One of the poorest areas of LA is about to get a new arts center, thanks to rap mogul Dr. Dre.
Don't act like you forgot about Dre.
Remember when Dr. Dre was "back again"? Well now he's back again, again!
After decades of hits like "Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre," Dr. Dre wants us to know ... this time, he's back for real.
Dre just dropped his first solo album in 16 years, called simply "Compton," as an exclusive on iTunes and Apple Music. Early reviews say it's a nice return to form for the good doctor, but even if you're not a rap fan, there's still a good reason to give this one a listen.
Dre still has love for the streets, where he got his start — that's why he's donating the royalties from his new album to fund a new performing arts center in Compton.
There's been a lot of talk and debate lately about what, why, how, and if streaming services like Apple Music are paying artists properly. Wilco just decided to give their album away for free to encourage fans to support lesser known artists, while Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Apple in an effort to pressure them to pay artists more fairly.
Dr. Dre decided to take a different approach regarding money he doesn't necessarily "need."
"I've been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn't quite figure out what it was," Dre told Zane Lowe.
He got in touch with the mayor of Compton, Aja Brown, who had already been working on the project, and decided to pitch in.
"He clearly has a heart for Compton, especially our youth," Brown said. "I believe this performing arts center will provide a pathway for creative expression ... (and) a much-needed safe haven for our youth."
Despite being glamorized over the years in hip-hop, Compton could really use the help.
In 1988, Dr. Dre helped produced NWA's debut album "Straight Outta Compton." I'd be willing to bet most Americans don't even actually know where Compton is (it's in South LA), just that it's the birthplace of gangsta rap and real, actual gangs like the Bloods.
But today, the city has major problems. According to U.S. Census data, only about 6.7% people over the age of 25 in Compton have a four-year college degree or higher, not to mention the city's violent crime rate, which is about three times the California average.
Young people in Compton need better options, and Dr. Dre is stepping up to the plate to give them some.
Dr. Dre has done a lot of good over the years. But this is a really cool gesture.
He's done some bad, too. You don't have to love him, like him, or even really respect him.
But Dr. Dre, born Andre Young, is actually from Compton, so it's just nice to see he's not turning his back on a community that needs him now more than ever. There's honor in that.