Formerly victims of cops and censors, today's N.W.A members are victims of their own success.
At the turn of the century, Dre and fellow original members Ice Cube and MC Ren as well as Snoop Dogg (filling in for the late Eazy-E) recorded a track for the "Next Friday" soundtrack, performed together on television and the Up in Smoke Tour, and talked of an N.W.A reunion album called Not Those N****z Again (see "Dr. Dre Talks N.W.A Reunion; Track Surfacing On 'Next Friday' ").
Two years later, the reunion album is still just talk.
"I would love to do it, but it's just like, that seems like a project that is close to impossible to get done because all of us are doing so much other stuff," Dre said recently. "You can't make a record if you can only get together once a month. It would be really difficult."
As one of the most in-demand producers in the game, Dre's 2002 schedule includes albums by veterans Eminem, Xzibit and Rakim as well as newcomers Truth Hurts, Knoc-Turn'Al and Shaunta.
And Dre, who along with his production work is also recording his next solo release (see "Dr. Dre's Final Album Will Be Hip-Hop Musical"), is not the only rapper straight outta Compton with a busy schedule. Cube and Snoop are both recording albums and working on their burgeoning acting careers.
"This is how it would take place," Dre explained. "All of us would have to get together and go out of town for like a month. If we just stayed around each other for a month just to get it started and get it rollin' and get everybody excited about it, then I think it could happen. All of us being here in L.A., [it will] never happen."
Actually, the N.W.A reunion album is not the only high-profile project Dre has set aside because of his cluttered calendar. He also has yet to begin work on Chairmen of the Board, a dual album with Timbaland.
"We're still talking about it, actually," Dre said. "The idea hasn't dissolved away. Again, it's just a matter of us finding the time to come in and get it down. I'm not sure how we would do it, but it would definitely be most of the new artists we [are] working with involved in it."
Dre's Detox isn't due until 2003, but plenty of his production work will be heard in the next few months with the releases of The Eminem Show and Truth Hurt's Truthfully Speaking.
For a feature interview with Dr. Dre see "Dr. Dre: At Home In The Studio."