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When the name Dr. Dre is associated with any song or project, it's bound to be a success. Known as a perfectionist in the industry, Dre prides himself in creating memorable pieces that can only be associated with his sound. The impact he's made in hip hop is synonymous with the influence he holds over the majority of artists in the game. With titles like mega-producer, rapper, CEO, actor and father under his belt, Dre manages to handle and excel in them all without breaking a sweat.

The Grammy Award winning producer has worked with a plethora of artists ranging from Gwen Stefani to Eminem. While many dream to work with Dr. Dre, not everyone is awarded the studio time. The following is a compilation of friends and artists recalling their memories of Dre at his most comfortable—behind the boards in the studio. —Morgan Murrell


50 Cent On Working With Dre And Eminem

Interview: 2003
50 Cent: Being around these two is making me a better artist. That’s really what I got out of this deal. More than even the finances, even though they are a lot. I mean, when Dre sends you a track, it’s bumping before you even hear the muthafucka! I’m so excited to hear what it sounds like before it arrives, I might fuck around and have an anxiety attack.

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The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Roaming Inside

Eminem On Working With Dre Again For Relapse

Interview: 2008
Eminem: I don’t have chemistry like that with anyone else as far as producers go—not even close. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on Relapse. We are up to our old mischievous ways...let’s just leave it at that.

On the leaked, unfinished version of "Crack A Bottle"
Eminem: It wasn’t close to finished, and it even has me doing guide vocals for Dre as a suggestion of how he could lay his verses down. It’s like someone catches you peeping in your window before you got the Spider Man costume all zipped up! Nobody is supposed to see that. We are gonna finish it up though and get it out there how it’s supposed to be.

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2012 BET Awards - Show

Crooked I Pays Homage To Dre

Interview: 2009
Crooked I: I used to go watch Dre DJ when I was a kid and my older brother used to take me to see him DJ. He used to use three turntables and get crazy. That was right when N.W.A was starting and ever since then he’s had a big impact on my career. I been following him.

You know what’s so interesting to me? Dre’s a perfectionist and I don’t know if he’s not comfortable with all of the heat that he has but the work is there. The stuff I heard is bangin’. If he didn’t want to use it, he could give it to me and I’ll go 20x platinum with it. [Laughs] 2001 was phenomenal and I just want to hear some more of that good music coming from the West.

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The Game On Working On Detox

Interview: 2009
The Game: If you get in the studio with Dre you best be prepared to be there for a long time ’cause he gonna coach you word for word until he gets you to 100 percent where he wants it to be. You gonna be in there all night working on one verse... We recording every single day working on Detox and working on The R.E.D. Album. It just feels good for me to be back in the studio with the big homie and working on my project.


Devin The Dude On Working With Dre

Interview: 2010
Devin The Dude: When Dre came along and asked me to be a part of [2001] it really uplifted me, man, and let me know I was here for some type of reason. He told me he used to listen to our music with the Odd Squad back in the day when him and Snoop was on the first Chronic Tour and that just put so much fuel in me, man... I was like, "Oh, okay, cool, man. I’ma just try to go at it full throttle."

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2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival - Day 1

Jay Rock On Working On Detox

Interview: 2011
Jay Rock: Man, that dude right there is a legend. A million rappers would love to work with him. I’m just lucky to get the opportunity... Everything gotta be right. You gotta give him 112 percent. It can’t be 99 percent or 100 percent.. It has to be more than that. There’s 2,000 pieces, but at the end of the day all the pieces come together. His mind is crazy.

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AWXI - Kick-Off Concert

T.I. On Working With Dre

Interview: 2011
T.I.: Of course we can get together, he got hot beats and I got dope rhymes, so we can always get together and make music. But for people to feel what we’re sayin’ and for it to sound like a party comin’ through your speakers, you gonna have to create some chemistry. So that’s what we spent more time doing than anything else, developing that chemistry.

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Smirnoff Master Of The Mix Finale Viewing Party In Atlanta

Just Blaze On Working With Dre On Detox

Interview: 2011
Just Blaze: The work on Detox, it’s been a long process. I been going back and forth to L.A. for like eight years. Well, 2002, so it’s been nine years years, actually. I’ve seen the album through different phases. I’ve heard near-complete versions of the album, then he turns around and scratches it and does the same thing two or three times over.

I’m just honored to be a part of it, that’s Dre. Arguably, if not, the greatest [producer]. It’s humbling because I’m one of the few producers that he really respects, and he tells me that time and time again. Him being one of the greatest, to have that kind admiration from him is crazy.

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2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards - Show

RBX And Lady Of Rage On Working With Dre on The Chronic

Interview: 2012
RBX: I was taking Snoop, who’s my little cousin, to go see Dre. They had to handle some business. They were doing a video shoot. I was working at a shoe store and Snoop was in the mall where I was working. Snoop was looking for kicks to set off his outfit for the video shoot. He came to my store and told me he was doing stuff with Dre. But he said, “I have a problem—I don’t have a ride.” So I told him to come by when I got off from work at eight. We smashed up there and Dre wasn’t there, but I didn’t wanna leave Snoopy all the way out there, stranded with no ride. So I posted up with him to make sure he was good.

Snoop was in this room playing this beat and I was explaining to Snoop how he should rap on it. Like, “You should do it like that, hit ’em like this, and drop the verse there and have this type of pocket." And Dre had came up without us knowing. He was in the hallway and heard the whole conversation. So Dre creeps up, like, “Who’s this?” Snoop told him, “That’s my big cousin RBX I was telling you about.” Dre was like, “Your voice is crazy, it’s rumbling all through the hallways. You rap?” I was like, “Not really, I work at a shoe store, my MC days are over.” Dre told me to spit some shit; Snoop convinced me to do it. I did and Dre was like, “Oh, snap! You can’t leave.” I was trying to get back to the crib, 'cause I was staying with mom and couldn’t be popping up at four in the morning, but Dre stood in front of the door. He was like, “We’re gonna start working on this record tonight.”

Lady Of Rage: I was living in New York and I was working at Chung King Studios. I was working with the L.A. Posse, and they did a compilation album [1991’s They Come In All Colors] that I was on. When they came back to L.A. they let Dre hear it, and he heard me. He inquired about me and wanted to know how to get in touch with me. At the time I was working with Chubb Rock; he wanted to do an album with me. I think Suge called me first, before Dre. I told Chubb that they were calling and told him they want me to come out to L.A.

We would get in the studio early and we would stay till the wee hours of the morning; if the creativity was flowing we’d stay there as long as it was going. This was in the beginning stages, so there wasn’t a lot of money floating around. I remember there was Popeye’s Chicken across the street, and when we ate, it might have been 10 of us but we only had enough for a four-piece. We’re sharing that and smoking and somebody might just start humming something or singing something, and Dre would say, “Go in the booth and say that.” And somebody would lay the hook down. Then somebody would write a verse to it. It was piece by piece like a puzzle. “You do this part here.” Somebody did one thing and it just fell into place like a domino effect.


“High Powered”

Interview: 2012
RBX: It was about four, five in the morning, Dre was pounding it out in the studio. Dre woke me up, nudging me. I’m wedged between the floor and the sofa probably, with a coat as a pillow. Knocked out. Dre was like, “Yo, I got this shit, man, see what you could do to this. I’m listening to this and I just say, “Seven execution-style murders.” And he’s like, “Yup! That’s it!” We started about 4:00 and we finished about 4:45. I had no idea what he was gonna do with it.

Maybe a day later I heard it and I’m like, “Dre, I need to re-record that,” and he looks at me like I said something crazy. I’m like “I’m not really feeling that vocal, I think I could do it better.” But Dre knew what he wanted to hear. It had that raw, just woke up at four in the morning sound, and that’s what he wanted. It felt good that Dre trusted me enough to throw me out there on that song as one of his protégés. There wasn’t that many limbs on the tree, and for him to trust me to walk out on one of his limbs for his legacy, that was a good thing. I didn’t recognize that then, but now I see what he did and I appreciate it to the utmost.

“Stranded On Death Row”

Lady Of Rage: When it all came together, that’s one of my favorites ever. I love it when we perform it, I love it when I hear it. Everybody’s verse is just “ooh-wee.” It’s just dope. That beat evoked some kind of emotion to me. I’m really picky too. A lot of beats I didn’t like. Like, “Ew, I don’t like that, And Dre would be like, “Damn Rage, I’m not even done—would you shut the fuck up?” As soon as I walked in the door—“I don’t like that.” He would give me that look, like, “Please don’t come in here with that. But [this song] was different. To me it sounded kind of like an East Coast track, and me coming from New York that was the type of beat that I liked. It sounded like an MC-type beat. It was incredible to me. It was rare that I would walk in and like a beat at all. I didn’t even like “Nuthin But A ‘G’ Thing” at first, but it grew on me. I didn’t like most of the beats at first.

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Beats By Dr. Dre Special Event At Marquee New York

Rick Ross On Working With Dre On God Forgives, I Don't

Interview: 2012
Rick Ross: It’s funny, man, but I actually spoke with D.O.C. from the West Coast, and D.O.C. told me Dre was a huge fan. I’ve been a fan of big homie, and I had been expressing that openly for a while. We just made it happen. I got on the phone with Dre; he kept his word. He came down to Miami, we got in the studio. We walked into the studio for the first time, I was so excited. We knocked out five songs that first night. We worked on his album, as well. You can expect some more big records coming to us. I feel we made some incredible music. I’m excited. I got to work on his new project with him. Homie gave me a lot of tips. That’s the big O.G. I really admire him.

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Ben Baller On Meeting Dr. Dre

Interview: 2012
Ben Baller: I had to be smart about it and put myself in a position to meet Dre through my skill and my craft of DJ’ing. Once that happened then it was a wrap. I started going to Death Row studios, started doing some scratching here and there. [Dre and I] became friends; he was my boss, my mentor—the whole nine. He said some very inspiring things to me and he also said some things that crushed me. And when I say 'crushed me,' he didn’t say it in a bad way, he said it to let me know, "Motherfucker—I expect a lot more of you," you know?

[Dr. Dre] came to see me DJ one night and it worked out. And from there we just built up. When he started up Aftermath he gave me a job. And then from there we were just signing artists. I went from a huge corporation to where everybody in the company flies together. We all got cars, we all got Rollies but we didn’t have an office. That was kind of irritating. I wanted an office but he just didn’t believe in it—we got a studio. And he was paying a shitload of money to have it. This place had R. Kelly and Michael Jackson recording out of it—Dre had that studio.

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Swizz Beatz On Working On Detox

Interview: 2012
Swizz Beatz: I done heard 10 Detox-worth of smashes... Just put yourself in Dre’s shoes. When you a perfectionist and when you set the bar so high and when people are expecting so much of you and from you, you don’t want to feel that at any type of way and you don’t want the pressure of that, especially when you already won the title... Even with Beats by Dre success and all that, he still loves music. He’s one of the most consistent, even if he hasn’t put out records every year.

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Scott Storch On Working With Dr. Dre On Detox

Interview: 2013
Scott Storch: Yeah we spent some time in there making some records. He’s got a collection. He probably has about three million records for that album. He’s got such a high standard for what he wants out of Detox... Dre and I, in 1999, created a cool sound. You know like all the piano-type stuff and the string music stuff, we thought we were doing it. Those ingredients are part of me. It’s really something we did collectively; it’s not something that we have in common. We actually engineered that—created that sound; we created the sound of the West.


Scoe On Working On Detox With Dre

Interview: 2013
XXL: How did you link up with guys like Just Blaze and Mike WiLL Made It and Jahlil Beats and Statik Selektah? The list keeps going.
Scoe: I was over at Aftermath working on Detox with Dre, and I got to sit down and work with a lot of different producers, and on that project I got to hear a lot of things, pick and choose, and a few things that fell off Dr. Dre’s plate, too. If as an artist he didn’t mesh well or fall in love with the beats, I would just pick 'em up and I would just sit down, write some things for him, he wouldn’t like it, and I would keep it for my project.

What’s it like working on Detox? It’s mythical at this point.
It’s like working with a long, assembly line of artists and you’re trying to create this masterpiece on this never-ending canvas, and you never run out of paint, you never run out of canvas and you never run out of resources. Being in the studio with Dre is cool, man, it’s like working with my teacher’s teacher, so I feel like I graduated to a certain extent.

And you were working with Snoop and Dre back in the day?
When I came in they were working on the Murder Was The Case Soundtrack. It was a big, Death Row conglomerate back then. I would just sit in the sessions, 10 years old, my mind soaking it all up. There was other kids in the studio that was actually more advanced than me—Bow Wow was in the studio then, he was like seven, and he was actually working on the album; I was just getting off the plane.

You’ve done a lot of ghostwriting with Dre, Snoop, Puff, those guys, right?
Those stories always go the same way—I write it, they like it, and they lay it down, they got no complaints about it. Every now and then someone will call me and ask me to help them out, how to say something. Most of the time it’s easy to write. If you write good shit, it makes you easier to work with; people don’t really have too many complaints, people just pick their spots.


Kendrick Lamar On Meeting Dr. Dre

Interview: 2013
Kendrick Lamar: I walk in the studio, Dre introduced himself, "I’m Dr. Dre." I’m like, man, I know you’re Dr. Dre. He pressed play and the "Compton" came on. [begins singing the beat to himself] I remember that shit sounded so loud. Like, to this day, it hasn’t been not one studio session that can match a Dr. Dre studio session. I felt like it was my time. He was like, “You got something to this?” and I was like, I definitely do. The hook was already there, so I just needed to come up with some raw raps. That song is about my city, so from knowing where I was at five, six years ago in Compton to being with someone that birthed Compton gangsta rap, I knew I could draw from all types of emotions in that studio session.

My pops is really proud of Compton, 'cause he come from that area. That era of gangsta rap where Dre can share those same memories that happened back in the city. It just trips him out to know that that’s somebody him, my uncles and my older cousins were listening to, and 20 years later, I’m in the studio with him.

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Jimmy Lovine On His Connection With Dr. Dre

Interview: 2014 Jimmy Iovine: Dre and I really just connected on a certain level. And our very first connection was audio. We both come a recording engineer background, and we both shared a point of view on audio, and how important it is and the translating of emotions in music. It’s the only conduit, emotions in music. You don’t have anything else really. You have videos, but the truth is at the end of the day, that song has got to play. Therefore it has to transmit the emotion that was originally intended by the artist. So we share that, and we’ve had an awful lot of success… Dre’s about making that music powerful, and he went on a campaign to turn on an entire generation to audio, and it seems to be working, and we’re most proud of that.

Photo Credit: Lexi Lambros

Jon Connor On Meeting Dr. Dre

Interview: 2014
Jon Connor: It was funny, because it came out of nowhere. I was actually supposed to go to the studio with Dre that weekend. But he called me the next day after we sat down, and I got the call like, "Yo, Dre wanna go into the studio with you today." I'm like, "What?" But like I said, the reason I love being on Aftermath so much is because the way I work is totally no pressure, fun, laughs, smiles. I feel like, what we do as artists is based off of positive energy. I have to be smiling, I have to be in a good mood, and Dre works the same way. So when we got in the studio together, it was one of them things where, he's a super positive dude, I'm a super positive dude, if you put us in a room together there's gonna be a lot of laughing, a lot of good music, and it's just gonna be good times, man. So the first day I was nervous as shit—'cause it's Dr. Dre!—but as time went on, it was just like, yo, this is crazy as shit. It was just a beautiful feeling. That's my big bro.

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