Author Topic: Q and A: questions I'm frequently asked about Dre, first question - Detox?  (Read 2288 times)

mellowmanisback

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What's up y'all - I wanted to drop by for a few hours and post a few things today.  The schedule is insane for the coming months so i won't have any time to come around for quite a while.  First of all I will assure you that Dre is hard at work on Detox (again)  ;). 50's album is pretty much finalized, i think Dre is done with his mixing chores for The Massacre.  I think you'll like most of the album, but I guess you'll have to make a judgement of your own when it gets released next month.  My focus is already off that album on back on Detox and Busta's new album.  I really think there is a good chance you'll get Busta's album yet this year, but I'm not gonna guess when it will come out because my track record is not real good when it comes to guessing release dates.  All I know is he's been getting out there on mixtapes and working hard on his new album.  On this topic I will address a few of the questions I get from people who recognize me (fortunatetly not too many yet).  Like I said I'm not gonna stick my nose in on things I need to stay out of.  i learned my lesson after letting you down on my premature excitement and telling you about what i though was going to be the forthcomng release of Oh My God.  So I'll stick to answering questions that I get about Dre. 
Q:  Why did Dre abandon Detox, and why is it taking so long?
A:  On the record Dre abandoned Detox because he wanted to focus on Em, Game, 50, Busta and Eve's albums.  While that is true, off the record there are other reasons.  The truth is Dre has been kicking around ideas and concepts for Detox for a long time.  He changed his mind a few times and was never really happy enough about any of them.  There is immense pressure to make Detox groundbreaking and better than his first two solo albums.  In addition to that this is Dre's final solo album, so there is the additional pressure of going out with a bang that will echo in eternity.  I don't think it ever crossed Dre's mind to actually not do Detox.  Annoucning that he wasn't helped relieve some of the pressure.  It also allowed Dre to step back and get his mind off of it for a while and get a fresh start later on.  That fresh start is now as Detox is definetly back on.  That we are actually putting vocals on some tracks is a very important step.  For the last few years we have been building hundreds of instrumentals for Detox.  They ranged from really sparse and simple beats to some of the craziest and most complex beats you have ever heard. We have all worked very hard together to create something truly original and groundbreaking.  Picking which ones to actually use is easier said than done.   We are striving for 100% live instrumental tracks built completely from scratch which takes a lot of work since we do some many of them before Dre wittles them down later on.  Dre pushes us to dig deep and put our own ideas into the skeleton instrumentals we have made alongside him for Detox over the last couple of years.  We are really pushing the envelope.  In my opinion Dre has thrown out some incredible tracks that we and Dre have built together, but Dre is looking for something specific and if he doesn't hear it he will not use it.   the dilema is how complex of tracks will the listening audience want to hear.  Do they want orchestra like pieces or the tightly focused, yet simple beats you are used to from Dre. Ideally all of us and Dre want the most mindbending and complex original music experience ever heard on record.  But will the audience be happy with that? The last thing we want to do is put out a "concept" album that loses people because it so different than what they are used to hearing.  So thats been a big dilema.  In the end i think you will hear elements of these complex beats but you won't hear the way they originally were created(those versions will go to the "Dr. Dre vault".  At least that is the direction Dre has gone so far.  I think the early tracks are as good as anything Dre has ever done - but it is still too early to tell how the final album will sound. I'm confident you will be very pleased.  Dre is planning something special for the albums last track - if we can keep it within the budget.
I know there are rumours out there that Detox will not be 100% Dre produced.  Dre is accepting tracks for consideration from a limited amount of producers, but the goal is for Dre to either produce or co produce the entire album.  If Dre is having a hard time getting 16-18 quality tracks together of his productions that he likes he may look to someone else's production to fill in the needed tracks.  Dre is humble enough to use someone elses track (like Lord Finesse's The Message beat) if it is dope enough to match the "classic level" of the Dre tracks on the album.  Interscope is breathing down Dre's neck to get Detox out by year end.  But Dre refuses to release it until he is ready.  We have a long way to go but i think Dre is finally at peace with what he/we are trying to achieve on Detox.  One thing to consider is this: The Vibe award incident really had a big impact on Dre.  I have never seen Dre as determined and focused as he is right now.  His anger and will to defeat all those who try to bring him down are having a direct impact on the aggressive nature of his recent productions.  I promise you that no one is as driven as Dre is to make Detox FUBAR the competition or anyone who stands in his way.   I don't know what the outcome of Detox will be, but we all, expecially Dre will work to exhaustion to make Detox the best it can be. 
 

Sven

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Thanks a lot for the info. Reading threads like this makes me being interested in the process of producing RAP MUSIC again. I have serious doubts about most produces, some are really boring, they aren't diversified enough. Most of them aren't even working with real musicians. That's what makes Dre's music special, that's what makes Dj "one man band" Quik special.

Btw... Mellowman, what do u know about Dre being in europe with Snoop & Game?
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Kal EL

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What does Dre think about the Jay Z situatiuon?
 

UKnowWhatItIs: welcome to my traps....game over

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Great news,props on this man.I really appreciate the knowledge u drop.I got one question tho,is 50's Piggybank better than Back Down lyrically & beat wise???
 

mellowmanisback

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Sorry guys i'm too focused on creating music to know about the jay-z situation, i haven't heard dre say anything - i don't have a comment on piggybank as i don't agree with another beef track - and i don't ask dre where he is going or what he does on his time off.  thats his family business.  I know Dre is excited about working with snoop again on detox but i haven't heard him talk about europe.  I know he's gonna be gone some coming up but again I don't ask him what he's doing when he's not here.  We talk a little about family at work but dre doesn't rub it in when he takes off for some exotic place again.  When i'm in the studio with Dre we are working and getting our business handled. there is no time to fuck around at work.  we'll relax when we feel like we've earned some time for fun after getting some quality music done that particular day. We have fun during the process but if you don't want to work when you are here at the studio Dre will tell you to go home - don't waste his time. Now back to the q and a.
 

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great posts man, that first bit made me so excited for detox....i cant wait
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Juronimo

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Thanks a lot for the info. Reading threads like this makes me being interested in the process of producing RAP MUSIC again. I have serious doubts about most produces, some are really boring, they aren't diversified enough. Most of them aren't even working with real musicians. That's what makes Dre's music special, that's what makes Dj "one man band" Quik special.

Btw... Mellowman, what do u know about Dre being in europe with Snoop & Game?

For real though, Dr. Dre and DJ Quik are so far ahead of every other hip hop producer out there it isn't even funny.
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Do you know if NWA will ever do a CD?
 

Sir Petey

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I think it's great that we can finally get some clarity on where things stand with dre and snoop...
If dre is hype about the collabo then snoops probably ecstatic...
the only possible outcome is dope music.

Don Seer

hey mellow.. i thought of a couple questions..


do you have any idea more info on the origins of the 'other' version of xxplosive which was bootlegged under the name "way i be pimpin" and the track it was leaked with that had the name "my life".. which sampled Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves The Sunshine

are they -both- from 2001 sessions as is rumoured?  they surfaced several years after.



and one i'm not sure you can speak on..   what happened with hittman?




 

Conan

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While I'm sure a lot of people want to know what happened to Hittman, I don't know if ANYBODY in the ''Aftermath'' camp could (or would) answer that question. That's clearly just me guessing though.

I just got that impression from Game's line on ''The Documentary'': ''Don't stop me in traffic and ask about Hittman''

However, I remember reading a while ago, either in a message or news update, through Hitt's DJ Ben Baller that he was doing some writing for ''Detox'' at one point. I think that was posted on aftermathmusic.com? I'm sure some other people remember hearing that too...

It is bizarre that a rapper who was so hyped and was all over ''2001'' can fade into total obscurity.
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BIGMOZ

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Mellow, do you work hand in hand with Dre?  Do you know Mike Elizando?  That man gets far too little credit for as much work as he does on albums.


Is there any way to submit tracks to the Aftermath camp?  Not for Detox, Im just asking in general. 
 

Don Seer

everytime i've pressed ben baller or tha formula who have some kind of connect to hittman about it they say he's with dre working on detox..  and has been doing some movie scripts..

i dont believe that anymore.. a while ago they were still saying this BUT interscope told Lil Jay that he'd been dropped... ben flipped and claimed jay was lying etc etc...

its also hard to tell when the 4 or so leaked hitt bootlegs (one rumoured to be his demo of aftermath era tracks he was shopping around) were made.. the last one did have a few newer tracks.
 

mellowmanisback

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Q: Who is a better producer, Dre or Quik?
A: That is a question I get on this board and in public a lot.  I don't know why but I will give you my opinion.  Dre is hands down the better "producer".  Before all you DJ quik fans jump all over me, please note that Quik is easily on of the best producers in all of music and I looove his sound. like Sven said quik is a lot like Dre.  While both have sampled, or replayed and expanded like Dre did in the ruthless and death row years, both dre and quik try to create MUSIC using mostly live instrumentations.  Both have used actual live drums on a number of records, as well as live bass of all types, pianos, keys, horns, guitars, flutes, sax, xzylophone, etc.  Quik and Dre have different sounds for the most part but they are almost identical in how they hire musicians for most of the actual played music.  neither really play any instruments. both are incredible on the drum machine and both can play keyboards, quik is arguably a little better than dre on the keys while Dre is agruably better on the drum machine. I do disagree with quik being a one man band.  If you listen to Quik's first four albums you mostly hear the incredible Robert Bacon playing most, if not all of the instruments.  Bacon is Quik's secret weapon.  that doesn't take anything away from Dj quik but I am giving credit where credit is due.  Robert is simply one of the best musicians to ever be involved in hip hop.  Dre has discovered and/or used some incredible musicians during his career - Colin Wolfe, Mike Simms, Sean Thomas, T green, Scott Storch, Camara Kamron - to name a few.  Dre gives all of the musicians he has used a lot of credit for being a big part of his success. Quik has also had other great musicans besides Fonksta Bacon too.  The fact is that Dre and Quik are the top producers in rap MUSIC because they create music and hire some incredible musicians to help them bring their ideas to musical life.
Why is Dre a better producer, in my humble opinion, than quik?  Being a PRODUCER is so much more than being a musician.  Only in rap is a producer expected to play instruments on tracks.  Most music producers don't play anything on the records.  Great producers do however have the "ear" and understand melodies, and how best to mazimize an instruments and the musicians potential. Dre has one of the best ears there is. believe me he has made me a better musician than I ever thought i could be because he knows exactly how to tweak what I play from good to great.   Producers coach, discover talent, mentor, shape, mold, compose, create, adjust, innovate, arrainge, focus, orchestrate, direct and so much more.  Dre does all of that, and as a total package does that as well as or better than any producer in modern music history.
Quik hasn't really changed his sound ever.  He was forced to after Robert left, but its been pretty consistent in direction(this is not a criticism of quik, this is the style he is so good at, and the style we all love).  Dre has changed his music and the sound of music itself more than once.  With NWA and being the main creative force behind Ruthless records he helped change the sound of rap music and what could be said on records.  With The Chronic he was the leader in bringing a fresh sound - g-funk -  to music.  If you bought that album when it came out in dec. 92 it blew you away as it was unlike anything you had ever heard before. The chronic also brought gangsta rap to the masses and made it a cultural phenomenon (along with saving Interscope from folding).  When Dre left to start Aftermath he changed the course of music forever (again) with the discovery of eminem. he also helped make 50 and now game into superstars as well.
Dre has discovered some of the biggest artists in music history and as a producer he molded those artists by taking them from unpolished diamonds to polished muliplatinum selling artists.  Quik has never really discovered anyone who blew up.  As a producer Dre works harder than anyone else and demands more from his artists than anyone else.  He mentors artists and maximizes their talent.  He has the incredible ability to bring the best out of any artist and helps them to perform at incredible levels or career best levels.  And I haven't even brought out the fact that albums Dre has produced on have easily eclipsed the 100 million mark in sales.  Quik hasn't even hit 10 million.  But I don't really want to use record sales as a factor in determining how good a producer is.  Jimmy Iovine calls Dre the most influential record producer in music history.  While I won't put him alone at the top he's definetly on the short list.  
In the end everyone has their own opinion.  There is no right or wrong.  if you think quik is the best great. if he's your favorite great.  Quik is an incredible talent and a better musician but I just don't think its fair to compare him to Dre as a PRODUCER.  Dre, as a PRODUCER, is as good as there has ever been. He is the Michael Jordan of Rap. But like I said i could be completely wrong.  Just enjoy the talents of each man as you won't see the likes of them very often ever again.
 

BIGMOZ

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Mellow, how can we get in contact with you through email?
 

mellowmanisback

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If you want to contact me send me a message through this board.  I will not give e-mail out.  Consider me a Ghost.  I can disappear at any time. Take my posts however you want.  Whether you consider me a hoax, real, or somewhere in between - it don't matter to me.  I don't give a fuck.  I love telling you about the process of making music and some insight about Dre and how he works.  I won't answer most questions about artists because i'll leave that up to people who actually know what happened.  I haven't seen Hittman for a long time so I have no idea what happened.  I would guess Jimmy wouldn't back him so he let him go and allowed him to pursue a new deal with another label.  But thats a total guess.  I don't really care. I just concern myself with creating music with dre to the best of my abilities.  I have no control over anything else.  I got time for 2 more q and a's i want to address, so back to those.
 

Quadruple OG

the one thing I wanna know is what did dre think about Kurupt going back to Death Row (since Kurupt was on 2001 and dre produced some tracks for him)?
 

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I sent you a private message bro.  If you get a chance, holler back at me.


But one seperate question about Dre.  Do most of the orchestral sounds we hear on the beats come from synths, and samples, or are they real orchestra's playing?  If they are samples, which series are they?  (Vienna, East West Quantum Leap)?


Thanks. 
 

Conan

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Mellow, I have a question and, whether or not you have a concrete answer, a response would be greatly appreciated. Recently, as you may be aware, the magazine ''Blender'' reached out to both Snoop and Dre about the possibility of the ''Break Up To Make Up'', or 'reunion' album between the two that has been specualted upon for so long coming to fruition. As I recall, both appeared to suggest that they would have no problems with recording such a venture and seemed willing.

My question in simple: do you believe such an album will ever see the light of the day. Another ''Chronic'' where we see the two go back and forth so frequently? Personally, I've had my doubts over whether I'd ever hear another Dre/Snoop collaboration what with all the rumours of a rift between the two circulating. Plus, whether or not those are in any way true, they haven't released any music together publically since ''The Wash'' soundtrack and that was, according to several reports, supposed to be the 'reunion' album.

The pair have an undeniable chemistry. Snoop brings out the best in Dre. Dre, hands down, brings out the best in Snoop. I know that so many would love to see this go down. Unfortunately, it would certainly appear that Snoop is more concerned with working with The Neptunes nowadays...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2005, 04:09:50 PM by DPG2K »
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Elevz

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They were said to be on stage in Ireland together last night... So it seems they're still down! I don't think Snoop is more concerned with working with the Neptunes though. He too realises the power Dre has, and the success a collabo of them two will have.
 

mellowmanisback

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Q: Does Dre steal credit?  
A: I hate this f'in question. I know this will always be out there no matter how hard I argue it.  So i'm not going to attempt to win this arguement.  But No Dre does not steal credit from others. In my experience with Dre I have ALWAYS gotten proper credit and full publishing.   Since the first Aftermath album Dre has given proper credit to every songwriter, producer, musician, engineer, whoever. Dre told me he learned how not to run a label during his Death Row days. He vowed to give proper credit to everyone who works on each track.  Whether Dre produces or co produces , Dre's name will almost always go first.  That's just the way it is.  The only time it doesn't is when Dre doesn't actively work on the making of the track. If it is finished and he jumps on and adds or changes he will not be the first name.  But if Dre is active in the true creation of the track he will go first, and rightfully so as Dre is the orchestrator and director of every track.  At death row Dre and every other artist i talked to has told me suge would let Dre get his own publishing but suge would basically steal everyone elses.  In music, getting publishing credit is almost everything.  Whether Snoop or Kurupt or whoever wrote the verse it didn't matter.  Suge publishing would get the credit.  Dre will always admit that creating The Chronic and Doggystyle was a team effort, but that there was no doubt he was the mastermind behind the production of the tracks.  Obviously I wasn't there during the Death Row days but everyone I have talked to during my time with Dre who was actually there said that Dre was the main force, the main producer and orchestrator of every track.  he got a lot of help from musicians and ocassional help from co-producers like sam sneed, and warren g, etc. which Dre credits for helping make those classic records.  In the end though suge would not pay them correctly so a lot of people left.  the original death row is gone, and they almost all left after dre left - even daz - that should tell you something.  suge stole credits and publishing from the musicians and writers all the time.  and although Dre couldn't (although maybe he should have) force suge to change as co owner of death row he was ultimatley responsible, and Dre felt really bad about it. he felt responsible although it wasn't really his fault. That was a major factor in starting Aftermath.  Dre wanted to run a label the correct way and make sure everyone who worked with him got full credit and the correct publishing.  I can honestly say Dre has never cheated me or anyone else i know during my time at Aftermath.  Egos can get involved where some people think they should get more credit than they deserve. Scott had those issues once but he's back and working with us and is very happy to be a part of dre's team.
If you ask anyone who has ever worked with Dre if he treats them fairly they will all say yes.  If you are willing to put in the work it takes to be successful dre will treat you and compensate you like family.  He will reward you for your efforts.
Hopefully this sheds a little light on things.  Dre is far from perfect, even very irritable sometimes, but in this business of music you will find few people as giving and humble as Dre.  
 

Timmeeeehh

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Mellow, you got any idea what's happening with all those beats/tracks Dre did for 2001 and now doing for Detox that won't be used.
Will they leak one day? Or is Dre putting it back forever in his vaults? I mean even those tracks Dre isn't happy with, a lot of people here will be...

Thanks!

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Mygla

big props for doing this mellowman! i really appreciate reading the stuff you post here :)

q: do you know what song Dre considers to be his best production? which do you think?
 

Denial! Is Actively Joinin The Revolution

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yo mellowmanisback cheers for answering these question but could u answer this question i woz wonderin bout these tracks and another called not many days left.

hey mellow.. i thought of a couple questions..


do you have any idea more info on the origins of the 'other' version of xxplosive which was bootlegged under the name "way i be pimpin" and the track it was leaked with that had the name "my life".. which sampled Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves The Sunshine

are they -both- from 2001 sessions as is rumoured?  they surfaced several years after.


Hittman is not a real person. He was a computer program generated by Dr. Dre and Mel Man back in the mid 90's. When Dre started treating Mel-Man like shit, Mel infiltrated the computer and put a virus in the hittman program

 

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I got a question.....     


From what I understand, Dre's Chronic album basically saved Interscope.  He's been with them since '92.  He's  been there for so long, yet Interscope is always pressuring him.  Why don't they just let him work, and give them the albums when they're done?