How did Dr. Dre get so rich

I always thought Ice Cube would be the NWA member who made it big in business. When Eazy E was ripping everyone else off Cube left the group and struck out on his own. Dr. Dre called him a Benedict Arnold for doing that, and only left himself when his bodyguard recommended he do so.

Also when Boyz in the Hood was being shot, John Singleton wanted to use NWA as the group of friends who hung out with Doughboy. He said Ice Cube was the only one who took him seriously about acting.

So Ice Cube has written a lot of highly rated and high selling albums, been in various movies, been involved in production on various levels and I see his net worth is about $140 million. Nothing tiny, but Dr. Dre’s is about $550 million. And with Apple wanting to buy his beats audio he could be a billionaire soon, and the wealthiest rapper.

So how did Dr. Dre do it? Aside from writing 2 albums and discovering Eminem, what has he done to get so rich? I’m assuming he produced a lot of wealthy artists, sold production companies, plus beats audio.

Dr. Dre doesn’t advertise himself like Puff Daddy (I’m still calling him that, I don’t care what he is called now) or have an endless line of consumer products like he does.

Owning a record label can make you a lot of money if you’re good at it, but I think most of his estimated wealth comes from his stake in Beats. I don’t know anything about the products, but it’s been a very successful company and now it’s being acquired by a huge company. It does sound like he probably will not be a billionaire once you consider things like taxes. Still, he was extremely rich before and he’s going to be even richer.

Well, he’s a doctor. Isn’t that the stereotypical wealth-making profession?

g, d & r

[del]On top of all that, Apple has offered to drive a dump truck full of money up to his house.[/del]

Sorry, missed it in the OP.

A little semi-educated speculation: He’s highly respected, which probably makes his name worth more than Ice Cube’s. And he’s been behind more than just Eminem - Snoop Dogg is another obvious example.

Producing hit records and endorsing ultra-popular, massively overpriced electronics pays better than rapping and acting.

The question is, where does Ice Cube’s net worth rank him among actors and rappers?

Spam. Spam for Beats by Dre is probably in the top 10 spammers I get on the board I admin. So it must really work, no wonder there’s so much.

Which ties into the business sense issue. Snoop Dogg was Warren G’s friend (Warren G is Dr Dre’s brother). Warren G kept telling Dre ‘you need to listen to this guy’ and giving him demo tapes. Dr. Dre ignored him.

One day Dr Dre was listening to some music and heard Snoop Dogg and asked Warren G ‘who is this guy, he is great’ and Warren G says ‘thats the guy I’ve been telling you about, its Snoop Dogg’. Dr Dre apparently didn’t even listen to the demo tapes. If anything, Warren G discovered Snoop Dogg.

So again, on a superficial level Dr. Dre doesn’t seem like he has a lot of business sense. He stayed in NWA when Eazy E was ripping everyone off and criticized the guy who left because of that. He wrote off acts like Snoop Dogg. He probably has no formal education in business. He has very little acting experience or music he has himself written to his name.

‘He made two mistakes in business, therefore he doesn’t have a lot of business sense’ is indeed a very superficial judgment. I don’t know how Dre came to know Snoop, but he did eventually hear him, recorded with him, signed him to his label and helped make him a star. Even if he didn’t listen to him right away, what does that prove? I think you would have trouble finding any successful business person who didn’t make some significant errors. Death Row was very successful for a while, and Aftermath and Beats seem to be very successful.

He did not do this. Not by the story just told. In fact, he did the exact opposite of write Snoop Dog off and we know nothing of acts like Snoop. You also seem to be saying that, since Ice Tea continued to rap while Dre produced, then, obviously Ice should be richer. Why would this be?

Nonsense. How do you think someone is usually “discovered” in the music industry? It only counts if you walk by and hear the guy singing in the shower? Hint: someone always says “you have to hear this guy”. It happens about 30 times a day. The real trick is knowing who to promote.

The guy backed a variety of serious projects and is wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. He has an enormous amount of business sense.

I think the OP is wrong about his net worth being $550 million before the Beats deal. Forbes projected his net worth after the deal at $800 million and says the deal would account for about $480 million of that net worth. Dre has a 25% stake in Beats.

Sorry, I didn’t even address the actual questions in the OP. Dre focused on producing for about a decade, which I believe is often more lucrative than being the performer, particularly since you can work producing a bunch of albums at once and don’t get stuck touring to make money. He also was one of the founders of Death Row Records, then founded Aftermath when he left Death Row. I assume this means he was getting paid multiple times per album since he often got producer credits plus had a stake in the labels themselves.

It’s pretty clear he didn’t get most of his money from performing since he hasn’t released an album in 15 years.

Honest question: Is it fair to say that Dr. Dre monetized a music genre that didn’t have traditional promotional channels? When Dre was starting out, big media conglomerates had standard playbooks (e.g., radio airplay) to sell records in genres like country, rock, pop, etc.

This is completely uninformed speculation since I don’t know the history of rap, but it seems to me that guys like Dre had to come up with innovative ways to sell records because promoting rap artists wasn’t well-traveled territory. For example, it looks like Billboard didn’t have a chart of “Hot Rap Songs” until 1989-1990; there were R&B/Hip Hop charts before 1989 though.

Let’s see:

[li]He’s produced almost two dozen hit records[/li][li]He discovered or promoted two extremely successful acts in Eminem and Snoop.[/li][li]He was a partner in a successful record label[/li][li]He was/is a partner in a successful electronics/music streaming business[/li][li]He doesn’t have multiple ex-wives[/li][li]He doesn’t have a mess of kids[/li][li]He has largely avoided the legal entanglements which have tripped up other rap performers[/li][li]He saves his money and he invests well.[/li][/ol]

What’s surprising is that he has been in the business a lot less time than many other artists and yet has a great deal more to show for it.

Looks like a huge chunk of his fortune came from Beats. Forbes says he made $110 million in 2012 alone which accounts for about 20% of his total net worth.

Selling $20 headphones for $400 is a pretty good business model by anyone’s reckoning.

This informative autobiographical musical video should tell you a little bit about what Dre had done and was planning on doing (and did) by 1999.

He has quite a wall full of plaques.

“Chuck! Chuck, it’s Marvin. Your cousin, Marvin Berry. You know that new sound you’re looking for? Well, listen to this!”



Don’t forget that Dre got a piece of 50 Cent via Eminem’s label.