Dr. Dre spoke to British GQ about the state of the industry, where he is in his career and what he’s doing for the next generation alongside his 3 decade long partner in music, Jimmy Iovine. Dre’s been around for a long time and one thing he’s noticed over the years is the allure of artists and what they stood for being eroded in the age of social media.
“I probably would’ve hated social media when I was coming up,” Dre says around the 15-minute mark of the interview. “There’s a certain mystique that gets destroyed. I like the mystique. I like waiting. I don’t need anybody to know where I am every minute or what I’m doing. Or what I’m about to do.” He added, “There’s a certain mystique that came along with music that was entertaining to wait to see what was about to happen.”
And Dre hardly makes posts on social media. It’s understandable though. He’s 55 years old and spends his time running an empire. He’s got better things to do. It reminds me of seeing Tyrese on the Wendy Williams show who when asked about being in Michael B Jordan Black Panther type of shape, he said he’s grown and he’s letting the young kids do that. He said he’s been there, done that.
Iovine stepped in talking about how talent has been watered down with social media saying, “I don’t know the impact of Instagram, it’s not mutual. If Michael Jackson had Instagram, would he have ended up healthier? Who knows. I think what’s happened is, ‘great’ was never behind fame as much as it is now. Fame is what the currency is. Likes or whatever the stuff is. So fame, and if you happen to be great … musicians up until recently, that’s why people put music out every day. That’s marketing.” He continued, “But not all of its great because that’s impossible. I think ‘great’ has pulled back a little bit.”
And with Dre in his mid 50s and Iovine nearly 70, they’re at the stage in their life where they’re looking to cultivate talent in the generation coming up next by starting their own high school. “We’re starting it right outside of USC,” Iovine says. “And it’s for that neighbourhood. And it’s going to be free. We’re doing it with Laurene Powell Jobs [Steve Jobs’ widow] and XQ [a fund launched in 2015 to change state schooling in America] and the USC. We want to give underrated kids an edge. We want to market our high school, we want to make it appealing for kids to stay in school and learn. Most don’t want to be there.”
Another point of interest here is that Dr. Dre lost his son at 20 to drug abuse about 7 years ago so this gives him another chance to reach out to the next generation and we’re proud of him for doing it.