Andre Romelle Young, aka Dr. Dre, was born into a musical family. His father was a member of the Romells, a rhythm and blues singing group, which is where Dre got his middle name (per People and Power). His mother was a part of a musical group, too, The Four Aces, and left to raise her son (per Hip Hop Scriptures). Naturally, Dre took to music from an early age, even at the cost of schoolwork. His production chops were visible even then, as he would take samples from various tracks and mix them to make his own music. Bear in mind this is all on tape, pre-digital. As Biography says, he received a mixer for Christmas in 1984.

As soon as Dre started hanging around in nightclubs around L.A., he joined his first group, World Class Wreckin’ Cru. This is when he took to the turntables and adopted the title that implied his virtuosity, “Dr. Dre, the Master of Mixology.” By the time he met up with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the rest of N.W.A., he dropped the “Master of Mixology” part and kept the rest. Starting in 1985, N.W.A. went on to inaugurate the modern era of real, in-your-face hip-hop stories, which segued nicely to Dre’s solo, West Coast, g-funk persona in the early 1990s. Dre’s first album, 1992’s “The Chronic,” remains an era-defining album that encapsulated Dre’s history, character, attitude, musicianship, and stage name all in one succinct bundle. 

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