism, he works with live instruments. For hiphop producers, this can be less common even in Dre's N.W.A times, he was a typical producer that made his beats on a simple drum machine. But when N.W.A started to make waves in the industry, Dre invested his money in the studio and hired his music galacticos. These people could create hits even without Dres involvement which they actually did. 

Scott Storch is one of them, he made not only one of Dre's most important beats in his career, but has contributed greatly to the team. Its just what great producers do, on the contrary, many have criticized Dre for this approach although even outside of music many creators and innovators do exactly the same. Some might say its a reach, but you could liken Andre to somebody like steve jobs who didnt singlehandedly create the Iphone but had a team of people.

Dr dre created a system that is not circling around him. He found talented musicians, built a clear plan and supervised the process. Much of 50 cents and Eminems albums were released with a lot of production from different producers but all that music had Dre's level of quality and dre's style. A lot of those beats did sound hard and were based around live instruments and thats Dre's style. 

 Dr dre was an innovator and a trendsetter and often looked for artists who broke the mould in a variety of ways. It might help to think about it this way, he would find the best bassist, guitarist, drummer, pianist and violinist and many many more talented musicians for 50 cent to rap about getting shot times and illustrate the gritty dynamics of being from the streets.

Dre as a producer perfectly understands his artists and understand what type of sound they need, he doesn't only create the sound but gives it to them the best way he can.

It's important to note that Dre's career wasn't all beds of roses, at some point, Dr Dre's son passed away of overdosing and two years earlier, Eminem lost his best friend, leaving the scene and of course drugs.

Eminems labels slowly started to die, Dre's artists started to leave him and move independently as we know, Eminem and Dre are strong personalities and have already solidified their spots in the rap game. The artists that Dre worked with brought something to the table thats obvious, thats why he works with them, but as they moved away from Dre, many of them became less interesting and captivating as they were when with Dre.

 There's another factor that  makes Dre not only a talented musician  but also a great producer, his "instincts" by instinct i mean finding a diamond in  the rough, the right sample, the right  sound, the right artist and other pieces that make up the whole pack.

 Picking a scene from straight out of  compton where Dr dre was trying to show  Eazy-E how to rap on boys in the hood,  it can be said that it was in  "NWA and the posse" and Straight out of  compton produced by Dre,that hip-hop got its new dimension from. 

Dre produced both these albums  when he was in his early stage and  we all know that these two albums  turned the world of hiphop upside down. They killed censorship in it, let people say the police and generally brought  incorporating black social issues and  music to a completely different level.   

 Looking deeply, this  tells us  a whole lot more about Dr Dre's talent as a  producer and just to finish this circle, here are the artists that Dr Andre  introduced us to that left a huge legacy  in the music industry. Snoop dogg, Eminem, 50 cent, Warren G, Kendrick lamarEazy-E, The GameNate doggTupac, Busta  rhymes, Ice cube and right now, he's working with guys like Kanye west  and Anderson paak. He produced one of the  best original soundtracks for the movie  "Straight Out Of Compton" which  is highly  underappreciated. He also performed at  the half time show for the super bowl recently.

 Indeed Andre deserves the cheers he is getting and even more.  Indeed he shifted the  landscape of music and all of the great  artists that he's given us over the  years cannot be matched by any other in the industry. Would be difficult to imagine  what music would be like without him.