Weekend Diversion: Dr. Dre Gets It!

“No matter how hard you work to bring yourself up, there’s someone out there working just as hard, to put you down.” -Dr. Dre


I always admire people who can both find success in life while staying true to who they are. And Dr. Dre is someone who, in my opinion, has managed to do just that. He’s found success as a rapper, producer, and a philanthropist. I had figured I’d always know him best for his debut solo album, The Chronic. Have a listen to my favorite song off that album:

Nuthin’ But A G Thang
But something new has happened this week, which sheds new light on Dre. (In a very awesome way.) In an interview with Vibe, talking about his upcoming album Detox, I got to learn something private and wonderful about Dr. Dre.

Image credit: BoingBoing.

Dr. Dre, secretly, is an astronomy lover.

He’s making an all-instrumental hip-hop album, and do you know what inspired Dre? Let’s go to the interview to find out.

Vibe: You mentioned a hip-hop album without rapping. Will we ever hear a Dr. Dre instrumental album?

Dr. Dre: Oh yeah, that’s in the works. An instrumental album is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I have the ideas for it. I want to call it The Planets. I don’t even know if I should be saying this, but fuck it. [Laughs.] It’s just my interpretation of what each planet sounds like. I’m gonna go off on that. Just all instrumental. I’ve been studying the planets and learning the personalities of each planet. I’ve been doing this for about two years now just in my spare time so to speak.

Which is totally awesome. Not since Holst, as far as I know, has as big a name in music taken on the planets, and I am stoked. Plus, I got to learn something.

You see, Dre’s album will be in surround sound. Know why?

I wanna do it in surround sound. It’ll have to be in surround sound for Saturn to work.

The other planets? Fine. But Saturn? I suppose it’s the only way to get the feel of how expansive those rings truly are.

So have a great weekend, and kudos to you, the one and only D.R.E.!

Comments

  1. #1 Jason
    August 8, 2010

    Holsts’ interpretation of the planets was an astrological one. (Despite this I still enjoy them, ‘Mars’ in particular). Would it make a difference to you if Dre’s interpretation was astrological rather than astronomical?
    If its an instrumental and astrological interpreted it would’nt be full of nonsense babble. I dont know anything about astrology, and hardly anything about astronomy (Im a biology guy, but I still enjoy reading your blog) but would the planets character differ based on which interpretation you took?

  2. #2 Don Rowe
    August 8, 2010

    There’s a goa-trance group that I found in the 90s called The Pleiadians, that did an album of tracks for each of the stars for the star cluster Pleiades, obviously.

    They’ve also done tracks for Zeta Reticuli, the Seven Sisters and others.

    But, I’m with Ethan, I can’t think of anyone that has composed for the planets recently.

  3. #3 Paul
    August 8, 2010

    Sun Ra was a masterful composer and musician who actually travelled to Saturn

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ra

    Most of his compositions have a solar system/space inspiration.

  4. #4 Deen
    August 9, 2010

    Planets have “personalities” now? Are you sure this isn’t an interest in astrology, rather than astronomy?

  5. #5 Doug
    August 9, 2010

    Somehow I think Holst’s work will endure longer, but props to Dre for thinking outside the sphere.

  6. #6 MadScientist
    August 9, 2010

    An American version of Das Lied von der Erde?

  7. #7 MadScientist
    August 9, 2010

    Dang – I’m confusing my Gustavs! Holst (as already mentioned by others) Die Planeten. Well, the earth is a planet …

  8. #8 davem
    August 10, 2010

    Most important question – will he include Pluto? :0)

  9. #9 Leon
    August 10, 2010

    > Not since Holst, as far as I know,
    > has as big a name in music taken on the planets

    Don’t forget Coltrane’s contribution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_Space

  10. #10 Passerby
    August 13, 2010

    There’s quite a bit of space-themed music recorded, beyond the expected space electronica / ambient space music.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-themed_music

    Mention of Sun Ra and his Arkestra brings back memories of what must have been an impromptu concert while he was passing through to Birmingham, performed on the campus quad on an early summer evening at Vanderbilt U, sometime in the early 80s.

    Sun could take a jazz standard line and run with it, his band flowing behind him and above like a dragon-tailed kite.