Dr. Dre hasn’t forgotten his roots. When his latest album — which he’s called his “grand finale” — drops Friday, he plans to donate all the royalties to a very good cause.
The money will go toward the creation of a performing arts center in Compton, a city he and N.W.A. bandmates forever imprinted into the pop culture memory with their 1988 debut “Straight Outta Compton,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
The proposed center to which he’ll donate his royalties will also provide the city’s youth with therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, The Associated Press added.
In the coming months, details about the project will be released, said a spokeswoman for Mayor Aja Brown, whom he’s been with working closely for a couple months. To donate the royalties as a way to give back to the city is something he’s has always wanted to do.
“I feel it’s the right thing to do and I hope everybody appreciates the work I put into this album. We’ve reached out to Aja Brown quite a few times in the last month or two. I’ve been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn’t quite figure out what it was. She actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, ‘Boom, this is what we should do.'”
The new tracks are long anticipated and comes as a N.W.A. biopic is set to be released next week; “A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre” is actually intended to be a companion pieces to the film, which inspired the rapper to record new music, Rolling Stone added.
The record is now out, and features 16 new songs with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, the Game and Xzibit. He collaborated with a group of emerging artists as well — King Mez and Justus — who wrote the songs with him.
“We would just go into the studio, put up the track and for some reason, the stars aligned and we killed it, man.”
But it’s not the music everyone was expecting from Dr. Dre, who hasn’t released an album in 16 years. He’d been working on “Detox” for a long time, but scrapped it simply because “it wasn’t good … I couldn’t do that to my fans and I couldn’t do that to myself, to be perfectly honest with you. I just wasn’t feeling it.”
As for “A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre?” The rapper said “It’s bananas…. I’m really proud of this.”
Which will likely translate into plenty of royalties for the legendary musician to donate to this project. The mayor, for one, is thrilled that after all this time, the rapper hasn’t forgotten where he got his start.
“I believe this performing arts center will provide a pathway for creative expression, exposure and training to the myriad of industries that support arts, entertainment and technology — while providing a much-needed safe haven for our youth.”
[Photo Courtesy Mike Coppola/Getty Images]