Cool & Dre
Miami Heat

cooldre1.jpgLuke dancers, Scarface, Phillip Michael Thomas’ busted pastel ties. Of late, none have been repping Miami as lovely as Cool & Dre. Before they became hired hitmen for everyone from Trina to Terror Squad, the gifted production duo got their grind on as faux-preppie crooners. After making the transition to beatsmiths, Cool & Dre caught the ear of Fat Joe, who commissioned them to craft tracks for his J.O.S.E. album. Since then, theirs has been a come-up tale that would make Tony Montana proud: more hits (for the likes of Juvenile, Joe Budden, The Game, etc.); a stint as official beatmakers for NBA Live 2005; and, eventually, their own imprint, Epidemic Records, where Dre is releasing his solo debut, The Trunk. XXLMAG.COM caught up with these newly-minted moguls to rap about the potentially risky task of producing for both G-Unit and Murder Inc. acts, Diddy’s pre-release paranoia, and why, after consistently keeping the streets on smash, their reign is far from over. OK, they’re reloaded!

So you and Cool started as an R&B group in the early-’90s, Boyz II Men–style. What saved you from a life of matching sweaters and doo-wop?
Dre: The fact that nobody liked us. [Laughs] And nobody wanted to make our music. Apparently, we weren’t that good. So me and Cool decided to start making beats, and that was basically what put us in the direction where we’re at now.

Fat Joe played a big role in you getting on. How did that connection come about?

Dre: I hate to neglect everyone in Miami that gave us a shot. Fat Joe was definitely the first prominent rap artist—he was very, very instrumental in our career. Amazingly instrumental in our career. But [working with] all the groups in Miami is how me and Cool made a name for ourselves. That allowed someone like Fat Joe to come down to Miami and hear about Cool & Dre and get with us. He met us through a guy we all know named Robbie Rob. [Rob] was on some, Yo, Joe’s working on his album and you guys make a lot of noise down here in Miami. [Fat Joe] wants to get a beat. After that, we hooked up with Joe and [found that] we got so many mutual connections.

What would you say was the defining moment for you as producers? At what point was it like, Okay, this is official now?
Cool: I think it was a combination of hit records. When “New York” came out, and also when [Fat Joe] came out with “So Much More.” It was a combination of those. They were a little far apart, but they were all still bubbling at the same time. “So Much More” was a club banger, then “Take Me Home.” It was a combination of those records that had people like, Wow.

When you put out “New York,” Ja Rule was in a pretty tough place, in terms of credibility. Were you initially nervous at all going into that collaboration?
Dre: Nah, because we had worked with Ja Rule prior to doing “New York.” We did a song called “Destiny” on his previous album, which was one of the biggest records on that album—the one where [in the video] he jumped out the truck wearing all black?

The Last Temptation?
Dre: Yeah, yeah, The Last Temptation. And . . . and . . . he’s a nice guy. He gave us a shot, you know? Me and Cool don’t get caught up in all that—music is music. So when we did the beat, I thought it would be great. Ja Rule, at that point in his career, was the biggest rapper on planet earth, so people started questioning him. And then [when] he came out with “New York,” everybody was like, Ja Rule’s making a statement. And [“New York”] did. Me and Cool, we try not to get involved in all of that, the politics and beef, ’cause us as producers, our job is to provide good music for the people. If we were choosing sides, there would be no “Hate It or Love It” or “New York.” And the game needed both of those records.

cooldre2.jpgWhen you first came out, a lot of people compared you to the Neptunes. Why do you think that is?
Cool: I think the Neptunes comparisons came mainly from the fact that it’s two guys in the group—one light-skinned, one dark [laughs]. That was the main comparison. Because we were a duo people were like, Yo, these cats are about to take the Neptunes out! Then in all of the trade [publications], it was like, Neputnes, look out! The media took that and twisted it up. So one day, we were in the club out here in Miami and we seen Pharrell. Everybody was there and that’s when “Hate It or Love It” had just come out. Pharrell came up and was like, “Yo, I’m a fan of y’all. ‘Hate It or Love It’ is a hot record!” And then we were like, “We’re a fan of y’all since, like, SWV!” [Laughs] That kinda cleared the air right there. If there was any beef, [Pharrell] cleared it up right there and it’s cool.

Christina Milian’s “Who’s Gonna Ride” sounds suspiciously like an R&B jack of Three Six’s “Stay Fly.” Was there any apprehension…
Dre: Nah, that record got leaked. Um, I’m cool with Three Six Mafia, that’s fam. And I love that “Stay Fly” record; it’s like, one of my favorites. We did that intentionally, on purpose. The beat was just the beat but it sounds nothing like theirs. The fact that we put Three Six Mafia on that record lets you know that it’s a go. They’re my peoples and I loved [“Stay Fly”], so I was like, Yo, we gotta flip that.

Cool, people always say that you’re the more technical half of the duo. How do you approach the production process?
Cool: It’s never mapped out. Like, say I have a horn melody in my head and the sample doesn’t really go like that, then I’ll just take those horns and make ’em fit with the pattern. So, rather than building the drum track around the sample and conforming to the sample, I make the sample conform to the drum track.

You guys have submitted tracks for Diddy’s new album. Rumor has it he put you through a boot camp, on some, Nah, that’s not good enough, go back and do it over.
Cool: [Laughs] He did that to everybody, dog. Like, he had Pharrell, Scott Storch, and Timbaland, and he was like, “Nope! That’s not what I was looking for! Go back to the lab!” Then, finally, we got a beat on there and it came out dope [laughs].

So we’re not going to be seeing you on Making the Band 4?
Cool: [Laughs] “Go get me some milk!” Nah, nah. He was basically just trying to find the right sound. But it wasn’t just us—he was putting everybody through that.

Dre, the streets have been talking. Are you and Christina Milian together?
Dre: She’s a beautiful girl. I don’t know who wouldn’t want to be with someone as beautiful as her. You know, people wanna make a lot of things up, but I haven’t released any press release saying I’m with her. I haven’t seen any evidence to substantiate that. But I guess that’s what happens when people are in the studio [together] for a long time.

You signed Dirtbag and Tony Sunshine to your label, Epidemic Records. When can we expect projects from them?
Dre: Dirtbag’s single should be coming in another four months. Tony Sunshine is no longer on Epidemic. I think Joe has a deal for him somewhere else. Jive didn’t really understand what we were trying to do with Tony Sunshine so, you know, we had to let him leave. We couldn’t really make it possible for him. But Dirtbag is definitely coming with a single in the next three or four months.

  • john cochran

    cool and dre are hot. I like thier style. But they aint no pharrell and chad yet. they aint no John cochran yet either. I GOT BEATS FOR SALE!! PHILLY

  • bluerid

    just showing some love!

  • http://www.honorablemedia.com/blog The Honorable

    Cool & Dre are good producers. But what’s up with the beats for Christina Milian sounding like “Hate It or Love It” and “So Fly”?

    But I think its a good thing cuz yall dont have an established sound (yet) cuz “Hate It or Love It” sounds Kanye-ish, but “New York” sounded different, then yall drop some Crunk ish on Christina’s album.

    Stay up fam!

  • yo

    These niggas ain’t shit

  • http://www.soundclick.com/thecacaman caca man

    check out my songs about doodoo, muthafudgers.

    soundclick.com/TheCacaman

    caca man $hittin on da industry.

  • KlientL

    Like I have said before….ALL HAIL THE SOUTH!!!

  • http://www.echoshock.net distinkt

    Cool & Dre can produce some hot beats, but I don’t feel like they’re consistent enough yet.

  • http://purrecords.com byrd

    man i personally have known cool and dre when they were rideing with luke they are two down ass cats that do thiere thing cooland dre finally getting there shine big up from the PURE RECORDS i’m comeing thur with my man E.J. we both know you two make it happen…..

  • maxamill

    I’M HAPPY 2 SEE THESE DUDES GET THERE’S,I KNEW THEM WHEN THEY WERE DOING THERE SINGING THING AND WORKING AT THE UNDERGROUND STATION BACK IN THE DAY, ME AND DJ SUICIDE USE TO GO OVER TO COOL’S MOM’S HOUSE SO HE COULD MAKE BEATS AND COOL HAD ALL THOSE RECORDS BECAUSE HE USE 2 ALSO DJ BACK THEN, BIG UP TO THOSE HOMIES FOR NEVER GIVING UP AND HELPING MIAMI SHINE BECAUSE I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT IT WASN’T EASY FOR THESE TWO. DO YOUR THANG AND KEEP GETING THAT PAPER HOMIES

  • 50 Cent

    Terror Squad is wack.

  • 50 Cent
  • B-boy

    These dudes are so cold they really know how to beats and Dre raps to these dudes are good at what they do

  • http://yahoo Numba-1-Gunna

    these niggas are definitely hot and i love they beats, the neptunes got some serious comp now…

  • gerv

    They doin they thing it’s good to hear about different producers for a change.

  • Alwyn Smith

    Yow cool and dre is doing it big. That christina milian track was off tha hook. Best believe!

  • Alwyn Smith

    Yow cool and dre got beats for DAYS!!!! Those dudes beats got that same flavor as JUST BLAZE beats! Just BLAAAAAAAAAAZE

  • http://ONSMASH.com Joey

    that nigga Cool lost mad weight

  • http://www.xxlmag.com L Jizzle

    Cool&Dre are the hottest producers in the right now and will be 4 a long time. Cool&dre ya’ll keep doin ya thing.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com L Jizzle

    Cool&Dre are the hottest producers in the game right now and will be 4 a long time. Cool&Dre yall keep doin ya thing.

  • Terra!UK

    Cool & Dre have produced beats that have wiped the floor with the neptunes! But i must say they shud try to make themselves more known in the UK no1 has heard ov epidemin ova den me cuz im into terror squad.
    Tony sunshine’s album is goin in circles they really need to help sort that out and make it a success like remy’s debut.
    G GG GGG G-UNOT !! FAKE THUGS !!

  • Terra!UK

    Un id jus like to say terror squads producers are too hot for g-unit.
    We got DJ KHALED, COOL N DRE, GEDDY, DJ LV AND KAYSLAYS ALWAYS AROUND TO HELP WID THE BEEFS LOL !!
    I THINK PAPOOSE SHOULD START COMERCIAL UN JOIN THE TERRA NEXT !!

  • RisinSon

    Some of the beats are cool, but Dre sounds like a Lil Wayne carbon copy. Step ya flow up pimpin!!!!!!

  • http://www.killawattrecords.com Sunny D

    props to anyone tryin to do their own shit these days. aint nothin like the 90s and west coast tho.. im bringin that back.

    http://www.myspace.com/killawattrecords

    &

    http://www.killawattrecords.com

    PEEP GAME.

  • http://www.straightlinemedia.com P.A.

    Cool and Dre got that heat! Theyve done so many fiya tracks, most people don’t even know its them! Theyre are some cool ass cats too, I got to meet them up @ circle house with my man rich. there are sooo many haters (look 2 the bullshit some of yall are writing!) But these cats have a swagg, and they should just say like 50: “I need you…I need you to hate!!” These cats are gonna kill the beat game for another 6 years, then fall back on some mogul shit (theyre already dumb caked). BIG UPS COOL & DRE, KEEP DOIN’ YOUR THING!!

  • http://www.ftw.com derek

    50, GAME AND JA ARE ALL WACK. HATE IT OR LOVE IT AND NEW YORK WERE BOTH GHOST WRITTEN. ALL THREE OF THEY’RE CAREERS ARE FADING AWAY.

  • http://toatmanmail.nccu.edu Best Wav

    Never Hate…Congradulate….
    Keep up the Good Work Brother….
    Dont compete with Pharell N Chad…
    Compete with ya self…
    One

  • http://www.ftw.com derek

    THEY’RE F*CKIN DRAMA QUEENS. GAME HAD NOTHING TO DO W/ THE MURDA INC. BEEF AND HE STILL WANTED TO JUMP ON THE BAND WAG

  • http://www.ftw.com derek

    I’LL CONGRATULATE COOL N’ DRE FOR MAKING HOT BEATS AND ACTING LIKE ADULTS AND STAYING NEUTRAL, NOT A BUNCH OF FAKE ASS GANGSTA RAPPERS FOR BEING DRAMA QUEENS

  • babyboy

    Terra UK. U need 2 get ur ears right, cuz i am in da uk 2 and i heard about them, da only difference is dat u listen 2 garage, or garbage wateva dey call dat UK shit, cuz if u into hip hop u know most of da producers, Cool N Dre have made classics, like So much more, people look out for THE RUNNERS, they produced Hustlin for Rick Ross, 1 luv

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Mike….This is this is this is

    These dudes is on fire right now that chevy ridin high is tigh produces look out these guys are on top of there game right now … Do ya thang !!!!!!!

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Andrew_red_head

    There artistic ability is so grand and marvelous I luv there music Cool is the shit & Dre’s looks make me wanna cream in my painties . God I would bang him but U Guys Rock !!!!!!!!

  • http://305king gene

    cool and dre representin north miami 2 the fullest and 4 those haters stay tunned

  • http://www.soghettosohood.com soghettosohood

    it is nice to see tall secsess in musice today but in the video the camera man fuck up big time .

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Mike….This is this is this is

    Cool and Dre are tight hey look for rick ross on that What You know remix … And there is no beef with t.i. ….T.I. Is king of the south !!!!!

  • UK Ranger

    Total respect to u guys Andre & Marcello, ur genius’ at your work but u need to put out more please for the benefit of ur fans such as moi

  • caribbeanlady

    Cool&Dre doin’ they shit but what’s up wit dat Joe Hound cat ya’ll sleeping man. Dirt can’t stay outta jail so invest in a humble nigger dat don’t nobody know bout.

  • two fourty shorty

    they both fine as HELL do it big keep going
    love you

  • Young Pop

    it’s about time for us DADE COUNTY to get our shine.Cool and Dre doin it real big.Dre got something goin on right now and it’s big for tha crib..305 til i die…22s or better i was made in dade..Goulds

  • left n

    yo i heard this kid jeremiah matches spit over this beat it sounds likke a cool and dre beat,that shit is banging i wonder if they did the beat too it.

  • afiya

    dre is going out wit milian

  • http://xxlmag.com 2real4dastreetz

    yo fo sho every nigga on terror squad is WACK nomatter what yall say the truth is be told

    ill murder fat joe

    yo fat joe some puerto rican Bigge imposter
    and with 3bars ill murder every one one the TS roster

  • P4k1

    yo these 2 r sikk, can’t w8 4 dre’s upcoming album

  • http://www.ftw.com derek

    DRE U SHOULD STICK TO PRODUCING…U REALLY SUCK AT RAPPING

  • J-TRACKS

    COOL FUCK THE HATERS VERSE WAS RAW I LOVE THAT SHIT REALLY MAN.I LIKE THAT SHIT , THE CHEVY STICKIN / YO HOOCHY VIBIN / SHE GONE LET DRE HIT IT.badonportland@aol.com yall keep makin them hits i love all that rick ross she seen them 22s we in room 222.

  • KILLAJAN305

    MAN…. COOL&DRE DOIN DA DAMN THANG!!! THEY REPIN HARD 4 DADE COUNTY! DRE, F**K THEM HATERS! I KNOW YO ALBUM GONE B HOT!

  • BoricuaHoneyDip

    DAMN DRE LOOKS N SOUNDS GREAT. EVERY TRACK DEY HAVE PRODUCED IZ FIRE. FUCK WUT U THOUGHT.

  • Birdo

    Cool “N” Dre Mad Skillz Man 1 Of Da Best Producers Outhere Man

  • baby dee

    I love cool&dre especiall DRE.I love dre and Iadmir he is gong out with millian his rapping is’nt the best but its good. ilove cool&dre because they representing MIAMI fo/sho MIAMI is where i come from so thats good somemore people repping 305.

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    Review This Group.
    Peace

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  • elephant

    My god u kept me entertained.

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    Super Informationen verpackt in einem tollen Design.

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    COOL !!!

  • http://MYSPACE.COM/BKLYN_BEATZ MUNDO

    COOL AND DRE … THE BEATZ R SICK CRAZY

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=1250 Cool Trell

    DRE nigga u the best cool keep do ur thang man i wish I was cool as U Keep get dem papers Cool N Dre YE