Andre Young (born February 18, 1965), better known as Dr. Dre, became a pioneer in today's hip-hop culture and gangsta rap. In 1986, he joined NWA, and gained early fame through that group's success and notoriety. Dr. Dre enjoyed significant success in NWA, but left the group (at the peak of its popularity in 1991) to form Death Row Records with Suge Knight.
Dr. Dre released his first solo single, "Deep Cover," in the spring of 1992. Not only was the record the debut of his elastic G funk sound, it was the beginning of his collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg (called Snoop Doggy Dogg at the time), a young man who had recorded some homemade tapes with Dre's stepbrother Warren G. Snoop's voice appeared on Dre's 1992 debut album The Chronic as much as Dre himself. Thanks to the single "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang," The Chronic became a multi-platinum seller, making it virtually impossible to hear mainstream hip-hop that wasn't affected in some way by Dr. Dre and his patented G Funk.
The following year, Dr. Dre produced Snoop Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, with similar subject matter and musical style, which achieved phenomenal success, being the first debut album for an artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard charts.
In 1996, a highly successful collaboration with another Death Row artist Tupac Shakur, in the song "California Love" further helped establish Death Row and Dr. Dre as a major force in the music industry. By the end of the year, however, the success of Death Row had taken a reverse turn, following the death of Tupac Shakur and racketeering charges on Suge Knight. Foreseeing the label's collapse, Dr. Dre left Death Row to form his own Aftermath Entertainment label. The Dr. Dre Presents ... The Aftermath album, released at the end of the year, featured songs by the newly signed Aftermath artists, and a solo track "Been There, Done That". The track was intended as a symbolic good-bye to gangsta rap, in which Dre suggested that he is moving on to another level of music and lifestyle.
In 1997, Dr. Dre signed the aspiring Detroit rapper Eminem to his label, producing his controversial album The Slim Shady LP in 1999, followed by the even more successful and controversial The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000. The latter featured slightly less involvement by Dr. Dre and by the time The Eminem Show was released in 2002, Eminem acquired enough production skills to reduce Dre's contribution to 4 tracks on the album.
In 1999, Dre released his 2001 solo album (also called Dr. Dre: 2001 or Chronic 2001: No Seeds). Once again, the album featured about as much of Dre's voice as the voices of numerous collaborators, mostly Hittman, Snoop Dogg and Eminem. The album was highly successful, thus reaffirming a recurring theme featured in its lyrics, stating that Dre is still a force to be reckoned with, despite the lack of major releases in the previous few years.
The album followed a new musical direction, characterised by high-pitched piano and string melodies over a deep and rich bassline. The style was also prominent in his following production work for other artists, including hits such as Let Me Blow Ya Mind by Eve, Break Ya Neck by Busta Rhymes and Family Affair by Mary J Blige.
Dr. Dre has also appeared in the movies Set It Off,The Wash and Training Day, though later stated that he does not intend to pursue a career in acting.
In 2003, Dr. Dre and Eminem produced the major-label debut Get Rich or Die Tryin' for the Queens rapper 50 Cent, featuring the Dre-produced club megahit In Da Club.
The release of Detox, which was to be Dre's final solo album, was planned for 2004. The project is however said to be cancelled, as Dre decided to put all his effort into producing for his Aftermath protégés Eminem, 50 Cent, Eve, The Game, and Busta Rhymes, as well as Ice Cube who's contract with Aftermath are currently under negotiation.
N.W.A. and the Posse, Macola, 1987.
Straight Outta Compton, Ruthless, 1989.
100 Miles and Runnin' , Ruthless, 1990.
Niggaz4life, Ruthless, 1991.
The Chronic, Death Row, 1992.
Greatest Hits, Central Station, 1996.
2001, Aftermath, 1999.
Other (as artist and/or producer):
No One Can Do It Better, Ruthless, 1989. (The D.O.C.)
Livin' Like Hustlers, Epic, 1990. (Above The Law)
Doggystyle, Death Row, 1993. (Snoop Doggy Dogg)
Concrete Roots, Triple X, 1994.
Murder Was the Case, Death Row, 1994. (contributor)
"Keep Their Heads Ringin'" single from Friday (soundtrack), Priority, 1995.
First Round Knock Out, Triple X, 1996.
"California Love" single, Death Row, 1996. (with 2Pac)
Back N Tha Day, 1996.
Dr. Dre Presents...The Aftermath, Aftermath, 1996.
The Album, Aftermath, 1997. (The Firm)
"Zoom" single from Bulworth (soundtrack), Interscope, 1998. (with LL Cool J)