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Dr Dre didn't realise that Eminem was white when he first heard his music

Dr Dre didn't realise that Eminem was white when he first heard his music

He had no idea after first hearing the rapper's tape

Dr Dre didn’t know Eminem was white when he first heard him rapping and wanted to work with him.

Dre is credited with bringing Eminem to the masses, having signed him up to Aftermath Entertainment and releasing The Slim Shady LP in 1999, launching him into the mainstream and public consciousness.

You don’t need me to tell you that Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, has since gone on to super stardom and is widely considered one of the best rappers of all time.

However, what you might not know is that when Dre first heard - and was impressed by - Eminem’s rapping he had no idea that he was a white man.

In an interview with Vibe magazine, Dre said: “When I heard Em for the first time, I didn't even know he was White. I just knew I wanted to work with him. And that kind of actually made it better for me, because it was so different.”

Dr Dre helped launched Eminem's career.
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The pair share a close personal relationship, as well as a professional one, and Dre was on hand to induct Eminem into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.

During his speech, Dre shared the story of how the two came to meet and work together, explaining: “Over 20 years ago, [music producer] Jimmy Iovine played a demo tape for me from a guy who called himself Eminem.

“The first thing I said when I heard it was, ‘What the f**k did he just say?’ I loved it so much, I couldn’t stop listening to it.

“A few days later, Jimmy called me and said, ‘Hey Dre, you know that’s a white guy, right? That completely f**ked me up… it didn’t even cross my mind.”

In a documentary from 2015 Dre admitted that he ‘had no idea’ that Eminem wasn’t black ahead of planning their first meeting.

Dr Dre didn't realise Eminem was a white man when he first heard his tape.
Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

He said: “This time I had no idea he was a white guy, I didn't find that out until a few days later. I was, like, ‘what the f**k?’”

Despite initially getting some pushback from his team at the time, Dre stuck to his guns and backed Eminem all the way.

Speaking during the Rock & Hall of Fame induction, he went on: “Each of us was exactly what the other one needed – and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”

He went on to say that Eminem ‘brought hip-hop to middle America’. So, it’s fair to say he’s probably still very pleased with his decision to sign Eminem up.

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US/Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Eminem, Music, Dr Dre