how dr dre is crusading for compton youth

The rap icon is donating all of the profits from his first album in over a decade to help build a new arts center in his Southern California home city.

by Emily Manning
07 August 2015, 6:00pm

Although Dr. Dre's second solo LP is titled The Chronic 2001, it was actually released in 99, which makes Compton -- the full length effort he dropped today on Apple Music -- his first album in 16 years. Announced on his Beats 1 radio show The Pharmacy just last week, Compton features a strong string of the Dr's frequent collaborators: fellow N.W.A founding member Ice Cube, Compton native son Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and protege Eminem among others. But the South Central LA location that's been so seminal to hip-hop isn't merely represented in the record's title or its feature MCs: Dre is giving back to his home town by donating all Compton royalties to help fund a new arts center for local youth.

Last night, Dre made Compton available to stream on Apple Music for three hours before calling in to Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show to chat about the release and his philanthropic ambitions. "We've reached out to [city mayor] Aja Brown quite a few times in the last month or two, I've been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn't quite figure out what it was," the rap titan told Lowe. "She actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, 'Boom, this is what we should do.'"

Recently, Kendrick Lamar has also been fighting to better his hometown, using his recently released Reebok collaboration as a platform to end gang violence. Although Dre hasn't provided any further details on the arts center, he did suggest that Compton will be his final solo release, referring to the album as his "grand finale." Despite the uncertainty of his lyrical future, we're sure Dre will continue to be a powerful advocate for his hometown. "I just wanted to do something special for Compton," he told Lowe. 


Text Emily Manning
Image via Flickr Creative Commons

Dr. Dre
Straight Outta Compton
Apple Music