“Who you think brought you the OG’s, Eazy-Es, Ice Cube, and The D.O.C.s, the Snoop Dogg, and the group that said ‘Motherfuck the police’?”
This is the rhetorical questions Dr. Dre poses in “Forgot About Dre”, sounding like a capital-K-King who has returned home from battle nine years later to find that his once adoring public has begun to question the legitimacy of his greatness. 1999’s 2001 put any of those detractor’s doubts to rest and proved that Dr. Dre is arguably the greatest producer of all time (Kanye and DJ Premier might have words to say about that, though).
After the dissolution of N.W.A., Dr. Dre initially solidified his legendary status as the purveyor of West Coast hip-hop and G-Funk with The Chronic. Upon its release in 1992 this album solidified the West Coast as the most transgressive, marketable region for new hip-hop, made Death Row records (and Suge Knight) household names, paved the way for artists like Tupac (and Biggie), and put Snoop Dogg on the Map. But throughout almost a decade of intense hostility between the East Coast and the West Coast, and needless casualties, Dre slowly moved behind the scenes, producing for Tupac and Snoop, perhaps an effort to momentarily distance himself from genre he created and expand his abilities as a producer.
But in a mere three-and-a-half minutes, “Forgot About Dre” dismantles any hater’s opinions, reasserts Dre as a visionary producer and quick-lipped rapper, and establishes him as one of the best musicians-turned-A&R’s ever (where do you think Eminem came from?). In three and a half minutes, the only thing that you forget is why you would ever question Dr. Dre’s imperial reign over hip hop.
Stay tuned the rest of this week for more N.W.A.-themed tracks, and be sure to catch Straight Outta Compton when it premieres on August 14. Also, check out our conversation with the film’s Marlon Yates Jr., who talked about his favorite music inspired by the legendary group:
For good measure, here is that video of Chris Pratt reciting bars from this classic track:
Editor’s note: Nerdist Industries is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks.