Dr Dre may be renowned as one of rap’s instant hit-makers, but to suggest that he swipes a magic wand over mediocre tracks and pushes artists around like a puppet-master is to do his herculean work ethic an injustice.
This is a man who spends a large proportion of his life in studio (his record is 79 hours straight), indulging his perfectionism and constantly reinventing himself to remain relevant. His drive to maintain exacting standards has alienated a number of the artists in the Interscope stable, some of whom have left without ever releasing an album. At 50, he does not see himself as too old for the rap game and remains a peerless sonic innovator: he once devised a hip-hop beat from the sound of soil falling onto the lid of a coffin.
As he enters the twilight of his rap career, Dre is looking beyond hip-hop and has had designs on other genres since he rapped “So give me one more platinum plaque and f*ck rap, you can have it back” in 1999. He has added piano playing, orchestral conduction and music theory to his quiver of skills and has an eye on producing scores for Hollywood blockbusters.
He also sees a gap in the market for “ghetto metal and rock” and has even worked with 87-year-old pop crooner Burt Bacharach. Ultimately, the legacy he wants to leave is relatively modest. “I’d like to be remembered as a person who really cared about his music and really entertained people with his talent,” he told Scratched.