Dr. Dre had previously declined to collaborate with iconic figures like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Stevie Wonder. However, it seems that his decision might not have been as ill-advised as it initially appeared.
In a recent episode of Kevin Hart’s talk show, Hart to Heart, the renowned producer revealed the reasons behind his choices.
When approached to work with these legendary artists, Dre, aged 58, expressed his uncertainty, saying, “What the f— am I going to do with them?” This revelation surprised Hart, and the conversation can now be streamed on Peacock.
Dre further elaborated that his preference has always been to work with emerging artists, stating, “My entire life and career has been dealing with and working with new artists. That’s what I like.”
According to BET, Dre explained that he enjoys the creative freedom of working with new talents, as he sees them as a “ball of clay” that he can shape and mould according to his vision. In contrast, when collaborating with his heroes, there often comes a preconceived plan of how the music should sound, limiting his ability to explore and experiment.
The producer, who has played a pivotal role in the success of artists such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson .Paak, also expressed concern about the potential impact on his perception of his favorite musicians.
Working with them could alter the way he feels about them, which he wishes to preserve. Dre shared, “These are my heroes… I like the idea of what I grew up listening to them, and I want to keep it like that. I don’t want to f— up that idea and that look.”
This isn’t the first time Dre has mentioned turning down an opportunity to collaborate with Michael Jackson. In an interview with Power 106 before Jackson’s untimely death in 2009, Dre disclosed that he had received a recent call about working together but expressed hesitation.
He stated his preference for working with new artists and his inability to envision himself in the studio directing Jackson, saying, “Yo Mike, do that again.”
Hart’s Hart to Heart talk show, now in its third season, has featured notable guests such as John Cena, Issa Rae, Will Ferrell, and Sofia Vergara.