Recently it was announced that Dr. Dre is hip-hop's first billionaire. When you were starting out, did you ever think hip-hop could take it this far?
I can't say I ever thought it would take it that far, nor did I ever assume that it wouldn't. I'm proud of him, because out of everybody, he deserves it the most. He is easily the greatest producer in the world of hip-hop, ever. In fact, if I can quote Ant, he said that if you were to make a list of the best, you would have to put Dr. Dre at number one and then there'd be three or four blank spots before you even got to the next person. The next producer doesn't even start until number five. So in that way, now that you're actually making me kind of consider this and figure out where I stand with it. I think it's kind of an amazing thing.
Now, on the other hand, I can't even comprehend what the fuck a billion dollars even looks like. To consider that some people are worth that much money but they represent people who have nothing freaks me out. Hip-hop is a culture of struggle and a language of struggle. It's about building something out of nothing, and he definitely built something out of nothing, he built something huge. But what now? What are you gonna do with that money? That's more money than you could spend. That's more money than your children are gonna be able to spend. So it's overwhelming to think about that. There are kids in the fucking hood who are fucking suffering from malnutrition because they're being fed nothing but fucking corn syrup, but some people got a billion fucking dollars?
Maybe I'd understand better if I had a billion dollars. I don't. I'm not necessarily rich. I'm upper middle class, but I'm kinda shook on that number. We see a billion and it rolls off the tongue like no big deal, because we've been conditioned to see money and talk about money as if it's no big deal. It's just there. It's a comfortable discussion; it's a comfortable concept. But when you write a billion and see that there are fucking nine zeros in that number, I don't know, man. I don't know how I feel about anybody having that much fucking money. I just really hope that now that there's no doubt about this person's comfort level, he can find his way to become the philanthropist that he has the opportunity to become. I feel like, if anything, that could become the most beautiful part of this story—if not only did Dr. Dre become the first hip-hop billionaire, but the first for-real hip-hop philanthropist. That would be the shit to me. That would be the thing that would make me want to put his face on fucking Mount Rushmore.