Dr. Dre Resurfaces With Plans For Second Solo LP

Legendary producer/rapper's follow-up to 1992 debut slated to feature new protégé Eminem.

After seven years away, reclusive superstar rap producer Dr. Dre said

he plans to break his silence as a solo artist with the release of his

sophomore album this June.

"I'm working on my next album right now," Dre (born Andre Young) said

recently while laying down tracks in an L.A. studio. "I'm trying to go

for a June release. It's called The Chronic 2000 (Still Smokin')."

(RealAudio excerpt of interview)

He said the album -- his first solo disc since 1992's multiplatinum

The Chronic -- is slated to feature at least two or three tracks

with his former protégé Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus). It was with

Snoop that Dre recorded some of the most enduring gangsta rap/funk

tracks of the decade, including such songs as their signature hit "Nothin' But a 'G' Thang."

Following his departure from trailblazing gangsta rap group N.W.A in

1992, Dre helped co-found the wildly successful gangsta rap label

Death Row Records. Dre pioneered the G-funk sound -- a mixture of

gangsta rap lyrics and old-school funk samples -- on his solo debut,

The Chronic, helping to establish Death Row as a powerhouse in

the hip-hop world.

After splitting with the label in 1996, Dre formed his own label,

Aftermath Records, the same year and released the poorly received 1997

sampler entitled Dr. Dre Presents ... The Aftermath.

With the exception of that album, Dre has kept a low profile with his

work in producing and rapping since 1992. Besides sitting behind the

boards on Snoop Dogg's first album, Doggystyle, he has made only

sporadic cameos, including a duet with Ice Cube on 1994's "Natural Born

Killaz," and with Tupac Shakur on 1996's hit single "California Love."

Now that he has resurfaced onto the rap scene, Dre is bringing along

some support from those he has worked with in the past as well as some

newer hip-hop friends.

"Snoop will be on there, of course and I think [former N.W.A partner

Ice] Cube will probably do something," Dre said. "And a new guy named

Hit Man, Kurupt and of course Slim Shady," he added, referring to his

latest MC find, rapper Eminem (born Marshall Mathers).

With the single "My Name Is" (RealAudio excerpt)

from his soon-to-be-released major-label debut, Slim Shady LP

(Feb. 23), beginning to gain steam, Eminem said being involved with

Dre's album was an unexpected coup.

"It's real exciting," said the rapper, whose debut features a handful

of Dre-produced tracks. "Just to even partake in it. I won't lie,

that's like a dream come true type of sh--."

Following Dre's lead, Eminem said he was not yet at liberty to discuss

the names of the Chronic 2000 tracks on which he is slated to

appear.

As for the expected comparisons between himself and ex-Dre mate Snoop

Dogg, Eminem said he understands the connection and promised not to

let Dre down.

"I can see the comparison," Eminem said. "I won't disappoint [Dre]. I

may offend people, but I won't disappoint them."