Simply put, producer Cool and Dre are forging the soundtracks to our lives right now. With hit records for The Game and 50 Cent (“Hate it or Love It”), Ja Rule (“New York”), their mentor Fat Joe (“So Much More), Juvenile (“Rodeo”) and most recently Christina Milian and good friend DJ Khaled (“Holla at Me Baby”), the Grammy nominated tandem have fulfilled their almost life long dreams to become the undeniably hottest production team in music today.
Now with their feet firmly planted in the game, it’s time to embark on new goals for the duo. One half of the team, Dre, has finally listened to the urging from his friends like Timbaland, Diddy, Scott Storch, Kanye West and Busta Rhymes and recorded his solo LP.
“I been working on the project for a little bit,” Dre said of his debut, The Trunk, which is slated for release in September. “A lot of my peers influenced me to do the album. They all pushed me to do this album. They said ‘you’ve been given the talent to sing, you can rap and write and make beats. You need to take advantage of that God given talent. My mom told me to never limit myself. So I was like ‘cool.’”
Dre says he named his album The Trunk, as an ode to practices in his hometown of the M.I.A. “The name of the album is called The Trunk because it symbolizes what we do in Miami,” the 6’7 music man describes. “We move everything out the back of the trunk. Cool and I sold beats out the back of the trunk before we hooked up with Fat Joe, we sold a bunch of beats out the back of the car.
“What we would do was play the music and pop the trunk--ause Cool’s Infinity had big speakers in the back--and we would push the music,” he continued. “Juvenile and J.T. Money were one of the first people to buy beats from us. We would make $3,000 dollars cash, $5,000 cash. It was a good living back then for us. You could have a great week and make like $12,500 or something.”
At the top of the year, Dre put out the first offering from his LP, a classic club banger named “Naomi,” which in addition was an undeniable party anthem, paid homage to fiery super model Naomi Campbell. Now it’s time to take it back to the streets with The Trunk’s second single, “Chevy’s Ridin High” featuring Rick Ross. Dre’s follow-up single has a considerably harder edge, and literally takes the listener on ride through a Miami sub-culture.
“Chevys is a big deal, a way of life as far as our culture,” Dre, who’s first Chevy was remolded 1974 convertible complete with candy blue paint and a all digital dashboard, explained. “The way a New York guy wearing a New York Yankee fitted is a way of life for them riding Chevys is our lifestyle. In Miami, you’ll have a box Chevy, or a dunk. Buying it and hooking it up is a way of life. It’s what we do. Now it’s become so popular that other parts of the country are starting to do it as well. I wanted to highlight that and show Miami started it. It’s a status thing when you pushing a Chevy and sitting on big rims, that’s status.”
Other timeless gems on The Trunk, include “Rock Bottom,” where Dre showcases his unimpeachable singing talent, crooning about the inner turmoil we’ve all struggled with at the end of a romance. Meanwhile R&B superstar Keyshia Cole brings her unearthing vocals to the Khaled produced inspirational, “Be Somebody.”
“The Keyshia Cole record is amazing,” Dre tells. “It’s crazy. The hook it says ‘in do time./ One day just wait./ I’mma be somebody…I’mma make it happen./ You’ll see. I’mma make it happen.’”
Christina Milian and Anthony Hamilton also appear on the LP. Storch, Timbaland, DJ Toomp and newcomer LV are among the crop of top flank producers who contributed tracks.
Dre was born his parents only child in New York City and moved to Miami with his family when he was five.
“I grew up with both my parents,” he adds. “We didn’t make enough to be rich. We made a little too much to be poor. We had some months we was good, some months we was dead broke. My mother use