Inside The Tragic Life Of Dr. Dre - Grunge (2024)

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Inside The Tragic Life Of Dr. Dre - Grunge (1)

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Blackpast refers to Dr. Dre, born Andre Romelle Young, as a "pioneering West-Coast Producer" who altered the course of hip-hop history. According to Britannica, his teenage parents were musically inclined and passed down their talents to their son. Biography writes that Young was primarily raised in Compton, California by his mother, who frequently moved the family around. It became clear early on that he was not interested in school; he wanted to make music, and that he did after receiving a music mixer as a Christmas gift.

In the early 1980s, Young took the name Dr. Dre and threw himself into the L.A. nightclub scene (via Hip Hop Scriptures). By 1985, he formed N.W.A. with rappers Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Yella, MC Ren, the Arabian Prince, and the D.O.C. Per AllMusic, the group released their first album in 1987. However, it would be 1988's "Straight Outta Compton" that would make Dr. Dre and his fellow rappers superstars. The album sold more than 2 million copies, and more importantly, created a new genre of music: gangsta rap. In 1992, Dr. Dre went solo and released "The Chronic" with his own label, Death Row Records (co-founded with Suge Knight).

Since the '90s, Britannica explains, Dr. Dre has continued to be a mainstay in hip hop. He has launched the careers of several artists, including Snoop Dog and Eminem. Beyond music, he is also an entrepreneur and, per Newsweek, has amassed a net worth of $800 million. Even with his fame and fortune, Dr. Dre's personal life has been nothing short of disastrous.

The deaths in Dr. Dre's life

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Dr. Dre has been candid about how losing loved ones in his life has shaped and motivated him throughout his career (via Hollywood). reports that his brother Jerome died when he was only 1 year old from pneumonia. In 1989, his half brother, Tyree, died when his neck was broken while trying to break up a street fight. Per Find a Grave, Tyree was only 21 years old. At the time, Dr. Dre was on tour for "Straight Outta Compton." Capital Xtra writes that "The Message," the final track on his album "The Chronic," is dedicated to Tyree.

On August 23, 2008, Dr. Dre's 20-year-old son, Andre Young Jr., was found dead in his Woodland Hills home (via AmoMama). Andre Jr. was born in 1988 to Dre and Jenita Porter. Although details of his life are scarce, it is known that he is Dre's second son and sixth child. Porter was the one who found her son unresponsive. According to Reuters, the Los Angeles Coroner later found that Andre Jr. had died from a heroin and morphine overdose.

Ultimately, the death of Andre Jr. was ruled as accidental. At the time, Dr. Dre released a statementasking for privacy. Friends remembered Andre Jr. as "optimistic" and someone who always saw things positively (per People). Dre later told The Times that he feels a "certain pain" he believes is due to these deaths. He, however, did note that he did not want to "get rid of it" (viaKDAY).

Dr. Dre survived a brain aneurysm

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On January 4, 2021, TMZ reported that Dr. Dre had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center due to a brain aneurysm. The then 55-year-old was described as being "stable" and "lucid." Dre released a message on Instagram shortly after, thanking everyone for their love and support. The BBC writes that fellow artists, including Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Missy Elliot, chimed in and wished him a speedy recovery. Per NME, he was still in the hospital on January 11, as doctors wanted to figure out "the root of the problem" to prevent another brain aneurysm, as they were unsure what had caused the first one.

According to the American Heart Association, an aneurysm occurs when an artery in the brain bursts and fills the brain with blood. This can ultimately cause significant damage or death. The best course of action is getting to a hospital as soon as possible. Thankfully, it seems that's exactly what Dre did. Complex reports that a few weeks after his hospitalization, he was finally able to go home.

Unfortunately, as NBC News reported, there had been anattempted burglary at Dr. Dre's Brentwood mansion while he was hospitalized. Four people were later arrested after a "short pursuit." Nonetheless, Dre was able to make a full recovery and later spoke about his experience to theLos Angeles Times. He called it a "really weird thing." He added that he felt "fantastic" and was hoping to live a long life.

Dr. Dre's estranged children

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According to Hollywood Life, Dr. Dre has nine children from various relationships. They include Curtis Young, LaTanya Young, Tyra Young, LaToya Young, Ashley Young, Andre Young Jr., Marcel Young, Truice Young, and Truly Young. However, Dre's relationship with some of his children is strained to say the least. Biography reports that he didn't meet his first son, Curtis, until the youngster was 20 years old. As of 2022, Dre has not confirmed if he is the father of LaToya or Ashley. In December 2020, LaTanya, Young's oldest daughter, claimed that she had not seen her father in nearly two decades and that he had never met her children.

Per the Daily Mail, she later revealed that she was living out of her SUV rental and was working for food delivery apps to "make ends meet." The homeless single mother of four said that despite being worth $800 million, Dre refused to financially help her.

LaTanya admits that her father has helped her out with rent and bills in the past, but that he had stopped in January 2020 because she had spoken to the press about him. She added that she is "damned if I do, and damned if i don't" for trying to reach Young (via The U.S. Sun). Communication with them is so nonexistent that LaTanya wasn't even aware of her father's condition when he suffered a brain aneurysm in early 2021.

Dr. Dre's bitter divorce

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Per The U.S. Sun, Dr. Dre married Nicole Young in May, 1996. She is the mother of his youngest children, Truice and Truly (via Hollywood Life). In June, 2020, USA Today reported that Nicole had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences after 24 years of marriage. According to People, the divorce quickly turned ugly. Nicole alleged that Dre had abused her so severely that she was suffering from PTSD. Court documents described several incidents involving a gun and physical abuse early on in their marriage. Nicole said Dre had "verbally and emotionally decimated" her. In addition, the documents revealed that Dre had up to three mistresses.

Young denied all allegations. The U.S. Sun reports that in September 2020, Nicole asked for a whopping $2 million in monthly spousal support. It was later revealed that Dre had been served divorce papers while he was at his grandmother's funeral (per NME). Although some reports state he was given the papers while he was next to his grandmother's casket, Nicole refuted these claims and said he was served in the parking lot.

In December 2021, 18 months after Nicole filed for divorce, NBC Newswrites that the divorce had been finalized. In the end, Nicole got a $100 million settlement and no spousal support. She also had to vacate the former couple's Malibu home. She did, however, get to keep her jewelry and four luxury vehicles. Dr. Dre said he was "delighted" that Nicole only got "one-fifth of his liquid assets."

Dr. Dre's legal issues

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Dr. Dre's divorce is not the first time he's faced legal issues. In 1994, AP News reported that he had been arrested for a DUI "after a chase through Beverly Hills and Westwood." As he had already been convicted of battery in 1993 for "punching a man in the face and breaking his jaw," Dre had effectively violated his probation. He was sentenced to eight months in jail. TheLos Angeles Times writes that his sentence was later changed to five months.

According to, Dre attacked Dee Barnes, a music journalist, in 1999. The assault occurred after Barnes had interviewed Ice Cube, who had recently left N.W.A. after a rift between the rappers (via Highsnobiety). Barnes alleges that Dre slammed her body and face into a "wall near a stairwell." He also kicked her ribs and hands before punching her in the back of the head. NMEnotes that this scene and other instances of Dre's abuse of women were "excluded" from the 2015 biopic "Straight Outta Compton." In 2017, Young said he was "out of his f****** mind" at the time of the incident and apologized. As he explained, he has a "dark cloud" that follows him that was a "major blemish" on who he is as a man.


Inside The Tragic Life Of Dr. Dre - Grunge (2024)


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