Dr Dre reveals he turned down the chance to produce his “heroes” Prince and Michael Jackson: “What am I going to do with them?”

Dr Dre
(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

They say that you should never meet your heroes, but for Dr Dre, it seems that this maxim extends to getting in the studio with them.

Speaking on Kevin Hart’s Hart to Heart show about who he had the opportunity to work with but didn’t, Dre admitted that “there’s a couple of times in my career where I fucking bowed out.” And it turns out that these times involved two of the biggest names in the history of popular music.

Asked by Hart who he’d turned down, Dre said: “Prince, Michael Jackson,” notes The Hollywood Reporter.

A clearly startled Hart then enquired: “You bowed out from working with them? Both of them?”

“Yeah,” replied Dre. “They just asked me to work with them.”

Justifying his decision to pass, Dre said: “What the fuck am I going to do with them? Those are my fucking heroes.”

More recently, Dre reveals that he was also approached by Stevie Wonder, but again, he said no. “I like the idea of what I grew up listening to and I want to keep it like that,” he explains. “And I don’t want to fuck up that idea and that look.”

Dre also suggests that working with artists of this stature could be creatively limiting.

“My entire life and career has been dealing with and working with new artists,” he points out. “That’s what I like. Nobody comes in with an agenda. It’s a ball of clay when they walk in the room. You can just form it and do what you want. That’s what I want. Everybody else, especially my heroes, they’re coming in and there’s a set plan as to how the shit should sound, ya know. I can’t, I can’t explore.”

Dr Dre has produced records for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Snoop Doggy Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.  

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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