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Rap music would not be what it is today without the incredible influence of Dr. Dre. As the rap genre was evolving, Dr. Dre was a key driver in changing the rap culture for the better. It is safe to say that the music Dr. Dre came out with is vastly different from what rap stars of the 1980’s and 1990’s were coming out with—and that is not a bad thing. 

RapTV claimed : “Rap music has evolved so much in the past four decades that it’s been around.”

So who is Dr. Dre? And how did he get his name?  Basically, Dr Dre was born into a singing career. As a teenager, he attended high school in Compton, which was notorious for gang violence. After jumping around schools for a while, he applied for an apprenticeship program at Northrop Aviation 

The beginning:

Dr Dre was born on February 18, 1965 with the legal names of Andre Romelle Young. He was the first child for Theodore and Verna Young. His father Theodore was in a rhythm and blues singing group known as The Romells—hence, that is where the middle name Romelle came from, but his poor grades prevented him from being accepted. This is when he shifted his focus to becoming an entertainer.  Part of being an entertainer is having a social life, so by age 20 he had fathered his first son named Curtis, who later went on to become rapper Hood Surgeon.

The transition:

As a young adult, Dr. Dre attended evening clubs to watch DJs and rappers perform live, this is where he was first inspired to become a DJ himself, and did so under the alias of Dr J. He decided on this stage name by pulling the first letter from his favorite basketball player Julius Erving. After a while, his stage name eventually morphed into Dr Dre—a mix of his former alias name, his first name Andre and the belief in himself that he was the “Master of Mixology”.  As Dr. Dre, he joined the music group World Class Wreckin’ Cru, which dominated the West Coast hip hop scene of the 1980s. As the 80s came to an end, Dr. Dre collaborated with fellow rap artist Ice Cube and came out with the hit album Straight Outta Compton. 

The legend:

When Dr. Dre joined Death Row Records, the rest was pretty much history. He collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, RBX, Nate Dogg and Jewell and made himself a name to be remembered in the rap industry. He continued to release several albums for the next decade that continually made Billboard charts, went platinum, and even got Grammy nominations. But after establishing himself as a rap legend that would live on forever, he decided it was time to move on to helping other artists find similar success.

The mentor:

Dr. Dre has been focused on producing songs and albums for other artists ever since the start of the 21st Century. He has produced for Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Eve, and Gwen Stefani. It was during this time that he also gave acting a go, staring in numerous big screen hits. His big break was when he produced the film Straight Outta Compton, which was a biographical film that showed behind the scenes stories of what it was really like for him as an emerging artist. He, like many other rappers, have also released his own line of headphones known as Beats by Dr. Dre—which were so popular that it made him the richest man in hip hop! 

So there you go, Dr. Dre got his name from his journey of becoming a mixology master of the beats and being a fan of basketball! The irony now is that all the basketball legends wear his headphones when they are warming up for their games!