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Requiem for Dr. Dre’s Kids’ Music Careers

For those who already know of my obsession with wanting to report on Dr. Dre’s children, I promise this is the last post (unless someone pays me handsomely to do a follow-up, or either Hood Surgeon or Manaj become newsworthy).

When I was on the trail of Hood Surgeon some 4 years ago, I also came to know Manaj (pronounced Mi-NAJ), a woman from Southern California’s San Fernando Valley who also rode the “I come from Dre,” wagon. She was pushing a documentary called Daddy’s Shadow at the time. She even had a little online marketing action going that included a description of the flick:

Daddy’s Shadow is a feature-length documentary centered on my quest to break into the music industry despite my legendary multi-millionaire father’s objections and lack of support.

A-huh. Right.

I got to meet Hood Surgeon, who confirmed that Manaj was his sister. I attempted on several occasions to meet up with her, but each time the plans fell through. I found her a bit more intriguing that the young Curtis McLemore, mainly because of the mess Manaj seemed to be in. She was coming out and saying that Dr. Dre stood in her way and didn’t want her in the industry. Okay. To make matters all the more interesting, she was planning to put out this documentary under a company called Wigga Wreckords, which was run by a guy calling himself Judge M.

I spoke to Judge M who told me his name was Matt and that he was a computer programmer. He seemed pleasant enough. I could tell he was just trying to ride Manaj’s affiliation to see how far he could go in the industry. Amazon show’s he had a .99 offering entitled “What a Wigga Iz.”  He later got really defensive on the phone when I started to ask him about why he was working with Dre’s daughter, and asked him to respond to her allegations he was somehow manipulating her. Later I saw the cover of his album. This is wrong on so many levels. So many levels.

I wish I was making all of this up. But it’s true.

Just to prove it to you, after the jump is my unedited working draft from this story. Several drafts of it were sent to colleagues and editors whose interest level was something like -10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

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Return of Curtis (Mclemore)

 

Curtis Mclemore, whose professional name is “Curtis Young (Dr. Dre’s son)” is back (at least I expect him to be). I’ve told you about him before, in this post.

What better time than now to re-extend the 15 minutes he got some 3 years ago. It looks like he want trying to put something out in April.  Maybe his sources kept telling him Detox was soon to come out. He even put on his grownfolks clothes for an album cover.

__You can’t deny that he looks like Andre Young. You have to give him some props       though, because how many people can ride the coat tails of Detox, without ever having cut a track for Doc Dre?

__According to one blog post written at the time, “There had never been any real _association between father and son until recently in 2007 when Dr. Dre agreed to _produce tracks for his opening act. Aside from this, Curtis had previously met Dre _at the age of 21.”

*update*

I came across this Vibe.com piece (Next Generation: Stepping Off the Bandwagon) about the gang of famous rapper kids who came on the block a minute ago:

Hood Surgeon:
To fill in the shoes of one of the most influential producers and artists in Hip Hop may seem like an impossible task at feet, but Hood Surgeon is far from falling short of the challenge. From his introduction into the game at 12 as part of a group called Lyrical Assassins, to starting productions just three years ago, it is quite evident that Hood Surgeon is following in the same footsteps as his father but leaving his own footprints while at it.

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Chasing the Hood Surgeon: On finding a son of Dr. Dre

In 2006, after reading online that Dr. Dre had a son recording tracks under the name Hood Surgeon, I got the hair brain idea I would find him and write about it for the L.A. Times.

It was an experience that gave me some good practice as a reporter. I tracked him down all the way to a home-built recording studio in Corona, CA. I also got a hold of his sister, Manaj, who was also trying to become a recording artist, charging that her bloodline to Dr. Dre gave her the right. Both were telling me that dad wouldn´t help them get on. Worst of all, after I did all the interviews and running around and writing, nobody wanted to touch my work, either.

A couple reporters at the paper tried to help me out. Zilch, nada.  Nobody cared about Dre´s offspring. All they cared about was, ¨When is Detox coming out?¨

So, here I present to you gentle reader, in all of its unedited, 2006 glory my never-ran story on Dr. Dre´s two kids. Enjoy

¶    Inside the tiny recording booth, above a custom detail shop in the Inland Empire, a young man, at least 6’2, raps into a microphone. His back to the Plexiglas partition, he rhymes fiercely. Starting and stopping…assuring clarity in ever phrase.
“Stop. Go Back,” says the recording engineer, Rik Brown. “Hear the kick?”
It’s a process that takes longer to complete than one would imagine. How hard is it to rhyme into a microphone?
Using the moniker, “Hood Surgeon,” the rapper, born Curtis McClemore (he likes to tell people it´s young, but CA business records show otherwise), needs a deft hand to continue a legacy that has defined rap music in the West.

A fan of 90’s rap music, McClemore says he always was a fan of N.W.A’s music, but he also held admiration for East Coast rap. “I ain’t gonna lie, I grew up on Wu-Tang. I used to like how they put their lyrics together.”

“I thought the East Coast was the ones. Then when I found out,” he says referring to when his mother told him who his famous father was, “I was like, ‘the West,’ this is where it is.”

He said as he delved into the music characterized by the G-Funk sound made so famous by his father.

It was a zeitgeist for him, at 12, finding out he was Dr Dre’s first-born, “It pushed me harder. I said I was going to meet him one day.”

Long Road to meet his father

To the left of a flat panel computer screen showing Pro Tools rests a picture with a thin black frame. In it, Dr Dre stands next to a slightly taller version of himself, Curtis. It was at the “8-Mile” premier.
The picture shows a strange mix of nervous familiarity, and in some way resembles the kind of unfamiliarity a fan might share with his idol. It also exists on his myspace page. Further proof that he is who he claims to be.

Unlike his half-sister Latoya Young, who says that she’s always known who her father was, “Since I was 3.”
McClemore, who likes to say his last name is Young, didn’t meet Dr Dre until he hit legal drinking age.
“It’s like crazy growing up, not knowing who your real dad is, ” he says.

From his early 20’s, Dr Dre has documented his gritty upbringing on the streets of Compton. A founding member of seminal gangster-rap collective, N.W.A, Dre is often credited with creating the ever popular West Coast ‘G-Funk,’ a synth-heavy sound with a deep bass line that recalls the beauty and danger of California life.

McClemore, born in 1981, would have been born when Dre was 16.

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