Safe to say, there aren’t many names in hip hop with the same gravitas as Dr Dre. Not only was he a member of the original rap renegades, N.W.A. alongside Ice Cube, Eazy E and MC Ren, but, later, he would deliver his own album of potent jams as well as giving a leg up to rap icons like Eminem and 50 Cent among a host more. One of those stars would arrive later in the icon’s career to give him one of his most widely-adored singles, ‘Forgot About Dre’.
Eminem has always played a crucial part in Dr Dre’s career. Despite the producer and Beats By Dre creator having one of the most well-respected careers in hip hop, it would take his prodigy, Slim Shady, to remind the audiences around the world just how potent he was as a pure artist. It would be included as part of Dre’s second solo LP, 2001, arriving almost ten years after his debut.
Naturally, providing his first record in nearly a decade would have been a nervous experience for Dre. As such, he recruited some of his closest pals to help him out. Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg may have thrown their own contributions into the LP, but it was Slim who would have the biggest impact. In fact, Em arrived on to the record as one of the hottest properties in hip hop.
Before going into the recording studio to help out Dre, Eminem had released his own record The Slim Shady LP with a ton of help from the producer and was ready to deliver his iconic hook and searing verse on ‘Forgot About Dre’ to capitalise further on this burgeoning fruitful relationship. However, the truth is, that Eminem actually came to Dre with the song, not the other way around.
Speaking as part of a recent interview, Dre opened up about the track: “That was Eminem’s idea. He wrote the song for me and Snoop originally. He laid the reference vocals for Snoop and I liked the way it sounded. So, we just kept it that way and I laid my vocals and that was it.”
Sometimes, pure rap perfection can arrive at the strangest times. Why Eminem would decide to write such a personal song about Dre’s affirmation as a hip hop legend, is a secret that Slim Shady has yet to share, even with Dre: “I had no idea of what, you know, what triggered him to write that song. You know, he just came in with those lyrics and we wrote some music to it and that was that.”
Below, listen to the classic Dr Dre song written by Eminem, ‘Forgot About Dre’.