How Dr Dre sabotaged his own Apple Music deal
(Credit: Jason Persse)

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How Dr Dre sabotaged his own Apple Music deal

Dr Dre is one of the wealthiest figures in hip-hop. As well as being an exceptional producer who shifted culture in the 1990s, the Compton native (real name Andre Young) is a businessman who has negotiated many exciting and profitable deals. However, there is one deal that went awry, and it involved a fellow hip-hop mogul.

Diddy currently has the highest net worth of all rappers, but as Dr Dre prepared to sell Beats Music to Apple in 2014, he was set to surpass Diddy (real name Sean Combs) with his net worth. However, a self-sabotage by Young caused him to lose approximately $200million. 

In 2014, Dre and his longtime business partner, Jimmy Iovine, were preparing to sell their Beats Music brand to Apple for an alleged $3.2billion. At this time, hip-hop hadn’t produced a single billionaire, and the payout would have led to Dr Dre becoming the first. However, a condition of the deal, which Young had yet to read, stated he couldn’t speak about the agreement until Apple had officially announced it.

Unfortunately, Dre celebrated this acquisition a bit early and appeared in an Instagram video alongside Tyrese Gibson, declaring himself a billionaire. Rejoicing with Young, Gibson exclaimed, “It’s not often you get to listen to Beats with Mr. Beats himself! Billionaire boys club for real! The Forbes list just changed. It came out like two weeks ago. They need to update the Forbes list. Sh*t just changed!”

He continued, “Understand that. The first billionaire in hip-hop. Right here from the motherf*cker West Coast,” he said. According to documents obtained by New York Times Writer Tripp Mickle, the only action that could prevent the total payout was leaking the deal to the public. 

Although Iovine had warned Dre of the potential consequences, the Interscope executive was utterly unaware of the video until Diddy phoned him. Mickle reported that “At 2:00am, Iovine got a call from Puff Daddy, who was screaming that Dre and Tyrese were talking about the deal in a Facebook video. Iovine pulled up the video and cringed as he saw Tyrese bragging about being drunk on Heineken in a recording studio.”

The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, reportedly called Young and Iovine into the Apple headquarters in Cupertino following the video going viral, and, although the deal went through, Apple cut an extra $200 million from the sale, leaving Diddy untouched and unbothered as the wealthiest rapper alive. You can hear more about the story in the video below.