The Making of The Game's "The Documentary"

“Don’t Need Your Love” f/ Faith Evans

Produced by: Havoc, Dr. Dre

The Game: “‘I Don’t Need Your Love’ was recorded like, my first day on Interscope. I wrote the song in a fucking rent-a-car, heading to get a mattress for my new apartment in Beverly Hills. I had a gang of [beats from Havoc]. I got shot on October 1, 2001. I recorded ‘I Don’t Need Your Love’ maybe like January 15th. I was still fucked up. I was still bleeding in my gauzes—the pads and shit that I had from the hospital—when I recorded it. That’s why my voice is fucked up, from getting shot in the chest. We never changed it. When I went back and tried to re-lay it—when I got my voice back years later—Dre was like ‘No.’ He liked the rawness of it. That shit was crazy. That’s like a classic. That’s like, one of my favorite records I ever did.

“When Dre mixed it, we couldn’t find the multitracks for the beat. So Dre had to remake everything. Havoc made [the beat] but he didn’t remember where the session was. Dre was like, ‘Fuck it. I’ve got to remake this shit.’ And he remade it like 100% the way it sounded, but of course with the Dr. Dre bang, and then he didn’t take no credit for it. Gave it straight to Havoc. [Editor’s note: The album credits list Dr. Dre as a co-producer]. It hits like Dr. Dre beats hit, and it has a fucking EQ and mix like God touched it.”

Angelo Sanders (A&R for Aftermath): “Oh man, the shit that we do and go through to make these records happen. That’s how you know when you got a classic record. People love the song and that’s all that matters. All the rest of the bullshit is just bullshit that we go through. That was a whole issue because they didn’t have the files so we didn’t know what the original sample was. Dre had to really break the track down and figure out what was what so he recreated the record exact. When he mixed it, it had that Dre mix to it, but other than that he matched the track. He didn’t try and take any kind of creative liberty on it. Dre didn’t take any money for that.”

Havoc: “I hate to say that I’m unorganized [or that] I’m so used to having an engineer do things for me. Around that time, I had got rid of all the engineers that I was working with because I wanted to become more self-sufficient on my own. It [used to be that I just worried] about making the beat and they would track it. I said, ‘Damn what I am I doing depending on someone to track something and it’s just that simple? I can cut out the middle man.’ I came from an era where I’m always in the studio doing beats and in the transition of putting a studio in my crib and knowing how to work it on my own; beats got lost in the shuffle. A lot of stuff got misplaced.

“Dre definitely re-captured the essence. It sounds like they didn’t do nothing to it, to be honest with you. Whatever way you're looking at it, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. For me, I’d say it’s good. Dre had to play a little bit of it over and we shared production credits. Who knows why Dre was so adamant about recreating [the track instead of asking me]? I guess because Dre was so hands-on with the project and because he’s the number one producer in the world. Maybe he liked the song, so he wanted to touch it himself. At the end of the day, who else better to touch it beside Dr. Dre? I’ll share a credit with Dr. Dre any day.”

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