“Rich Girl” And “Afro Puffs”: 9 Songs For The Ladies We Didn’t Know Dr. Dre Produced
I can name quite a few classic songs off the top of my my head that Dr. Dre produced for some of rap’s heaviest hitters: “Nuthin But A G Thang,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” “In Da Club,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Boyz-n-the-hood” and so on and so forth. But while the new billionaire is known for his beats (you like my play on words there?) he’s done for rappers and the impact they’ve had on hip-hop, he’s also done a number of tracks in R&B and pop music for a little bit of everybody, including the ladies. Here are nine surprising songs by and for the ladies that were produced by Dr. Dre (and if you already knew all these, kudos and a big ‘ol cookie to you!).
“Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani feat. Eve
It’s a simple beat and a song inspired by Fiddler on the Roof, but Dr. Dre was able to flip this it on its head and make it an international Grammy Award-nominated hit. Stefani said that it was a very complicated song to complete, and was the last to go on her album Love. Angel. Music. Baby, because Dre was pushing her to try and write in a whole new way, turning away her work until it was perfect.
“New Day” by Alicia Keys
Many critics say that it’s the beat, and the drums specifically, that make this song work. A track produced by Dre and Swizz Beatz, it’s probably Keys’ most upbeat song to date, but still encompassing the uplifting lyrics and message that we know the singer/songwriter for.
“Not Today” by Mary J. Blige feat. Eve
A song from Mary’s Love & Life album, and one also featured on the soundtrack for Barbershop 2: Back In Business, it’s all about dropping lying, cheating and worthless boyfriends and starting fresh:
“Be a man of your word/Try to love something other than u/But now u can be on your way/Cause I don’t want you to stay”
“Satisfaction” by Eve
If you ask me, this is by far Eve’s best track lyrically (okay…maybe “Love is Blind” is a strong contender), and Dr. Dre is behind the thumping beat that makes you snap your fingers, bob your head and want to do some double dutch jumping like Eve does in the video. The song did well internationally, and was even nominated for a Grammy.
“Supersonic” by J.J. Fad
You’ve probably heard this song sampled by Fergie for her song “Fergalicious,” but really, “Supersonic” stands on its own as an awesome track. One of Dr. Dre’s early production credits, the song, released in ’88, was nominated for a Grammy and helped to make JJ Fad the first female hip-hop trio to go platinum.
“Afro Puffs” by Lady of Rage
One of my favorites from back in the day, Lady of Rage stepped on the scene in a major way in ’94 with “Afro Puffs.” She would do a lot more acting than rapping as time went on (Baby D anyone?), but who didn’t love the ferocious confidence she had on the track? And if you’ve ever put your hair in some temporary afro puffs, you probably felt obligated to sing this in the mirror.
“Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige
Man! Did they play this song out or what? But that’s how things usually go with Dr. Dre-produced jams. The song was actually Blige’s first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (despite her being a major mover and shaker in the industry since the early ’90s), and was one of the biggest songs of the last decade. “Family Affair” was so big that Blige actually performed the song at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and had even the stiffest of folks up and moving.
“Something In My Heart” by Michel’e
We already know that Michel’e’s relationship with Dr. Dre was an extremely tumultuous one, and the former couple first collaborated on music together when Dre produced her self-titled album back in ’89. “Something In My Heart” was one of the songs on that album, and is the singer’s biggest hit.
“Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve
Before working with Gwen Stefani on “Rich Girl,” Dr. Dre first collaborated with her while producing “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” with the No Doubt singer and Eve. The song was huge internationally, peaking at #2 in the States on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and it helped Eve pick up her first Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.