Dr Dre is one of the most revered producers in hip-hop. Born and raised in the Compton neighbourhood of LA, the beatmaker (real name Andre Young) has been active within the culture for over three decades. With his career beginnings as part of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru in the early-1980s, the musician has been an active participant in hip-hop for four decades. Although the former NWA act has had such an extensive career, he is most known for his work at Death Row Records.
Formed in 1992, in partnership with the infamous gangster and record executive Suge Knight, Dr Dre was the face and co-founder of Death Row Records during the ’90s. As the pioneering producer of the label, Young spearheaded the epic West Coast G-funk movement. Recruiting young talent from South Central LA, Young began building an empire. Alongside his musical counterpart and cousin, Warren G, Young found himself experimenting with P-Funk, in particular the works of George Clinton. By sampling P-Funk and slowing it down, the beatmaker stumbled upon a genuinely original sonic.
Using this production technique, Young churned out ’90s classics such as The Chronic and Doggystyle. He also produced a slew of music for the late legend 2pac. However, according to his former business partner and friend, Suge Knight, Young wasn’t responsible for any of the previously mentioned music. In an interview from prison with the hip-hop media outlet TMZ, Knight made the bombshell claim that Dr Dre wasn’t responsible for producing Snoop Dogg’s album Doggystyle or 2Pac’s ‘California Love’.
During the phone interview, Knight revealed that all of Death Row’s most famous records were produced by Snoop Dogg’s cousin, the lesser-known rapper and producer Daz Dillinger. Knight characterised Dillinger as the mastermind behind the Death Row sound. Detailing his recollection of Doggystyle, Knight stated, “What’s so great about Daz is, this guy, I went to and said, ‘We gotta finish the album.’ He did the whole thing. He did everything on Doggystyle. By himself. The whole album was done. He did everything. He produced it.”
In a disparaging manner, during the interview, Knight claimed that Dr Dre even asked Daz Dillinger if he could take credit, alleging, “When it was time to come out, the streets said, well, they want Andre [Dr. Dre] to be on it, and Andre said, ‘I want to be on there.’ So Andre went to Daz and said, ‘Look man, let me say it was produced by me, and put my name on it. You’ll get paid, but let me be the one who produced it.”
Detailing when Dillinger allegedly signed the contract allowing Dre to take credit, Knight declared, “I told Daz, ‘That’s something he wanted to do. I don’t recommend it because you’re the one who produced it, and you’re giving up your publishing.’ But Daz signed paperwork and said it was produced by Dre.” Knight then proceeded to deliver a disgraceful diatribe concerning Dre, proclaiming that Young and 2pac never even went into the studio with each other, stating, “‘Pac and Dre was never in the studio together. They wasn’t in the studio doing ‘California Love.’ They hated each other. That simple.”
Knight seems resentful as he dishes out his hate from behind bars, and for the foreseeable future, he will remain there as he serves a 28-year prison sentence for the 2015 murder of Terry Carter. You can hear his TMZ interview in the video below.