Dr. Dre Biography Set To Hit Stores In Early '07
The acclaimed producer has lived a largely reclusive life outside of the media, but author Ronin Ro's upcoming book Dr. Dre: The Biography aims to reveal the artist's celebrated life through extensive reporting, interviews, and research.
"We see his life in context--a few important facts about his personal life, how many of the hits were created, and how he runs Aftermath," Ro said. "[Also], the chain of events that led to Tupac's comments [and] how Dre reacted to the changes Hip-Hop underwent during the past few years."
The book also examines the viewpoints of insiders around Dr. Dre while chronicling many of the luminaries he introduced to pop culture, including Eminem, 50 Cent, and the Game.
Similar to those artists, controversy has been Dre's counterpart since his days in NWA.
In the '80s and '90s, his experiences were well-documented via a number of high-profile incidents, arrests, musical outings, feuds, and other controversial matters.
With The Biography, Ro hopes to garner the same attention as that of his previous novels: Have Gun Will Travel - The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Death Row Records and the Run DMC biography Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin and Redemption of Run DMC.
"I'd say the entire book [is controversial]. Instead of a Have Gun Will Travel retread, I started from scratch, approached this with fresh eyes, and crammed about two books' worth of material into one," he said. "You can't please all of the people all of the time, so certain sections might infuriate some readers, particularly things about Eminem, the Game and Tupac; the NWA reunion attempt; the issue of who does what and what actually constitutes being a producer in this genre; and more...I mean, the list goes on."
Although unauthorized, Ro said he's been able to discern fact more readily than a book that is overtly endorsed by the subject.
"This is reporting, not data entry. And at the end of the day, my readers will know I've once again tried to report the truth, instead of taking marching orders from some flash-in-the-pan pop rapper or groupie," said Ro. "This book documents [Dre's] false starts, setbacks, triumphs, evolution and stewardship of a company that, a decade later, is still in business, and managing to bring in money during some pretty lean times for his industry."
Although Dre's overall career is fairly pop-oriented based on his commercial sales and success, the book is decidedly Hip-Hop in nature. And Ro said that readers need to become knowledgeable.
"I'm not holding anyone's hand. You want Uncle Remus, you watch Disney. I'm not explaining everything for white people and dilettantes," he said. "You either know Hip-Hop or you don't. And if you do, you'll like this book."
Ro also vowed that the book will reveal "what really happened" between the Game and Dr. Dre. Game recently admitted that Dre would not be a part of his sophomore album The Doctor's Advocate, although Dre had been highly influential on the young rapper's debut album The Documentary.
But while Ro managed to unearth many facets of Dre's life, his extensive reporting was unable to determine whether Dr. Dre's Detox would ever be released to the public--certainly to the chagrin of fans.
"I really have no idea. I see it this way: even if Detox were to never come out, at least he had a cool hobby," said Ro. "Some people collect stamps and build models, others mow the lawn. Dre taped a few jam sessions with his house band and created grooves he can throw on future productions. And for a decade, Aftermath succeeded where so many other artist-run labels in any genre crashed and burned."
Ro has penned a number of novels, including Tales To Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution, Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean Puffy Combs on the Music Industry.
Next, he plans to release King of the Slashers: The History of Halloween.