Most of the artists in the industry now are still trying to come to grips with the current state of the game. Either they are still trying to find their niche or rediscover the one they lost over time. However, Young Dre as a new artist has a clear vision and an uniquely solid foundation that many artists would envy. Not only does he have a deal to record songs for the wildly popular EA Sports games, he also has the backing in the form of a joint company with rock powerhouse Good Charlotte. The song they have together has garnered radio play and is picking up momentum. With this said, his setup to enter the national spotlight is one of the best in a while. So how did this Compton Crip achieve this success flying under the radar? We get into that along with some other topics.
When did you start to see results from rapping?
I can say I started seeing results about 14 or 15. I had Levert’s manager that had seen me in a group I was in and they was at us. It was about then when people start saying my vocabulary was on another level and that I had a dope voice and all that.
Elaborate on your current situation:
I did a publishing deal with EA/Artwerk and we did a digital 3-Song EP deal out on Itunes. I wanted to get involved with them because it seems like this is the future because these games are selling when all the records are not selling. Also right now my record is getting added across the country, so we looking for a partner to increase the marketing dollars. We should know soon who (major label) we will be signing with whether it be Jive, Universal, Atlantic or whatever.
How many games have you been featured on?
Madden, NBA Live, NFL Tour, NHL and I have more coming. The NHL game was really a shocker because they never had a rap record on there.
How did the Good Charlotte connection come about?
I ran into them on the street and got introduced by my manager about five years ago. At one point I was going to a Warner Bros. deal and was looking to a song with Linkin Park. They weren’t available, so they put out a call to Good Charlotte. Benji remembered me and they were looking to get into some hip hop, so they invited me out to their crib to record. Its funny because when I first pulled up they slammed the door when I got out the car. I’m looking like “what the fuck is these whiteboys on”? They thought I was paparazzi and I wasn’t aware of the whole Joel/Nichole (Richie) thing. I freestyled for them, laid down about three songs and the rest is history.
What made you go the rap/rock collaboration?
I’m from the hood and I don’t have a rock background at all. I was interested at that time about making something different. It was just a good musical marriage. They were writing hooks for me thinking that I didn’t want them on the song. I was like “yall are dope on that!”, so I wound up giving them another level of confidence. It just happened without forcing it.
What’s your opinion on the current west coast music scene?
I was originally a part of Aftermath before Game got there. I think its time for an evolution. Its only so many more times we can sell Menace II Society. We have to evolve. We shouldn’t have to rely on Dre or producers from Dre’s cam to determine what our sound is. I’m not into jumping on a bandwagon. If its Glasses or Bishop I might be cool with them, but I don’t have to be on everything that they do. They need their time to shine. Musically I like to hear things that are different. I’m from the hood, so I don’t want to hear about the same stories. You can talk about it, but don’t make it so 1st person. You selling Rambo but you live in a nice house. I’m from a real hood, but I’m trying to be as square as I can! I trying to do everything legal I can do to make money and avoid shootouts. If you still talking about you selling crack and you aint, that’s a problem for me. Keep it authentic West Coast!
What’s coming up in the near future for you?
Right now I’m about to do a 20-30 city tour with Good Charlotte to promote this single. They also have a record coming out that I’m gonna be involved with. More film stuff, merchandising, multi-media and branding things. I also got a mixtape coming out with DJ Skee. So really just pushing!
For more information on Young Dre, go to www.youngdrethetruth.com.