A youngster on Reddit asks about some hip hop history – here’s the response:
“Yes. Dr Dre’s reputation took a nose dive shortly before leaving Death Row records in the mid 90s. He became a highly dissed and “uncool” in the world of hip hop, and then people even started to question his skill as a producer (to be fair, people still do). For years people talked about how he’s passed it, irrelevant, etc. Hasn’t worked in years, takes credit for other peoples productions, slaps his name on it, and then it sells. Remember, before 2001 was released in 1999, Dr Dre had not had an album in nearly 8 years.
In between the Chronic and 2001, he had two major hits. California Love with 2pac, and No Diggity with the Blackstreet, but even by the time No Diggity came out,he was being openly mocked. In 1995 Tupac joined Dr Dres record label after having some legal troubles and interscope no longer wanted anything to do with him, coming under pressure from Time Warner to get rid of Tupac. Dr Dre was one of Tupacs heroes, but as they saying goes, never meet your heroes. Dr Dre produced three records for Tupacs album All Eyez on Me, a song called Can’t C Me, and California love and the remix. Deathrow Records wanted Dr Dres name to be on the album as head producer, but Tupac kicked up a fuss stating the obvious, Dre only produced three tracks out of 27, why should he get the credit for 27 tracks and the other producers such as Johnny J and Daz Dillinger do not. That’s just business, Dr Dre as a producer was more marketable, but Tupac was having none of it
Before the album even came out he started airing his grievences in interviews making it publicly known Dre only worked on three tracks, and in the end Deathrow changed the head producer credit to Daz Dillinger, who actually was the head producer of the album.
People close to Dr Dre state that he never wanted the credit in the first place, other people at deathrow (suge knight) actually tried to put his name down as the producer as a business decision, but then blamed Dre when it didn’t sit well with Pac. Tupac was very charismatic so people started to treat Dre differently at work, and in the end he decided to leave the company he founded because he found the work environment unbearable. He felt like he lost complete creative control of his own company because people (not everyone) did not respect him. Deathrow started signing artists without his permission as if his opinion didn’t matter etc, he was getting cut out of the businesses side and the creative side too – which was supposed to be his end of the business.
Then he made no diggity with blackstreet and although it did well in terms of charts, he got a lot of heat for it. Tupac recorded a song with a very similar beat and dedicated an entire verse to openly mocking Dre . After that, he became a bit of a recluse. He stayed away from hiphop and started working on various different projects, even doing mixing work for Nine Inch Nails etc. People really did forget about Dre.
Meanwhile he was trying to start his own label, and signed a rapper called Eminem. That seems like a no brainer now, but you have to remember at the time a lot of people didn’t take eminem seriously, even when his first album was out. It wasn’t until his second album, the marshel mathers LP did critics really start to think “This guy is the shit”. So Dre releases the slim shady LP, and if you didn’t actually buy the album at the time, you’d just know him as the comedy rapper that made “My Name is”. So people looked at Dr Dre doing a cameo in that video and thinking “How far has this guy fallen? Doing video appearances with some white jokey rapper”. Around that time Dr Dre himself was working on his comeback album to shut up the critics, “The Chronic 2”, but even people from within the industry had been trying to cock block that also. His old label bought the rights to the trademark “The Chronic” so he couldn’t use that, so he stated he was calling it “The Chronic 2000” and getting around the trademark issue by making the album cover a weed leaf with just the words “2000” on it, so the album would actually be “2000” but it would look like it was called “The Chronic 2000”. Deathrow records then created an album called “The Chronic 2000” which was basically 12 tracks dissing Dre, their plan was to release it around the same time as his album “2000”, and confuse consumers into buying an anti-dre album. After that, he just ditched “The Chronic 2000” idea and just called the album “2001” to give them all the middle finger.
It was a massive success and at the time a production masterpiece. He proved everyone wrong and became one of the most powerful people in music in the last 15 years because of it. Now its been even longer, 15 years since 2001 dropped. People are starting to say the same thing, Dr Dre takes too long to make songs, he’s fallen off, he’s irrelevant, doesn’t have it anymore. I hope he drops one more album and punishes everyone one last more time. The dude deserves it.”