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Dr. Dre: On top of the world

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Record producer, rapper, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, are just a mere four words to describe Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. The founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment, has also become an even bigger star as CEO of Beats by Dr. Dre Electronics.

With six Grammy Awards under his belt, including one for Producer of the Year, the Compton, California native was also featured on Rolling Stone’s list of the"100 Greatest Artists of All-Time".

Since his beginnings a member of the World Class Wreckin Cru and West Coast rap group N.W.A., Dre became a staple in hip-hop with his impeccable production. N.W.A also thrived from fellow member, and pioneer Ice Cube’s controversial lyrics, and the marketing genius of other member and pioneer Eazy E. Serving as the group’s main producer, He is also credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, which is a style of hip hop blended with synthesizer-based, slow and heavy beats.

This was apparent in his 1992 Death Row release The Chronic. With its gritty lyrics Parliament Funkadelic samples, and jaw dropping production, The Chronic became and still is one of the best albums in hip hop history.

Dre was previously the co-owner of, and an artist on, Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including hip hop icons Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Eminem, as well as Xzibit and the Game and of course, rising rap phenom, Kendrick Lamar.

In July, 2008, along with veteran record and entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records, and the chairman of Geffen A&M, where the roster includes Madonna, Robin Thicke, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, and the Black Eyed Peas among others, Dr. Dre released his brand of headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. The line consists of Beats Studio, a circumaural headphone, Beats Tour, an in-ear headphone, Beats Solo & Solo HD, a supra-aural headphone, Beats Spin, Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, also an in-ear headphone, and Diddy Beats.

Beats by Dr. Dre’s product line has primarily focused on headphones and speakers, its headphone line famously places a heavy emphasis on bass, which is intended to address inability for listeners to hear "all" of the music with most headphones. From 2008 through 2012, Monster Cable served as the manufacturer for all Beats products; the company's manufacturing operations have since been taken in-house. The company has also licensed audio technology to other companies for use in their own products, and expanded into the online music industry with its 2012 purchase of MOG, followed by the 2014 launch of its Beats Music service.

Beats' popularity was influenced primarily by its marketing centering on product placement and branding deals with hip-hop and pop musicians. In September 2013, Beats by Dr. Dre was valued at $1 billion.

On May 8, 2014, it was reported that Apple was in negotiations with Beats Electronics to purchase the company for $3.2 billion; if the acquisition were to occur, it would be the largest purchase in company history. It was estimated that the deal could make Dr. Dre the first billionaire in the hip-hop music industry in terms of net worth, assuming that he still holds at least 15% ownership in the company.

This year, Dr. Dre is ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million.

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