Cool & Dre Look To Follow ‘Lean Back’ With A Hits Epidemic

Terror Squad production duo score 'NBA Live' — and a $2 million Jive deal.

Music fans might not know who Cool & Dre are yet, but the music industry apparently does.

The Terror Squad’s in-house production duo, who helmed the red-hot Ja Rule/ Fat Joe/ Jadakiss track “New York” (see “Ja Rule Nearly Extended His R.U.L.E. ), just signed a reported $2 million label deal with Jive Records, who beat out Shady Records and Def Jam in a bidding war.

So now, along with producing high-profile records, including a 50 Cent/ Game collaboration for the latter’s debut (see “G-Unit’s Game Bigs Up The West, With Help From Dr. Dre” ), Cool & Dre are launching Epidemic Records, which will release Tony Sunshine’s debut early next year.

“Me and Cool get compared to a lot of people, I guess ’cause there is two of us and there are a lot of other producer duos,” Dre said. “But a lot of huge producers haven’t even [launched their own label]. And our sound is just starting to get out there now.”

Cool & Dre met in high school in Miami, where the friends formed an R&B group called Basic Unity, and later started a pirate radio station as DJ Cool One and Dirty Dre. The pair started producing soon after, and scored hits with Trina’s “Told Y’all” and Angie Martinez’s “Take You Home.” Work with Carl Thomas, Ginuwine and 8Ball & MJG followed before Cool & Dre officially joined the Terror Squad family.

The duo produced several tracks for the group’s True Story, including the new single, “Take Me Home” (see “Remy Martin Provides Steamy Action On Terror Squad Video Set” ).

“Streetrunner came with the craziest beat, and then Cool and I came with the concept and everything for the song, added a little bass to it and whatnot,” Dre said on the set of the video for the single. “It just came out perfect. It’s a great follow-up to ’Lean Back.’ ”

Next, Cool & Dre, along with DJ Khaled, are executive producing Fat Joe’s upcoming Things of That Nature. Sunshine’s album will follow in early 2005.

“We have one of the hottest songwriters in the game — he wrote ’Yeah!’ for Usher, he’s doing the new Destiny’s Child record — a kid named Sean Garrett. He’s writing the [Sunshine] record right now,” Dre said. “We put a record out there called ’Oh My God’ just to get him bubbling. We got P. Diddy on there.”

“Oh My God” also features Miami rapper Dirtbag, whose LP will be the second release on Epidemic Records. The first single, “Slow Down Lil’ Buddy,” is already a mixtape staple.

Dre is also working on his own album with Fat Joe overseeing. “Me and Cool are putting that together. That’s going to be crazy, but I’m gonna wait for Tony Sunshine’s album to get off and Dirtbag’s album to get off first,” Dre said.

In the meantime, music fans can check out Cool & Dre’s music on the video game “NBA Live 2005,” due in stores next month (see “G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks, Young Buck Team Up For ’NBA Live 2005′ “ ).

“We scored the new ’NBA Live’ ’05 and ’06, so that crazy music you hear in the back, that’s Cool & Dre,” Cool said.

“I could sit here and lie and be like, ’Yeah, you know, we watched the sequencing of the game and created specific music,’ but I will be real with you,” Dre added. “We set up some crazy hot beats and then put the music to it and they were like, ’OK, we are using all these right here.’ And that’s really it.”

So will Dre, who stands at what has to be close to 7′ tall, or the shorter Cool make appearances in the game?

“You know that would be crazy,” Dre said. “Maybe in ’06.”