Author Topic: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview  (Read 2758 times)


Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:13:19 PM »

After almost a decade of false starts, super-producer Dr. Dre is finally in the lab bringing Detox to life.
But does the Good Doctor have the prescription hip-hop has been waiting for?

Words: Jerry L. Barrow II Photos: Scott Council

JIMMY IOVINEíS GOT his game face on. The Interscope Records co-founder has had a long and prosperous relationship with Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre, hip hopís foremost sonic architect. From Death Row to the Aftermath, Shady and G Unit imprints, Jimmy and Dre have left an indelible mark on the last two decades of popular music, moving more than 50 million albums together. But time is running short, and itís clear in Iovineís expression. He has been waiting for more than a decade for Dr. Dre to turn in his near-mythical album Detoxóthe follow-up to Dr. Dre 2001, which dropped in late 1999.

Andre Youngóa founding member of N.W.A and the sonic mastermind who introduced the world to Snoop Doggy  Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and The Gameóhas never done things the usual way. Between rumors, missed release dates and side projects (Beats By Dr. Dre headphones are reportedly up to a million units sold, with estimated revenues of $50 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 alone), his fans have had their loyalty tested time and again. ďYou canít rush Dre,Ē says fellow N.W.A alum Ice Cube. ďHeís changed music twice already.Ē But that is small consolation for folks who havenít had a new Dr. Dre album since President Clinton was in office.

Relief may finally be on the way. Several days after being honored at the 2010 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards by his artist and friend Eminem, a smile is etched across Dr. Dreís chiseled 45-year-old face. On an unseasonably cold June day in Santa Monica, heís dressed in a long-sleeved white T-shirt and jeans, and his 215 pounds of muscle have him looking more like a superhero than a record producer. A mini-vacation with his wife of 14 years, Nicole, and the news that Eminemís Recovery has debuted with more than 700,000 copies sold have the Aftermath CEO ďfeeling better than most days.Ē

Itís quiet in the sanctuary of his studio/nightclub across the street from the Interscope offices. This is where Dre tests out new music during private parties for friends. But today itís all business.

An unfinished leak of the Jay-Z collab ďUnder PressureĒ has lived up to its namesake, and the man who once rhymed ďfuck rap, you can have it backĒ knows that itís time to make his impression felt again. Sit back, relax and strap on your seatbelt.

VIBE: You were dismantling component systems as a kid. Whatís it like having your own brand of headphones?

Dr. Dre: It felt so organic. Itís not something I just put my name on. We designed this thing from the ground up. It took like two years to put this together. We were tweaking it the entire time Ďtil we got the sound exactly the way we want it. I got to do a side-by-side comparison between the Beats and Bose . . . I feel like hands down we got íem beat as far as style and fashion goes and as far as the sound. We got Ďem beat because guys that actually make music get the sound on these. Nobodyís gonna be able to compete with us as far as headphones.

Diddy has Diddybeats and Lady Gaga has Heartbeatsóboth of which you helped set upóthen Jay-Zís Roc Nation has a headphone deal with Skull Candy, which also did a line with Snoop. How do you feel about the competition?

Ití a compliment on the one hand but on the other hand itís like ďYo, this is my thing here. Whatís going on?Ē [Laughs.] Itís all good. Iím not trying to knock anybodyís hustle. But like I said, nobody is going to be able to beat us at this game.

You also have a laptop complement to the headphones, correct?

The HP Envy. Weíre trying to improve the sound in computers and laptops. These guys arenít thinking about sound when they build these computers and the majority of people are listening to music on computers. So you might as well hear it the right way.

Why headphones as opposed to, say, a beat-making program?

Thatís something I want to get into and the headphones were a good start. I want to get into putting out my own drum sounds and maybe a beat machine. Weíre talking about iPod docks, car stereos and an entire line. Weíre also doing a headphone with LeBron James called PowerBeats. Theyíre earbuds but they wrap around the ear. Each bud has two drivers so it sounds a little louder. You can hear the 808 in these. Iíve been wearing the prototype every day to work out.

So will Detox be streamed wirelessly into the Beats headphones?

In a perfect word, yes. Me and Jimmy talk about this all the time. It was supposed to be my album promoting the headphones, but itís gonna be the other way around now. Itís gonna be a two-for-one thing. As soon as we finish this interview Iím going into the studio and get it on. I know itís taking a long time but itís not 100 percent work on my album that Iím doing every day. Thatís why itís taking so long. Itís been almost ten years since my last album [Itís actually been more than 10 years. óEd.] but I havenít been sitting on my hands. Keeping it real with you, I just started really getting involved in it and really feeling it this year. Around January or February. Before now I was kind of doing it more out of obligation, but now I really feel it inside and itís pouring out right now. Music comes out much better when youíre in that frame of mind.

Eight years passed between Chronic and 2001, so youíre not that late yet.

Right. And Iíve got a few classic albums in between that with Em and 50.

When you first announced Detox did you think it would take this long?

Absolutely not. I thought it would take at worst case a couple of years. For example, actual work time on The Chronic was nine months and actual work time on my last album, 2001, was about 10 months. The actual work time on this album is about half of that, where Iím seriously focusing on it. There is always something coming up. Like signing talent, old and new.

Looking at your signings of artists like  Raekwon, Rakim and Marsha Ambrosius, are you just a hard boss or did it just not work out?

Iíd say itís a little bit of both. Iím a perfectionist on one hand. I always say talent gets you in the building but whether our personalities mesh, thatís an entire different thing. I have fun when Iím working. Itís not a job for me. And Iím in a position where I really donít have to do it if I donít want to. So it has to feel right. When you get in the studio with an artist, the personalities have to mesh. Iím not saying thereís anything wrong with my personality or theirs, itís just: Do they work together or not? That seems to be a factor. All of the artists that I started working with and we didnít finish, weíre still cool. Itís just a matter of this thing doesnít work together. The ones that do work together, ka-boom. You see the results.

What did you think of the final product of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx . . .  Pt. II?

I loved that ďHouse of Flying Daggers.Ē [Laughs.] It came out good. I thought it could have been promoted a little better and I think there may have been too many songs. But thatís my opinion. Raekwon is one of the greatest.

J Dilla produced ďHouse of Flying Daggers.Ē Did you get to meet him before he died?

Yeah, I met him at a studio out here and we chopped it up for about half an hour. Coolest dude. Talented. I just wish Iíd had a chance to work with him.

Is there anyone else out there you havenít worked with yet that youíd like to?

Of course, the next new artist I can get in the studio with and make something great. I donít necessarily have an urge to work with established artists. Like working with Mary J. Blige, that was returning a favor. Other than that, I only want to work with new talent, new producers. People that want to learn and I can learn from.

Speaking of new talent, a young lady saying she was your daughter went on YouTube with a song called ďDaddyís ShadowĒ saying that you wonít help her with her recording career.

[Laughs.] Iím not gonna get into that. Not gonna talk about the family.

Talk about the relationship you have with 50 Cent and some of your other artists.

Everything is cool. I havenít spoken to 50 in a long time. Heís doing his own thing right now. Hopefully weíll get to work together again in the future but I think heís working on movies. As far as everybody else goes, Iím here. Everybody knows Iím working on my own thing. Once thatís done, holla at me.

At the ASCAP Awards did you have any idea Eminem was going to be presenting?

No idea. They told me it was going to be a surprise guest to present me with the award but I didnít even waste any brain power trying to figure it out. That was incredible and the thing that he said was incredible. Being around guys like Em, I know how they feel about about me and they know how I feel about them, but hearing it in that forum feels incredible. Itís inspiring and it lets me know that everything that Iíve done is appreciated.

It looked kind of like a reunion on stage. Do you guys see each other much?

Weíd actually just saw each other an hour before for the VIBE photo shoot. Before that it had been a few months or so. We donít get to talk that often, but when we do see each other itís just like we saw each other yesterday.

How do you feel about winning VIBEís Greatest Hip-Hop Producer of All Time tournament?

It was crazy because I just happened to be in New York promoting the Diddybeats and they approached me at Best Buy and I didnít know anything about the contest or that Iíd won and I was like, ďReally?Ē I went home and saw who I was up against. I was like ďwhoa.Ē These are some of my favorite producers. I never looked at it like my shit donít stink or Iím the best at what I do. I just go in and do my thing. I have my favorites out there also, but donít get me wrongóIím glad it went to me. [Laughs.] Itís always an incredible feeling, especially to be considered No. 1. The best that ever did it? What the fuck!

You were up against DJ Premier in the finals.

Preemo is definitely one of my favorites. I got a chance to chill with him and Guru out here one time. We sat and talked for like an hour and they were cool as hell. Iím a fan.

Do you think the VIBE tournament helped to elevate the stature of the producer?

The producer definitely needs to get a lot more credit than we do. No produceróno artist. Not many artists can go in the studio and make their own records. But a lot of producers can.

In the photos for this cover you have music notes in the syringes. Is there a science to hip-hop?

Thatís a good question. You know what? I donít know. Anybody that says that they know is crazy. You just come in and do what you feel. The way hip-hop is going and the way it sounds can change tomorrow. I think everybody has their own method and approach so there is no direct science for it. You can do a hip-hop record with no rapping. Hip-hop is so dope because itís the only music that you can mix with other forms of music. You can mix rock, hip-hop, jazzóitís spread out.

So there is no Dr. Dre formula?

No. There is no direct formula because I like collaborating and whoever Iím collaborating with, Iím absorbing their energy and theyíre absorbing mine and thatís how the record is going to sound. To me there is no Dre sound.

But if you listen to 50 Centís ďIn da ClubĒ and Mary J. Bligeís ďFamily Affair,Ē there are similarities.

Okay, but thatís not what Iím thinking when I go in to make it. I donít go in saying it has to sound like ďthis.Ē Each record has its own personality. I think, ďIs this record wearing Timberlands or is it wearing earrings?Ē If it comes out sounding similar to the last record, then so be it.

When did you first put your hands on a pair of turntables?

Damn, thatís a good one. Probably when I was 14 years old. I heard ď[The Adventures of] Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,Ē and that made me want to DJ. It made me want to know what hip-hop was. That was the song that did it. I immediately went home and called some friends and we were taking apart one of my friendís motherís stereo sets. They called them component systems back then. We figured out how to make a mixer from the balance button and got it crackingóstarted making tapes. Not too long after that, my mom got me a Numark mixer for Christmas and I was off and running from there. I still had the raggedy turntables, but it made it a lot easier.

What happened with those piano lessons with Burt Bacharach?

Iím still going. I have a different piano teacher now and Iím learning a lot about theory and hopefully I can get my Quincy Jones on later, score some movies.

Whatís your relationship like with Quincy Jones?

Heís one of my mentors and people Iíve looked up to in this business. I hung out with Quincy on his 70th birthday.

Has he bestowed any musical gems on you?

You know what? All weíve ever talked about is life and personal shit. Weíve never talked technical or about music.


Iím just talking about whatever Quincy wants to talk about. The door is open for me to go to his house and talk to him anytime I want. He gave me that invitation. I just want to absorb it, because everything he talks about is useful to me. It doesnít matter when I get it, as long as I get it. You know, Iím sitting there and I want to ask him about Thriller and Body Heat, but Iíll get to that. Iím actually supposed to be going to his house next week.

You mentioned a hip-hop album without rapping. Will we ever hear a Dr. Dre instrumental album?

Oh yeah, thatís in the works. An instrumental album is something Iíve been wanting to do for a long time. I have the ideas for it. I want to call it The Planets. I donít even know if I should be saying this, but fuck it. [Laughs.] Itís just my interpretation of what each planet sounds like. Iím gonna go off on that. Just all instrumental. Iíve been studying the planets and learning the personalities of each planet. Iíve been doing this for about two years now just in my spare time so to speak. I wanna do it in surround sound. Itíll have to be in surround sound for Saturn to work.


Because Saturn has the rings and youíll have to hear the sound going around you the entire time the instrumental is playing. You make Jupiter big. Earth of course has to [sound] wet. You really get into the actual personality of each planet and you go with that.

Thatís an exciting concept. Thatís why leaked music kind of cheats you. Because itís not in the package it was meant to be in.

Without a concept itís just another song . . .

Because itís out of sequence.

Thatís big! Absolutely. That can make or break a record, the way you sequence it. That is 100 percent a job in itself and that happens throughout the entire process of recording an album with me. I might take a CD home and listen to a few songs back to back and say, ďOkay, those two songs have to play together on a record.Ē Then you wait for that to happen again and then you have a partial sequence. Thatís an art in itself.

Knowing how passionate you are about sequencing an album, how does it feel when a song leaks, like ďCrack a BottleĒ?

Itís like a stab in the stomach. First of all we werenít even going to release the song. We won a Grammy for it, but Iím not even considering putting the Grammy up. My wife has a problem with that because she wants all of my achievements to be up in the house. But the way it came, it doesnít mean the same to me. We didnít get a chance to do the song with our heart in it because we had to go in and rush it out. We went in one day and finished it at least so people could hear a proper version but we didnít get to put our heart and soul in it . . .

So ďUnder PressureĒ leaking was a killer.

It was a little bit more frustrating because at least ďCrack a BottleĒ had a hook on it. I wouldnít be as mad at a leak if the song was done.

Can you blame the fans for wanting to hear something after all this time?

Absolutely not. Iím not mad at the fans. Iím mad at the person that leaked the shit. I have no idea how it got out. Itís not even worth looking to see who did it. It happens. The most painful part about it is that Iím passionate about what I do, so people should hear it in the right form.

There were some other reference tracks that leaked with T.I. and Ludacris lyrics. Were those legit?

Two of them were. Somebody actually hacked into our emails, so that made our red flags go up. Weíre in a new age and thatís a sign: Wake up motherfucker. You have to be more careful with your shit. Thatís all there is to it. I know whatís up now.

Was ďIn Da ClubĒ for Detox?

No. That track was done for D12. We were in the studio and D12 was in the studio. Em was there. It didnít happen with D12 and Em took the track with him, and he is the one that handed the track to 50.

Knowing the personal nature of your music, will there be a part two of ďThe MessageĒ for your late son, Andre Young, Jr.?

Iím actually back and forth about that. Iím leaning towards no because I donít know if I want to put myself or my family through that. I kind of want the record to stay fun. Right now as we speak Iím leaning towards a no. Though I do have a couple of things that Iíve done [for him]. I donít think so.

Have you heard a beat in the last five years that you thought was hot?

Damn, thatís a good question. When was ďThe BenjaminsĒ made? [Laughs.] [Diddyís ďItís All About] the BenjaminsĒ was one of my favorite beats. I just want to hear something that makes me make the ugly face.

Thereís nothing else since ďBenjaminsĒ that did that for you?

I know there is, but nothing is hitting me off the top. As soon as you leave I bet Iíll think of one. Iíve been listening to a lot of old shit. Most of the time when Iím listening to hip-hop, itís old-school Wu-Tang or Mobb Deep.

What is it about the old shit that keeps you going back?

It was an exciting period of hip-hop. Hip-hop isnít as exciting anymore and it motivates me to do what I do.

Youíve seen so much in your timeógood and bad. You had a chance to reconcile with Eazy-E before he died. With everything that has been going on with Suge Knight in the last year, is there any side of you that feels that one day you might . . .?

I havenít even thought about him. This is my first time hearing his name in . . . a long time.

So nobody told you when he got knocked out at a party?

Oh, of course I heard that. But it doesnít even cross my mind. Iím not gonna get anything out of that, so I donít even think about it. Thatís not going to help me.

It was reported that you were trying to tie up some loose ends with the people who bought the Death Row catalog.

Was basically trying to go back and get what I was owed if possible. This was more my attorneys than me. Iím more like eh, whatever. But if you can make it happen, itís all good.

Youíve had so much fun doing Chronic and 2001. So why would you want to detox? What is there to ďdetoxĒ from?

You have to see it. Itís not really detoxing. What Iím doing is gonna say ďDetoxĒ  but itís gonna have that red circle with that line through it. Hearing it and seeing it are two different things. Once you see it, itís like ďOh.Ē

So the idea is not detoxing?


Years ago you recorded a song called ďForgot About Dre,Ē but in 2010 it seems impossible to forget about Dre.

I hope not, at least not until this record is out. [Laughs.] Iím definitely in a different place now. Iím a lot smarter and hopefully getting smarter in years to come. Iím just cool right now, chilling and doing my work. Before it was ripping and running and Iím in a really calm place in my life, using my time wisely. Thatís the most valuable thing we own.



Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 02:25:53 PM »
great read, thanks for posting it


  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • Karma: -138
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 03:05:51 PM »
Nice read. +1
You expect me to download an album that isn't real?  Sorry, but I can't sign this.


  • Lil Geezy
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 2
  • I Puke Honey
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 04:42:43 PM »
dope read

Dre is one wise dude man
Hanging Up The Phone 1 Pregnant Bitch At A Time


  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 27584
  • Karma: 2052
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 04:47:20 PM »
Co-Director of Site Content For Raptalk.Net
Staff Writer For WordOfSouth.Com
Staff Writer For Illuminati2G.Net
Staff Writer For

Detox Iz Not Active

  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4703
  • Karma: -900
  • Tonite
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 04:54:27 PM »
Detox will drop summer 2011, no earlier then that
Guess who back in the motherfuckin house
With a fat dick for your motherfuckin mouth
Hoes recognize, niggaz do too
Cuz when bitches get skanless and pull a voodoo.....

Detox Is A Myth!!!

  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 810
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Karma: 58
  • Detox is the biggest marketing deception on Earth
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 05:22:06 PM »
Dre's favorite beat from about the last 12 years or so: 
"Detox" is a myth -- Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Area 51, Iraq having WMD, get it now?  It was invented by the Aftermath marketing department to maintain the fans' attention.  Notice how everytime a new Aftermath album is ready to come out, they always mention Detox is next up?  Because they are using the invention of "Detox" as a way to market other albums.  The sooner you realize that Detox is NOT REAL, the sooner you'll feel liberated.  Oh yeah, f.u. Aftermath for fooling us fans.


  • Guest
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 05:36:43 PM »
Yes... thanks a lot for posting man, much appreciated.  Anyone else who threads about Detox should learn from this; don't post bullshit!


Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 05:41:11 PM »
good read.

and the mandatory...


Sir Petey

  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 7618
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Karma: 714
  • ♛ bitch I'm flawless ♛
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 05:44:28 PM »
its dope that he met dilla, he sounds mad humble...thats good.

good read thx for posting

plus one.


  • Guest
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 06:43:09 PM »
see me and dre could see it here2here.  dude be thinkin the same shit i be thinkin, except some of my own thoughts are wrapped around parts of his theories.  i dont wanna sound funny or whatever but it's definitely true that great minds think alike.  "all about the benji'z" tho; i can't cosign with that.

Native American

  • Muthafuckin' Don!
  • *****
  • Posts: 889
  • Karma: -22
  • 2o11
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 06:46:49 PM »
thnx and props this was a good read, i was gona buy this at 7's but it was sold out.  8)


Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 06:58:33 PM »
YEAH YEAAAH!! Great post, thanks!


NewYork Pope

  • Muthafuckin' Double OG
  • ****
  • Posts: 604
  • Karma: 14
Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 08:56:39 PM »
Dope read.
I be thinking Dre must be thinking how superior he is to all other producers, since he the best etc...
it great to see heís fan of other producers, love the music and give props to others knowing not only he is great . True humility when u labeled greatest yet u feel others are great.


Re: Dr. Dre VIBE full interview
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 09:59:48 PM »
More general bullshit..Fuck Dr Gay and 80 % of the shit he puts out....Those last two leaked tracks have made me forget about this guy , thank god...