Dr. Dre has been crafting tracks since far before his days in N.W.A. The famed Doctor has never stopped his work in the lab — even during the darker periods in his career when he wasn’t exactly making radio and top-ten hits. Throughout his three decades in the game, he has maintained a sonic quality that’s cemented him as one of the best producers in hip-hop and R&B. Although he’s been dipping his toes into the waters of cinema and television lately, his one true love will always be manning the boards and striking the chords.
As it’s Dre’s 50th birthday this week, let’s take a look back as some of the more rare cuts that Dr. Dre has produced, from projects that perhaps some may be too young to remember, to tracks that barely saw the light of day.
“The Grand Finale” – The D.O.C. feat N.W.A.
“Eazy, but not that easy to deal with/ especially if you’re talking bullsh*t,” raps Eazy-E in this big band beat by Dr. Dre. Pipe organs blast through horn sections, slick guitar licks, and complex drum breakdowns making this one of the best late ’80s hip-hop beats. N.W.A., and specifically Eazy-E, rip through the funky production and prove why they were one of the most powerful acts in all of music during their run. Released in 1989, this track was the final song on The D.O.C’s No One Can Do It Better. (Note: I know all the words to this song, and it’s the track that made me adore hip-hop in my pre-pubescent years.)
“Funky Flute” – Jimmy Z feat. Dr. Dre
It’s a track that Dr. Dre probably wishes doesn’t exist, but it does and the internet is the place where things can never die. Thus, we have the video above, with Jimmy Z in a vest with no shirt and Dre doing his best to rap over a flute. It’s not that the track is terrible, it’s just that it’s very ’90s, and to say that it’s dated would be an understatement. Jimmy Z’s Muzical Madness was one of the only non-rap albums put out by Ruthless Records back in 1991. The album was considered a relative flop, but at least we can say that Z can probably kick Kenny G’s ass anytime.