Producer: Cool & Dre
Album: The Documentary
Label: Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope, G-Unit
By 2005, the West Coast was getting restless and was looking for a savior. It found one in the Dr. Dre approved Jayceon “Game” Taylor whose debut album The Documentary became a classic in large part to its astounding production. Legendary names like Buckwild, Timbaland, and of course Dr. Dre all contributed top-notch beats but it was relative newcomers Cool & Dre who stole the show with the 50-assisted single, “Hate It Or Love It.”
What made the beat so dope was the way they cleverly removed the drums at key intervals. It’s best heard in the opening seconds of the song as 50 starts flowing over what we imagine a peaceful Compton sounds like when it’s soaked in California sunshine. Then the drums kick in and the song takes off. For most songs that’s enough, but not “Hate It Or Love It,” which does the same trick for the opening of both of Game’s verses—giving this fairly subdued beat more ups and down than you’d expect.
But maybe what’s most interesting about this beat is trying to figure out which Dre deserves more credit for it. Everyone knows that 50 would later take credit for writing all of Game’s hits, but when Complex asked both Dre (of Cool & Dre) and Dr. Dre’s right-hand man Mike Lynn about the making of this beat, another dispute of ownership was revealed.
According to Dre (of Cool & Dre) he onced played the original version of the beat for Jimmy Iovine who wanted to hear what it sounded like prior to Dr. Dre’s magic touch. When Iovine heard the original he exclaimed, “It's the same damn beat.” However, Dre was willing to admit the Good Doc put his stamp on it. “Dr. Dre had put the most amazing mix on it,” he said. “A Dr. Dre mix is a co-production in our mind.”
Meanwhile, Mike Lynn had a very different take. “Dr. Dre completely re-produced that track,” he said. “’Hate It Or Love It’ sounded like a sample, Dre made it sound like a record. If they play you their version and his version, they’re night and day. He had to [get co-producer credit], he did all the work.”