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15 Facts You (Probably) Forgot About Dre

Dr Dre facts you need to know about.

15 Facts You (Probably) Forgot About Dre
Marc Chacksfield
28 October 2021

With a headline that brilliant, self-explanatory and, yes, a little obvious, need we say more?

Fine, we’ll just repeat it in a slightly different fashion: here are 10 + 5 things about the aforementioned rap Doctor – whose new music rumoured to be in the next GTA game – that you definitely (maybe) did not know.

15 Facts You (Probably) Forgot About Dre

1. Before he started upsetting police officers the world over as part of NWA, Dre was in a group called World Class Wreckin’ Cru, with DJ Yella, Cl-N-Tel and Lonzo.You probably kne w that bit, but did you know they were originally called Disco Conjunction, and played electronic funk? Well now you do.

2. You know Warren G, that other bigtime rapper who likes to Regulate things? He and Dre are step brothers, after the Doc’s mum married G’s dad. At the time of writing there are sadly still no plans to reboot Will Ferrell and John C Reilly comedy, Step Brothers, with the pair in the lead roles.

3. That’s not to say Dre doesn’t have acting chops. Along with a minor role in Training Day, supplying a voice to 2005 video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof and bit parts in some lesser known films.

4. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg were the leads in 2001 movie, The Wash. It’s centres around two skint pals that work at a car wash to make ends meet and, quite frankly, the fact it didn’t clean up at that year’s Academy Awards is one of the biggest scandals of our time.

5. God bless Dre’s mum, Verna Young, for being so headstrong. While just 16-years-old in 1965 she became pregnant, something that was almost unheard of at the time. Her friends and family pleaded she get an abortion, but she stuck to her guns and a rap legend was born.

6. Dre fathered a son of his own when he was just 17, but didn’t meet him until he’d turned 20. Want to know what Dre Jr (or Curtis, to his mum) does for work? He’s a rapper that goes by the name of “Hood Surgeon”, because of course he bloody is.

7. Dr J. That’s the name our Dre used to go by, chosen as a tribute to his favourite basketball player, Julius Erving. He changed it from J to Dre, a nod to his own name, Andre Young. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

8. Thanks in no small part to the $3.2 billion [£2bn] sale of Beats to Apple, in 2014 Dr Dre earned approximately $20 per second. So in the time it took you to read that last sentence, the rapper turned headphone mogul banked himself a cool $100. And another. And… (you get the idea).

9. He may have a degree in medicine (if you ignore the fact that he doesn’t really), but this Doctor isn’t exactly the brightest spark. When he first heard Eminem rapping and decided he wanted to work with him, Dre was clueless to the fact that Slim Shady was, in fact, white.

10. Andre Young isn’t the most intimidating name for a gun-toting gangster rapper, so it’s little wonder why Dre opted for a stage name. His middle name Romelle, however, came from his father’s R&B group, The Romelles. Which isn’t befitting a gangbanger either, but is rather sweet.

11. With his slice of the $3.2 billion sale of Beats to Apple estimated to be around $300 million (£190m), Dre’s made more cash from headphones than he ever has from music. No wonder he's taking his time releasing new albums.

12. You know you’ve made a good album when even self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Rapper Of All Time, OF ALL TIME’ Kanye West claims to measure his work against it. Talking about The Chronic, Yeezy said the album “is still the hip-hop equivalent to Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. It’s the benchmark you measure your album against if you’re serious.” Perhaps Kanye’s only fit for second best after all?

13. In 2014, Dr Dre splashed out $40 million (£25m) on the Los Angeles home that previously belonged to NFL quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen. It was around the same time that the Doc received a cheque for that little headphone enterprise he launched, so he was probably good for the deposit.

14. Around the turn of the century, there was serious discussion about a NWA reunion, with Snoop Dogg replacing Eazy-E, who died in 1995. There was even said to be an album, titled Not These N*ggaz Again, but just like Dre’s Detox album, it never saw the light of day. There was a NWA performance during the iconic Up In Smoke tour, though, and a track called Chin Check appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Next Friday.

15. Despite being one of the few ‘rap classics’ that’ve genuinely stood the test of time, NWA’s debut album Straight Outta Compton cost only $12,000 to make and has sold over 3million copies. Not bad for a shoe-string.