Many Hip Hop enthusiasts may not realizeÂ Yo! MTV Raps’ Doctor DrÃ© played on integral role in Public Enemy’s career. DrÃ©, whose group Original Concept was signed to Def Jam Recordings in the ’80s, was also DJing for the Beastie Boys at the time.
Def Jam co-founder and rap mogul Russell Simmons heard Public Enemy’s demo and didn’t initially take to Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s style Â rap.
“I was the first DJ for the Beastie Boys afterÂ Rick Rubin,” Dre explains to HipHopDX. “I wrote a song with my group Original Concept called ‘Proud ToÂ Be Black’ for Run-DMC’s] Raising Hell album. Prior to that, I got my group signed to Def Jam and after I did that, while on the road, I used to play tapes we made on the bus with everybody. They eventually heard ‘Public Enemy #1’ because the song was a radio promo.
“When I first played it, Russell Simmons] was sleeping on Rick’s bed at NYU and Rick Rubin] heard it and said, ‘Yo, this is a’ight. This is cool,'” he continues. “But me being with the Beasties for so long, they kept telling Rick about it, so I played it for ’em. Russell got up, walked to the tape deck and threw the cassette out the window. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘This is garbage, man. Nobody’s ever going to listen to that.’ Months later â Chuck, myself and former Def Jam exec] Bill Stephney were in the same music class with Harry Allen â after going back and forth with everyone, I basically brought Public Enemy over there.”
Yo! MTV Raps was hosted by DrÃ©, Ed Lover and Fab 5 Freddy from 1989 to 1995. Throughout the show’s run, the dynamicÂ trio interviewed countless Hip Hop luminaries. DrÃ©’s history in the music industry is so deep that the now-blind Hip Hop staple is currently working on a biopic about his life as well as a book.
He has a chance to reveal truths on events like (the other) Dr. Dre’s assault on Dee Barnes and some the inner workings Def Jam.
“There’s a big story to tell,” he says. “For example, when Ice Cube wanted to work with The Bomb Squad Public Enemy’s production team], who did he come speak to about that? Me. Cube met me at Yo! MTV Raps and asked if I could reach Chuck D, so I spent the rest the day tracking down everybody and got it together. Never got credit for it.
“So when I go to watch a movie called Straight Outta Fiction, I mean Straight Outta Compton, and I see things, I go, ‘That didn’t happen that way,'” he adds. “But I don’t have to tell stories. I can just tell the truth.”