Dr. Dre's Attorney Reveals Disney Offered Him $4M Deal After "The Chronic"
Death Row wouldn’t have been a cultural institute if it hadn’t been for Dr. Dre. The legendary producer’s debut album, The Chronicshifted the sound of the West Coast and hip-hop forever before records like Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle further cemented his Midas touch in the rap game. However, around that time, Disney also had some interest in scooping up Dre for their record label.
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Peter Paterno, Dre’s attorney, recently sat down with Samson Shulman on the Connection is Magic podcast where he detailed Disney’s attempt at procuring the Compton producer on their label. He revealed that the success of The Chronic, which secured the #1 spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and produced two top 10 singles on the Hot 100, sparked interest from Michael Eisner, the former Disney CEO. At the time, Paterno served as the president of Disney’s Hollywood Records and Eisner inquired about his relationship with Dre.
“We’d have these music meetings every week with Michael Eisner at Disney, and Michael Eisner came by and he sees the record’s at No. 1 and he goes, ‘I thought you had a relationship with this guy?’” Paterno recalled. After confirming that he did know Dre, he explained that it might not be in Disney’s best interest to ink a deal with him.
“He said, ‘How come we don’t have this record?’ I go, ‘Well, Michael, let me just read you some of the lyrics… Muthafucka, muthafucka. And you know what this is on the cover? That’s a marijuana leaf.’ The deal was $4 million. He goes, ‘We can’t do that!’ I go, ‘That’s why he’s not on the label.’”
Paterno said that he previously worked alongside Dre when he reached out to him to produce a song for the Disney-signed group, The Party, for their 1992 album Free.