It’s easy to pick a great Dr. Dre beat. Picking 50 of them isn’t too difficult either. Where the task gets hard is in sorting them out.
There are still some people in the XXL offices who are disagreeing with each other over where certain beats fell in the pecking order, and we are sure our faithful readers will do the same. As a matter of fact, we can’t wait to hear what from our readers what we got wrong, why number five should have been number 20, and why some beat we didn’t put on the list should have been included.
So without further ado, let’s get right into the 50 Greatest Dr. Dre beats of all time.
50. “Fight Music” – D12 (2001)
Album: Devil’s Night
A hard-charging, hyper rap-rock cut samples Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” showcased Dre’s versatility on the boards.
49. “Natural Born Killaz” — Dr. Dre & Ice Cube (1995)
Album: Murder Was The Case (The Soundtrack)
The first Dr. Dre and Ice Cube recording since their N.W.A days was an audio massacre. A sinister beat fuels Cube and Dre to spit some of their most brutal verses.
48. “Remember Me” — Eminem (2000)
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP
A brooding and eerie concoction served to be the perfect backdrop for Em, Stick Fingaz, and RBX to spit gruesome bars over.
47. “Boss’ Life” — Snoop Dogg (2007)
Album: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
The Snoop D-O-Double G bosses up over a menacing bass line and delicate keys for smoothed-out G-ride.
46. “Family Affair” — Mary J. Blige (2001)
Album: No More Drama
The rolling bass line and rich keys made for a ubiquitous club banger that everyone could enjoy.
45.“B*tches Ain’t Sh*t” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
The raucous posse cut built from Funkadelic’s “Adolescent Funk,” and MC Shan’s “The Bridge” was a rambunctious example of the Doc’s patented gangster sound.
44. “Fast Lane” — Bilal (2001)
Album: 1st Born Second
Neo-soul meets G-funk for a soul-stirring knock that was street but sweet.
43.“Been There Done That” — Dr. Dre (1996)
Album: Dr. Dre Presents…The Aftermath
Dre’s emancipation from Death Row spawned the cooler-than-thou cinematic cut.
42. “Satisfaction” — Eve (2003)
The blond bombshell was such a f-ing lady over Dr. Dre’s stripped down funky one-two groove
41.“Express Yourself” — N.W.A (1989)
Album: Straight Outta Compton
Co-produced with DJ Yella, the good doctor infused the 70’s soul/funk classic “Express Yourself” (Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) with some of that gangster s**t to express himself.
40. “My Name Is” — Eminem (1999)
Album: The Slim Shady LP
The genius of Em’s debut single lays behind Dre’s decision to keep his presence as minimal as possible, so as this then fairly unknown MC could show and prove on his own.
39.”Ask Yourself A Question” — Kurupt (199
The West Coast icon blessed Kurupt with a sparse bouncy backdrop to perfectly showcase the underrated MC’s talent on mic.
38. “F*ck You” — Dre (1999)
Dre proved that along with the street, the club and the whip, he can also make tracks that knock in the sheets.
37. “Poppin’ Them Thangs” — G-Unit (2003)
Album: Beg For Mercy
Dre gathered muted guitars, dark backdrops and rolling piano stabs to create a timeless head nodder.
36. “Next Episode” — Dr. Dre (1999)
The West Coast legend took David McCallum’s “The Edge” and turned it on it’s head, creating one of the most gangsta, cinematic instrumentals of all time.
35. “Lil’ Ghetto Boy” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
While he borrowed both the song title and the sample from Donny Hathaway, Dre proved to fans that he also had enough soul to compose tunes that would one day put his name amongst the greats.
34. "Westside Story” — The Lame (2004) Album: The Documentary Dre laced the Compton MC with a menacing backdrop for this standout joint from 2005’s The Documentary, with a deep organ sounds and high pitch keys.
33. “Outta Control” Remix — 50 Cent (2006)
Album: The Massacre
The Mighty D-R-E slimmed down his G-Funk sound for the clubs, with this 2006 cut that you could easily dance to or play the wall and bop your head with the rest of the thugs
32. “Afro Puffs” — The Lady Of Rage (1994)
Album: Above The Rim (The Soundtrack
Lifting two grooves from Johnny Guitar Watson (“Superman Lover” and “Love That Will Never Die”), the good Doc concocted an evil sounding, trunk rattling banger for the West Coast rapstress that still rocks rough and stuff 16 years later
31. “Ain’t No Fun” — Snoop Dogg (1993)
This classic track from Snoop’s heralded 1993 debut album, Doggystyle, showcases Dre’s signature laid-back G-Funk sound. Incorporating samples from Issac Hayes (“A Few More Kisses”) and Lynn Collins (“Think [About It]“), gang bangin’ never sounded so smooth.
30. “Keep Their Heads Ringin’ — Dr. Dre (1995)
Album: Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The spacey, funky production on this cut from the Friday soundtrack is still living up to its title 15 years later.
29. “Hello” — Ice Cube (2000)
Album:War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)
Dre and MC Ren hopping on this track from War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)created an N.W.A. reunion and Dre provided an updated sound to go along with it.
28. “Heat” — 50 Cent (2003)
Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’
50 Cent luh dem gun sounds, and the Doctor laced him with plenty, as a gun being cocked provided the percussion on this Get Rich or Die Tryin’ banger.
27. “Forgot About Dre” — Dr. Dre (1999)
To this day, this stringy 2001 standout remains one of the best collaborations between Dr. Dre and Slim Shady.
26. “F*ck Tha Police”— N.W.A (198
Album: Straight Outta Compton
One of the most controversial songs in hip-hop history wouldn’t have been the same without Dre’s aggressive, drum-heavy production.