Dr. Dre Says He Needed to Be 'Talked Into' Making 'The Chronic': 'It Was a Life or Death Situation'

In an interview with Kevin Hart, the Death Row Records founder said it wasn't his decision to record his debut album.

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In a clip from an upcoming episode of Kevin Hart's Peacock talk show Hart to Heart, producer and rapper Dr. Dre shared that he needed to be "talked into" making his classic debut solo album, The Chronic.

Following the dissolution of N.W.A. in 1991, all the group's members went off and did their own thing. Dre wasn't sure what he was going to do, at least at first. “The difference there was money and business got involved, and it separated the friendship,” Dre said of the difference between his success with N.W.A. and what came with The Chronic in 1992, in a clip first shared via Billboard. "I had to separate myself from [Eazy-E] because he decided to take a different route. [Ice] Cube had already left, so I’m out here on my own. I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I’m gonna do, I just know I have this talent.”

He said eventually his close friend and fellow Death Row Records co-founder The D.O.C. "talked [him] into" doing The Chronic. “It wasn’t my decision, I was talked into doing that," he shared. "I just went in there and went for it because I felt, at that time, it was a life or death situation. This record is going to determine whether I'm going to stay in the studio or not."

Hart suggested to Dre that artists often make their best work when they've put all their eggs in one basket and their backs are against the wall, which Dre agreed with. "It's a really weird dynamic," Dre added. "Moving forward it's really tough to find that kind of ambition and energy right now, today."

In a second clip from the episode, he talked about how during the early days of N.W.A., the group wanted to come out swinging and really grab people's attention with Straight Outta Compton. "It was really just to impress our neighborhood. We can be good in L.A., and everybody in L.A. is paying attention to us, that was good enough for us at the time,” he said. “Little did we know we were gonna get attention around the world and from the FBI and that whole shit, it was crazy.”

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He also opened up about F. Gary Gray's movie Straight Outta Compton, which tells the story of the group's rise to fame. "I think that everybody that was involved in the movie, in the beginning, didn’t believe in the movie and didn’t trust it,” he said, adding that he was happy with the finished result. "Myself, Cube, and Gary Gray, we went for it. What you see on the screen is a result of what myself, Cube, and Gary did." The movie garnered an Academy Award nomination and grossed over $200 million worldwide.

Check out both clips from the interview above.

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