The influence of Dr Dre cannot be understated. With his group N.W.A, he became one of the definitive voices of 1980s hip hop, going on to have an illustrious career in his own right before stepping into production and entrepreneurship.
For countless rappers, he has been a guiding light, and he is constantly cited as a key influence on some of the most established rappers in the world, including Eminem, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. But who is Dre’s favourite rapper? Well, thankfully he opened up about this very subject in an interview back in 2010. Let’s take a closer look.
Andre Romelle Young was surrounded by music from the start. Born into a family in which both parents were singers, Dre started working as a DJ when he was a teenager after receiving a mixer for Christmas in 1984. For the next few years, he barely left his family’s home studio, spending hours and hours sampling pieces of music and stitching them together in new and interesting configurations.
After honing his talent, he began hanging out in the LA Nightclub Eve After Dark, where he was eventually given the opportunity to try his hand at the turntables. He was soon spotted by World Class Wreckin Cru, with whom Young began developing his persona, Dr. Dre, the Master of Mixology.
On leaving World Class Wreckin Crew, Dre became friends with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Yella, MC Ren, the Arabian Prince and the D.O.C, who, together, formed N.W.A in 1985. The group’s unflinching lyrics about gang violence, social degradation, and police brutality earned them a huge fanbase and their second album Straight Outta Compton sold more than 2 million copies, marking the arrival of a new offshoot of the hip-hop genre, ‘gangsta rap’.
Today, Dr. Dre still has his fingers firmly on the pulse. In an interview held back in 2010, for example, Dre was asked about the state of modern rap: “Just recently, actually, I’ve heard some really good artists,” he replied. “I’m a fan of J. Cole. I like Don Trip. Those two I was actually in this studio working with recently, and I really like their vibe. Especially J. Cole. I think that kid has a serious future ahead of him. He’s articulate. The way he speaks is – he’s got it. All he needs is the record now.”
But, in terms of veterans, there’s one rapper who Dr. Dre ranks above all others: “Jay Z. Oh yeah. I mean Jay is my favourite. I’m a huge Jay -Z fan. I love it. I’m waiting for his record right now. Hopefully, I’ll get a track on it. We’ll see. Yeah I love it. Because it helps keep alive the type of music that I love to do.”