Andre Romelle Young, a.k.a. Dr Dre, has had crowds jumping and heads bobbing ever since the early 1980s when he started spinning records at The Eve After Dark, a popular club just outside of his hometown of Compton, California. He eventually joined up with Alonzo Williams and DJ Yella to form The World Class Wreckin’ Cru, who released the popular 80s hip-hop jams “Juice” and “Surgery.” He continued to hone his production skills as a member of the hip-hop group N.W.A., when he contributed production to songs from the group’s debut album Straight Outta Compton, including the title track, along with “Gangsta Gangsta” and “F*** Tha Police,” which helped the album hit the top forty on the US Billboard charts and the top ten on the Soul LPs chart. In 1992 Dre released his solo debut album The Chronic on the indie label Death Row Records, and became known as a pioneer of the West Coast G-funk sound, characterized by slow beats and some serious synthesized bass. The album received critical acclaim, with Dre’s production prowess and perfectionist work ethic compared to that of, among others, legendary producer Phil Spector. Tunes like “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” and the Grammy Award winning single “Let Me Ride” took the album to number three on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Indie Albums charts. That same year he also produced Doggystyle, the number one debut album for his label mate Snoop Dogg. Dr. Dre’s production credits are listed on albums from countless artists, among them The Lady of Rage, J.J. Fad, Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Eminem, 50 Cent, 2Pac and Michel’le. The six-time Grammy Award winner also ventured onto the big screen appearing in the feature films Training Day, The Wash and Set It Off, signed endorsement deals with St. Ides Malt Liquor, Dr. Pepper and Chrysler, and also has a little side hustle as the co-founder of Beats Electronics. Apple recently acquired the company for a cool $3 billion with Dr. Dre joining the company in an unspecified role, making him worth close to $1 billion.
Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, currently working on a Masters in Marketing degree. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.