Speaking to Kevin Hart on the latter’s Hart to Heart show, Dre shared that he was given the chance to collaborate with both Prince and Michael Jackson, along with other greats like Stevie Wonder, but ultimately “bowed out” of those opportunities.
“They just asked me to work with them and I just was like, ‘What the fuck am I going to do with them?’” he explained. “Those are my fucking heroes.”
Watch a clip of Dr. Dre’s chat with Kevin Hart below.
Following that exchange, per The Hollywood Reporter, Dr. Dre revealed that he had most recently passed on the chance to work with Stevie Wonder, saying that he did not want to affect “the way I feel about Stevie, Prince, Michael, Bruce Springsteen, and all of these amazing artists,” which “could change by working with them.”
“These are my fucking heroes,” Dr. Dre explained. “I like the idea of what I grew up listening to and I want to keep it like that. And I don’t want to fuck up that idea and that look.”
Dr. Dre went on to compare working with artists like Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder – who were already established musicians at the time – and working with artists like Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar at the start of their careers.
“My entire life and career has been dealing with and working with new artists. That’s what I like. Nobody comes in with an agenda,” Dre said. “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. I can’t explore.”
Elsewhere in his conversation with Kevin Hart, Dr. Dre revealed that he doesn’t like “most” of modern hip-hop, but he’s “never gonna hate” on current artists. “Hip-hop is evolving. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it, you know what I’m saying? I’m keepin’ it all the way 100 with you. Some of this shit, most of this shit, I don’t like. I don’t listen to a lot of that shit. But I’m not hatin’ on it. I’m never gonna hate on it.”
Last month, the rapper-producer was awarded the first ever Hip-Hop Icon Award at the 2023 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.