“Dre Day” by Dr. Dre (ft. Snoop Dogg)
Despite undoubtedly being one of the most influential acts in rap music history, considerable internal strife developed between the prominent members of the N.W.A. crew. N.W.A. – or Niggas Wit Attitudes as they were called – consisted of both Eazy-E and Dr. Dre.
Initially Dre was signed to Ruthless, a label co-owned by Eazy. Eventually he wanted out of not only N.W.A. but also his Ruthless contract, at a time when both business entities were peaking largely due to his contributions. However, Dre was able to do so and went on to co-found Death Row Records, which proved to be an even bigger gangsta-rap label.
And you may be thinking to yourself, ‘why would Eazy-E release his top artist at the time from his contract?’ Well as the story goes, Dre used his Death Row business partner, businessman/thug Suge Knight, to, shall we say persuade E the ‘hood way. So even though Eazy and Dre were no longer officially affiliated, an acrimonious relationship remained between the two of them. And we already know how such issues are resolved in the world of rap music.
Lyrics of “Dre Day”
So basically, what we are met with in the first verse is Dre picking on and threatening to shoot Eazy. The vocalist acknowledges, a couple of times actually, that he and the addressee were once friends. He never specifies what exactly destroyed their relationship. Rather, the lyrical emphasis revolves around the notion of Dr. Dre being able and now willing to roll up on Eazy since, as argued, the latter isn’t a true ‘hood nigga.
Afterwards comes an interlude which relatedly serves the purpose of depicting E as “a little boy” who is unable to properly care for himself. And to illustrate the point, Jerry Heller, the other co-founder of Ruthless Records, is indirectly referenced. The intended message is supposed to be that Heller basically used E, something which Eazy reportedly believed himself.
Snoop Dogg steps in
Meanwhile the second verse, as held down by Snoop Dogg, is aimed at a different rival. That would be one Tim Dog, who was actually a rapper from the Bronx.
Tim was a one-hit wonder whose claim to fame, a track called “F–k Compton”, basically served the purpose of lambasting N.W.A. but by extension West Coast rap in general. So Snoop uses the opportunity of “Dre Day” to bring it to Tim, including apparently dissing his moms for being a lesbian. Whereas he also proceeds to bring Dog’s dad into the fray, the focus is more on Snoop’s desire to go toe-to-toe with Tim, as in the two of them engaging in a fist fight, as he perceives his rival to be “bootylicious”, i.e. feminine.
And you may notice that Snoop Dogg and Tim Dog actually have similar stage names. Well Snoop acknowledges that similarity also, by comically referring to his lyrical enemy as Tim Mut(t). And the interlude that follows verifies that Doggy Dogg and Dre are dissing Tim on behalf of the entire West Coast rap scene.
Then finally, the villain of the third verse is Miami-based rapper (Uncle) Luke. By the looks of things, his beef with the West Coast started with a track Luke dropped in 1992 entitled “Fakin Like Gangstas”. No names or anything like that are actually mentioned in that song, but everyone knows who the “gangsta” rappers of that day were.
So Dre, backed by Snoop, basically proceeds to enlighten Luke to the idea that he is not an easy target. Luke may believe so because Dre “use to hang with Eazy”, who by implication, once again, cannot defend himself. And beyond that, the vocalists also go on to more or less threaten Luke with gunfire.
Also interesting to note is that as with Tim Dog, Snoop threatens, if you will, to put his p–is inside Uncle Luke’s mouth. Well, we all know after all these years that the D-O-double G is not gay. So those threats are not to be taken literally but rather, logically speaking, are meant to point to the idea of the vocalist possessing the wherewithal to exert complete mastery over the hated addressee.
As far as we know not even a fist fight resulted from these lyrics (though the targets did go about levying their own respective counter-disses). In fact Eazy-E met his fate, via AIDS, in 1995, and he and Dre did make peace prior to his passing.
So ultimately, whereas some serious disses are being thrown back and forth, it’s like take these pieces as you will. Or let’s say that whereas rap feuds do sometimes spiral out of control, from a business standpoint all parties involved are in a position to make extra money from these tiffs. In fact Eazy-E’s response to “Dre Day”, a 1993 track called “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s“, is noted as having been his “biggest hit as a solo artist”.
Then as far as the title goes, it seems to be Dr. Dre’s way of noting that his time has arrived. And he did in fact go on to become, at least as of the writing of this post, the greatest rapper/producer as far as the rap genre is concerned.
Title (“Dre Day”/”F–k with Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”)
The full title of this song is actually “F–k with Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”. It is also popularly known by the title “Dre Day”. This song dates back to Dr. Dre’s very first solo album, “The Chronic”. Well actually said LP isn’t a solo joint in the truest sense of the world, as every song except one either features Snoop Dogg and/or vocal contributions from other artists.
Dre and Snoop, or Snoop Doggy Dogg as he was known back in those days, were of course one of the most notable collaborators in hip-hop history. And they had actually teamed up prior to “Dre Day” which, coming out on 20 May 1993, was the second single from “The Chronic“.
Their first collaboration, i.e. the song that put Snoop on the map, was a 1992 track entitled “Deep Cover” which was part of the soundtrack of a film by the same name.
At the time, both Snoop and Dre were down with the infamous Death Row Records. And just as an interesting side note, recently (as in early 2022) Snoop Dogg became owner of the embattled Death Row.
Dr. Dre, who during the early goings of his rap career was more of a behind-the-scenes’ man (i.e. non-vocalist), produced this track. He made a name for himself musically by sampling old funk songs. Accordingly, Dre makes use of 1979’s “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Funkadelic, as well as George Clinton’s 1982 classic “Atomic Dog”, on top of a couple of other tracks from the funk era.
Both of those aforenoted songs were written by George Clinton, and as such he is credited as a co-writer of “Dre Day”. So are David Spradley and Garry Shider (1953-2010), the two individuals he wrote “Atomic Dog” with. Also officially acknowledged as writers of “F–k wit Dre Day” are Death Row associate Colin Wolfe and of course Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The music video to this song, which centered on making fun of Eazy-E, was also directed by Dre. And to note Dre also used the B-side of this track, a song entitled “Puffin’ on Blunts” and “Drankin’ Tanqueray”, to throw additional jabs at Eazy.
“Dre Day” topped what is currently known as Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Singles Sales chart. It also managed to break the top 10 of the Hot 100 itself and peak at number 6 on a couple of other Billboard listings (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs & Rhythmic), in addition to earning RIAA gold certification. And just to note, this track also made an appearance on the UK Singles Chart and Recorded Music NZ.
The other featured vocalists on this song are RBX and Jewell. The former is a rapper and Snoop’s cousin, who doesn’t actually rap on the track but rather holds the two aforenoted interludes. Jewell is an R&B singer who ran with both Ruthless Records and Death Row back in the day.