Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.” Lyrics Meaning
As we all know, Dr. Dre is one of the artists who helped put California – indeed the entire West Coast of the United States – on the hip-hop map. This occurred primarily in the early 1990s. For instance, in 1992 he dropped his debut solo album, “The Chronic”, which is one of the most-celebrated and influential in rap history. However, due to a number of issues, a considerable amount of time transpired before he had the wherewithal to release a follow-up to that classic. However, he did eventually do so in 1999 with an album entitled “2001”. And “Still D.R.E.” was the lead single from that project.
Thus the song is intended to serve a specific purpose. And that message is simple – even after all those years in the background, Dr. Dre is “still” indeed the “D.R.E.” Put differently, some things, such as him switching labels and making new associates, may have changed throughout the years. But Dr. Dre remains the same individual fans know and love. So basically, Dr. Dre is letting the music world know that he is indeed back on the scene, front and center.
And one of the ways he establishes that he has not actually changed is by enlisting the assistance of his steady collaborator, Snoop Dogg. Snoop is an artist who blew up largely due to working with Dr. Dre. Or another way of looking at it is that they are traditionally recognized as partners.
Gangsta Rap Pioneer
Dre is also known as one of the pioneers of gangsta rap. So in the first verse he lets it be known that he is still about that street life also. He also gives a shoutout to one of the actions he is best known for, ‘puffing leaves’ aka smoking grass. But more to the point is that the Doctor is still making hot music. Indeed in that regards he references the success his protégé Eminem, an artist he signed during his years outside of the spotlight, as an example that he remains influential on the music scene.
Moreover while touting his impact on the industry, Dre references a song called “Turn Off the Lights” (1986) by the “World Class Wreckin Cru”. This is a music group Dr. Dre was involved in back in day, even before N.W.A. was founded. FYI, N.W.A. is what many consider to be his actual musical origin. And again, Dre’s main point is that throughout the years he never stopped making banging tunes.
So yes, this song has the gangsta and weed-smoking elements we would expect from Dre. But overall this is braggadocio song. And what the good Doctor is boasting about, supported by his long-time homey Snoop Dogg, is basically his ability to make hit songs at will.
Was “Still D.R.E.” the first collaboration between Dre and Snoop?
No. This was not the first collaboration between Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. In fact as alluded to earlier, it was actually Dre who discovered Snoop and produced his first album, 1993’s critically-acclaimed “Doggystyle”.
Writing Credits for “Still D.R.E.”
Dre is recognized as a rapper who regularly uses ghostwriters. And “Still D.R.E.” was written by none other than Jay-Z himself.
According to Dre the first draft of the song which Jigga penned was based on Jay-Z’s perennial subject matter, luxurious living. However, the Doctor did not approve, so Jigga came back which what Dre instantly loved.
Dre produced “Still D.R.E.” along with one of his frequent collaborators, Mel-Man and another mega producer, Scott Storch.
Hype Williams directed the music video to “Still D.R.E.” And it was a star-studded affair, featuring the likes of Eminem, Funkmaster Flex, Xzibit and Warren G.
Success of “Still D.R.E.”
“Still D.R.E.” fared well commercially, topping the UK R&B Chart in addition to charting in four other countries. The track has also been certified Platinum in Britain. However, these numbers do not accurately illustrate the fact that this track is one of the most-recognizable songs in the history of rap music.
In fact it has been featured on the “Grand Theft Auto V” (2013) videogame as part of a radio station called West Coast Classics. Moreover “Still D.R.E.” was made an appearance on one of Denzel Washington’s best works, the movie “Training Day” (2001).
When did “Still D.R.E.” come out?
“Still D.R.E.” was released on 13 October 1999 as the lead single from Dr. Dre’s sophomore album, “2001”. It was put forth by Interscope Records and Dre’s own label, Aftermath Entertainment.