Dre Em Pour Dre Em Pour

VIBE COVER STORY: DR DRE [Pg 2]

You were up against DJ Premier in the finals.

Preemo is definitely one of my favorites. I got a chance to chill with him and Guru out here one time. We sat and talked for like an hour and they were cool as hell. I’m a fan.

 

Do you think the VIBE tournament helped to elevate the stature of the producer?

The producer definitely needs to get a lot more credit than we do. No producer—no artist. Not many artists can go in the studio and make their own records. But a lot of producers can.

 

In the photos for this cover you have music notes in the syringes. Is there a science to hip-hop?

That’s a good question. You know what? I don’t know. Anybody that says that they know is crazy. You just come in and do what you feel. The way hip-hop is going and the way it sounds can change tomorrow. I think everybody has their own method and approach so there is no direct science for it. You can do a hip-hop record with no rapping. Hip-hop is so dope because it’s the only music that you can mix with other forms of music. You can mix rock, hip-hop, jazz—it’s spread out.

 

So there is no Dr. Dre formula?

No. There is no direct formula because I like collaborating and whoever I’m collaborating with, I’m absorbing their energy and they’re absorbing mine and that’s how the record is going to sound. To me there is no Dre sound.

 

But if you listen to 50 Cent’s “In da Club” and Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair,” there are similarities.

Okay, but that’s not what I’m thinking when I go in to make it. I don’t go in saying it has to sound like “this.” Each record has its own personality. I think, “Is this record wearing Timberlands or is it wearing earrings?” If it comes out sounding similar to the last record, then so be it.

 

When did you first put your hands on a pair of turntables?

Damn, that’s a good one. Probably when I was 14 years old. I heard “[The Adventures of] Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” and that made me want to DJ. It made me want to know what hip-hop was. That was the song that did it. I immediately went home and called some friends and we were taking apart one of my friend’s mother’s stereo sets. They called them component systems back then. We figured out how to make a mixer from the balance button and got it cracking—started making tapes. Not too long after that, my mom got me a Numark mixer for Christmas and I was off and running from there. I still had the raggedy turntables, but it made it a lot easier.

 

What happened with those piano lessons with Burt Bacharach?

I’m still going. I have a different piano teacher now and I’m learning a lot about theory and hopefully I can get my Quincy Jones on later, score some movies.

 

What’s your relationship like with Quincy Jones?

He’s one of my mentors and people I’ve looked up to in this business. I hung out with Quincy on his 70th birthday.

 

Has he bestowed any musical gems on you?

You know what? All we’ve ever talked about is life and personal shit. We’ve never talked technical or about music.

 

Really?

I’m just talking about whatever Quincy wants to talk about. The door is open for me to go to his house and talk to him anytime I want. He gave me that invitation. I just want to absorb it, because everything he talks about is useful to me. It doesn’t matter when I get it, as long as I get it. You know, I’m sitting there and I want to ask him about Thriller and Body Heat, but I’ll get to that. I’m actually supposed to be going to his house next week.

 

You mentioned a hip-hop album without rapping. Will we ever hear a Dr. Dre instrumental album?

Oh yeah, that’s in the works. An instrumental album is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I have the ideas for it. I want to call it The Planets. I don’t even know if I should be saying this, but fuck it. [Laughs.] It’s just my interpretation of what each planet sounds like. I’m gonna go off on that. Just all instrumental. I’ve been studying the planets and learning the personalities of each planet. I’ve been doing this for about two years now just in my spare time so to speak. I wanna do it in surround sound. It’ll have to be in surround sound for Saturn to work.

 

Why?

Because Saturn has the rings and you’ll have to hear the sound going around you the entire time the instrumental is playing. You make Jupiter big. Earth of course has to [sound] wet. You really get into the actual personality of each planet and you go with that.

 

That’s an exciting concept. That’s why leaked music kind of cheats you. Because it’s not in the package it was meant to be in.

Without a concept it’s just another song . . .

 

Because it’s out of sequence.

That’s big! Absolutely. That can make or break a record, the way you sequence it. That is 100 percent a job in itself and that happens throughout the entire process of recording an album with me. I might take a CD home and listen to a few songs back to back and say, “Okay, those two songs have to play together on a record.” Then you wait for that to happen again and then you have a partial sequence. That’s an art in itself.

 

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Nicky Jam Shows The Good, The Bad And The Hustle In 'El Ganado' Bio-Series Trailer

It's been years in the making but Latinx superstar Nicky Jam is finally ready to share his truth with the authorized Netflix bio-series, Nicky Jam: El Ganador.

Sharing the trailer this week, the series will highlight Jam's journey in the music industry as well as the struggles he endured in the streets and more. The project is directed by acclaimed film and music video director Jessy Terrero and produced by Endemol Shine Boomdog, a division of Endemol Shine North America. The series will officially hit Netflix on April 21.

In the trailer, we see Jam in three stages: his youth, his rookie days in the game and the actual artist in the present. The creative take is bound to give fans another perspective of the Grammy-winning artist.

“I’ve been hearing from many of my fans on social media and when I talk with them in person, that they’ve been waiting for the chance to see ‘El Ganador’ in the U.S. on Netflix,” said Nicky Jam. “Now they will get to see it starting April 21 and I hope they enjoy it like so many others have across the world. I’m really proud of what we created.”

“I am excited about bringing this level of story-telling that is related to reggaeton music,” added Terrero. “The genre’s popularity gives our story and others like it the opportunity to reach a much larger audience. This is my mission with Cinema Giants. Nicky’s story is inspirational in so many ways. I am proud to be part of it.”

Jam recently celebrated another feat on the Billboard Latin charts. "Muevelo," his buzzy single with Daddy Yankee, reached No. 1 on both the Latín Airplay and Latin Rhythm Airplay charts. 

Check out the trailer for El Ganador up top and revisit our VIBE VIVA February cover story with Jam here. 

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Jazz Legend Ellis Marsalis performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 3, 2009 in New Orleans.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Ellis Marsalis Jr., World-Renowned Jazz Pianist, Dies At Age 85

On Wednesday (April 1), Jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr., passed away at age 85 from pneumonia set on by COVID-19, the Associated Press reports. The acclaimed pianist’s son Branford Marsalis issued a statement on the patriarch’s passing, noting that he was hospitalized since Saturday (March 28).

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., as a result of complications from the Coronavirus. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday and died peacefully this evening. My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father. He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.” His other son Wynton Marsalis tweeted a series of photos of him and his father, captioning the images: “He went out the way he lived: embracing reality.”

Ellis Marsalis, 1934 - 2020

He went out the way he lived: embracing reality pic.twitter.com/sPyYUuBoIG

— Wynton Marsalis (@wyntonmarsalis) April 2, 2020

In the spirit of passing along his musical knowledge and skills, Marsalis served as a jazz professor at various Louisiana-based universities and schools in his native New Orleans. Those included Xavier University, University of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He also received an honorary degree from Tulane University in 2007.

From playing at local clubs to becoming a mainstay at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Marsalis' musical prowess inspired a line of other famous Jazz musicians, including his former student Harry Connick Jr. "He already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself," Connick Jr. wrote. "He was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. I wouldn't be who i am without him."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

my heart is heavy today. among the countless lessons ellis marsalis taught me, the most important was the process of discovery. he already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself. he was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. i wouldn't be who i am without him. i'll miss him with all my heart. my prayers are with the marsalis family today. i love you so much, mr. marsalis. #ellismarsalis

A post shared by Harry Connick Jr (@harryconnickjr) on Apr 2, 2020 at 4:56am PDT

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Mannie Fresh And Scott Storch Go Toe-To-Toe In Instagram Live Battle

Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch went up against each other on Wednesday (April 1), for the latest Instagram Live competition commissioned by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Fresh and Storch each played 20 of the many hits in their respective catalogs which included, Juvenile’s “Back That A** Up,” Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” “Still Fly” by the Big Tymers, Lil Wayne’s “Go DJ,” “Lean Back” by Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma, Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy” and “Me Myself,” 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.,” and B.G.’s “Bling Bling” featuring Big Tymers and the Hot Boyz.

More than 200,000 viewers signed on to watch the epic battle, and although Swizz declared Storch the winner, the internet is still debating over which producer came out victorious. Either way though, the true winners were the fans.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Score card from the people !! Thank you @scottstorchofficial & @manniefresh for doing it for the people at home aka the culture ! We also hit 202k tonight VERZUZ !!! Scott won tonight but so did the culture ! @timbaland it’s a wrap 🙌🏽

A post shared by No Breaks In 2020 (@therealswizzz) on Apr 1, 2020 at 7:38pm PDT

Storch versatility is too crazy, and he had hit after hit after hit. But Mannie legit created a sound for one of the most influential record labels ever. A sound. Like “Rich N’s” off 400 Degreez never made the top of the charts, but that’s a bonafide classic record.

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 2, 2020

Other than like 2-3 songs, Mannie played music from one label. One label! Cash Money Records. One of the greatest record labels of all time, any genre. What a run.

— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 2, 2020

Back That Azz Up is a negro spiritual and because of that, the ancestors are PROUD. We salute the legend, Mannie Fresh.

— Maura Chanz (@maurachanz) April 2, 2020

SCOTT STORCH JUST HUMBLY WASHED MANNIE FRESH THIS ENTIRE BATTLE!!!!

His Range Is Too Elite For Mannie

— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) April 2, 2020

Nobody ever got ass thrown on em to still DRE.. mannie won to me 😂

— Le$ 🥩x🦐™ (@SteakxShrimp) April 2, 2020

Scott won.... Mannie fucked around with some bullshit too many times https://t.co/m1Em2C3XjW

— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 2, 2020

The digital fracas was of course all in good fun as both sides complimented each other, and vowed to work together. Scott also plugged his forthcoming album and teased a new single with Ozuna and Tyga. Mannie promoted his “Virus Killaz” DJ live stream mix and Sunday gospel mix.

“After this, let’s get together and change the world,” Fresh told Storch. “There is no harm in this. We will love each other as brothers….We love you and your crew.”

T-Pain and Lil Jon are apparently next in line for an Instagram live music bout scheduled for Saturday (April 4) at 9 p.m. EST.

In the meantime, peep a snippet from the tonight's battle below.

Y’all wanna see a dead body.... Scott Storch Won. pic.twitter.com/30rm8DaWjQ

— The Academy Music Business (@BenjaminEnfield) April 2, 2020

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