While Straight Outta Compton dominated the box office last week with a $56.1 million opening, and Dr. Dre’s first album in 15 years topped the Billboard 200 album chart, the critical praise of both projects remains marred by Dre’s past as an abuser of women.
Earlier this week, Gawker posted an interview with Dee Barnes, the host of a popular hip hop music show on Fox called Pump It Up!. Dre beat up Barnes back in 1991 at a party in Los Angeles because he was upset over a segment she hosted a year prior with Ice Cube, who had left N.W.A over financial disputes. On the program, Ice Cube insulted members of the group. Ironically, the segment, which aired in November 1990, was filmed by Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray.
Barnes watched the film and shared her opinion on why the incident wasn’t included in the film. “I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le,” she said.
R&B songstress Michel’le has kids with both Dre and his former business partner, Suge Knight. She was not only Dre’s long-time girlfriend, but she was also a platinum artist on Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. Michel’le recently summed up her relationship with Dre this way, “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.”
At a Grammy party in 1990, Dr. Dre assaulted another one of his artists, Tairrie B. As a previous Inquisitr article highlights, when asked why Dre’s violent incidents with these women were not mentioned in the film, F. Gary Gray said they were considered “side stories.” However, the LA Times reports that the Barnes incident was written into the original script but later omitted because it distracted from the true narrative of the movie.
Months after his assault on Barnes, Dre told Rolling Stone, “I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing — I just threw her through a door.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Dre addressed his violent history by saying he made some “[expletive] horrible mistakes” in his life.
“I was young, … stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true — some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back,” he said. “It was really [expletive] up.”
Despite publicly owning up to his indiscretions from when he was 25-years-old, critics continue to brand Dre an opportunist and misogynist and shift focus from his accomplishments, which could prove detrimental to his future earnings. As such, the rapper/producer addressed his abusive past once more in a new interview with the New York Times.
“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did,” Dre told the publication. “I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.”
He added, “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Last year, Dre’s sold his music company Beats to Apple for $3 billion, making him the self-proclaimed “first billionaire in hip-hop.” Apple, where Dre now works as a top consultant, also issued a statement regarding his past.
“Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”
In spite of his past, Dr. Dre will rule the box office yet again with Straight Outta Compton expected to dominate for a second weekend. TMZ reports that the movie, which has doubled its production budget of $29 million, could get a sequel that focuses on the rise of West Coast rappers like Snoop Dogg and the late, great Tupac Shakur.
[Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America/Zimbio]