Later this year when if Detox drops, Dr. Dre will sell millions of records, and once again be praised as a hip-hop genius.
But what exactly is Dre's role on his own album? We know he doesn't write his lyrics, and that's cool. However, we're unclear the hand he has in producing the beats, and for many, that's not cool.
Mahagony, a producer who worked with Dre on the last album revealed this about working with The Doctor:
"It's like a class room in [the booth]. He'll have three writers in there. They'll bring in something, he'll recite it, then he'll say. 'Change this line, change this word,' like he's grading papers."
By Dre's own admission, he does the same with his producers. So, Dr. Dre's new role is as a teacher. He mentors the best music out of his proteges, and understudies like Hi-Tek and Scott Storch have publicly praised him for it, even as they share the production credit on a song.
WHO ARE YOU PRODUCING FOR?
Many people who work in the entertainment business shiver at the thought of someone else ushering their creative work. I feel them on that. Even though I have two generous and wise mentors, I don't hit them on the hip as much as I should.
Here's what surprises me though. Whenever I suggest to my colleagues that they should play the Dre role and actively school other people, they wrinkle their noses and wonder if they have enough expertise to qualify as someone's Yoda.
That's stupid. If you have 1 year in the game you are qualified to help someone who is 6 months in. And 6 monthers can help the college students.
If you know how to shoot with an HD camera, then you are qualified to help anyone else who doesn't know how. There's no certification board who will stamp your credentials and announce that you have arrived. You can be a Dr. Dre to someone at whatever level you're at now.
BECOME A SUPER PRODUCER
Teaching is not charity for someone else's career. It's the fastest way to establish yourself as a Dr. Dre. style super producer, an authority in your work with people who will spread the word about your expertise.
With my own walk in the industry, my employers have been most fascinated with the teaching I did for other people, not just my personal projects or work history.
I taught SOHH about blogging, before we ever exchanged money. I set up mini-seminars at Vibe Magazine and taught the staff how to blog. I created an email list to share everything I know about web publishing so the bloggers in my circle could succeed.
So, when it came time for me to be considered for an editorial job at About.com, a web content startup that was sold to the NY Times, I emphasized my resume of teaching to prove my authority.
It helped that their rap blogger, Henry Adaso was my former employee. I previously hired him as the Houston blogger for SOHH. He smashed it for me there, and carried on his excellence to About.com.
The final result? My new boss, Eric Hanson said I was an easy hire.
CHANGE THE GAME
There's nothing spectacular about my story. Being competent will get you in the entertainment business, but being an expert will keep you there. And the best way to grow your expertise and be recognized as one is to teach.
That's where social media changes the game. I don't have a protégé, in the traditional sense. I have thousands of potential protégés and they find what I have to offer over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, or wherever they hang.
I create or share things that are helpful first, and worry about having an audience second. And somehow, the audience comes. And if they learn from me, they'll stick with me. And if they stick with me, they'll talk about me.
And when that happens, I won't have to prove my expertise to anyone, even Spitler.
Haven't you heard?
I retired this blog 3 years ago, but now I'm back with a new project, Shyne style. Before Jamal Barrow releases another mush mouth track, I plan to start a new blog about careering in the entertainment industry, and shut down this one forever.
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