Dr. Dre was close to quitting music in 1992, but it was an increase in the quality of his music that kept him going.
In the passage, Dr. Dre reflects on a time in the early ’90s when he wasn’t getting paid and the music he was making was stagnant, leaving him questioning his future in the rap game.
Just one week after those doubts began to creep in, though, the producer hit a creative spurt and began crafting “the best music [he] had ever made” — which to this day he considers a pivotal moment in his life.
“In 1992, I had just bought a new house,” Dre wrote, per Rock the Bells. “Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were trying to starve me out and refused to pay the money they owed me. I was driving on the 101 freeway headed to the studio and, on that drive, I was thinking about quitting.
“I had been working on music for The Chronic for at least a month, and everything I was doing either sounded like what I had already done or not as good as what I had already done.”
He continued: “I started second-guessing my ability and whether music was what I was supposed to be doing, but I pushed those doubts aside and persevered.
“A week later, I started making the best music I had ever made. That moment was crucial to helping me solidify my determination to be a success. It also confirmed that I possessed everything I needed, and all I had to do was stay patient and persistent.”
“If I had listened to that little thing that told me to quit, my entire life would be different now,” he reflected. “People are either pushing or pulling, and I wish I had known the difference early on in my career. I could’ve saved myself a lot of heartache in that area.
“At this point in my life, I see the value of surrounding myself with people who push me forward. I don’t want to be around anyone I can’t learn something from.”
The Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip Hop Greatness was released on Tuesday (October 3) and is described as “commemorating the birth, rise, and progression of Hip Hop’s culture and its indisputable impact on American music over the past 50 years.”
In addition to Dr. Dre, contributions come from Eminem, Nas, Snoop Dogg, DJ Kool Herc, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, KRS-One, Mary J. Blige, Grandmaster Flash, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, Fat Joe, DJ Khaled and many more.
The book was co-authored by journalist Alec Banks and photographer Vikki Tobak.