A lot has changed for rapper, producer, and music mogul Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre, who said in the 2001 track “Forgot About Dre” alongside Eminem, “you won’t get a crumb from me, ‘cause I’m from the streets of Compton.”
With the release of his third and final album, which is titled “Compton,” and the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” slated to debut next week, Young has announced plans to give back to those in his hometown in a big way.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Dr. Dre will donate his artist’s royalties from the album to fund a performing arts center for Compton’s youth.
Rap’s wealthiest star told Beats 1 radio’s Zane Low in an interview Thursday, “I’ve been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn’t quite figure out what it was.”
Dre continued, adding Compton’s Mayor Aja Brown “actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, ‘Boom, this is what we should do.'”
Located just south of downtown Los Angeles, Compton was once the center of a brutal gang war, which Dr. Dre and his group N.W.A. brought to the forefront of American pop culture in the late 1980s. With the community undertaking efforts to improve, and with crime and murder rates down, Compton’s residents are happy to receive a gift from one of the city’s most famous natives.
“I got a lot of respect for the man,” 21-year-old Compton resident Tim Williams told The Times Friday. “He doesn’t have to do that. It is amazing.”
Rick Bludso, a former gang member-turned gang interventionist told the paper Dr. Dre’s contribution to the PAC would help at risk youth stay out of trouble.
“It will give kids something to do during these long summers,” Bludso said. “It is real good thing, a real good thing.”
While Compton is making strides in becoming a safer community, at least one city councilwoman feels it is about time Compton embraced its role in popularizing gangster rap music, and praised Dre’s contributions, both past and present.
Janna Zurita told The Times, “We should be benefiting from putting rap and gangsta rap on the map.”
Mayor Brown also spoke of the donation, saying in a statement, “He [Dr. Dre] clearly has a heart for Compton, especially our youth.”