King Mez, DJ Premier & Others Detail Dr. Dre’s Musical Comeback

King Mez, DJ Premier & Others Detail Dr. Dre’s Musical Comeback


August 14th, 2015


J Premier reveals what makes Dr. Dre a producer as opposed to a beat maker.

As part of a feature story titled “The Compton Sessions: How Dr. Dre Created His Comeback,” Pitchfork caught up with several artists who lent their assistance on Dr. Dre’s newly-released album, Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre.

Among the artists Pitchfork chopped it up with was Raleigh, North Carolina lyricist King Mez. According to Mez, when he initially began working with Dr. Dre on Compton, they were building on older music the producer had.

He added that those who later came in to lend their assistance ultimately “changed the sound of the album.”

“When I got the opportunity to write for Dre I knew it was a dream come true, but a lot of people were worried for me,” King Mez said. “Like, ‘Oh man, you’re going over there to write for that album? So many people have tried and have been unsuccessful.’ But I wasn’t around for the times that he’s been uninspired or whatever—the second I met him, we had chemistry. I knew the album was gonna come out. We originally built on older music he had, stuff that sounded like an updated 2001. The people that came in really changed the sound of the album.”

DJ Premier, who assisted with production on the Compton track “Animals,” also spoke on working with Dre in the studio on his latest project.

With decades of work as a producer under his belt, the beatsmith concluded his remarks by offering his thoughts on what makes a producer.

“I watched him work the boards old-school style,” DJ Premier said. “He’s got ProTools hooked up, but he’s still on the Control 24 board, turning the knobs, working each fader by hand. A lot of kids now don’t do that; everything is just a mouse and a computer screen. I’m like, ‘You still plugged into that? I haven’t used this since ‘98!’

“Dre recently asked me about the difference between a producer and a beat maker,” he added. “For me, it’s like film: You can shoot all the footage you want, but it’s all about the edit, the final outcome, when the world gets it. That’s what makes you a producer. That’s what Dre does.”


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