This week on People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Kweli and Jasmin Leigh are joined by a straight-up legend — The D.O.C. Originally from Dallas, Texas, The D.O.C. found his way to a deal on NWA’s groundbreaking Ruthless Records and exploded onto the scene. His debut album, No One Can Do It Better, produced by Dr. Dre, drew rave reviews and hit number one in three months.
Then tragedy struck. The D.O.C. lost control of his car one night while drunk (which nearly killed him) and left his vocal cords irreparably crushed. This summer a documentary about his life drops featuring superstars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, and Eminem among others. In the lead up to that release, The D.O.C. sat down on Peoples Party with Talib Kweli to talk about his life before and after the crash. He shared his life as a ghostwriter and lyrical coach to rappers like Snoop Dogg as Death Row was on the rise. He also talks about being one of the lyrical architects of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, which shifted hip-hop’s sound forever.
A few years after Death Row collapsed, The D.O.C. found himself locked up in Texas. Kweli noted that in a previous interview, “You said that being in jail was easier than being in the studio with Death Row at that time.” This led The D.O.C. to reflect on how gang culture and economic greed ruined so much of the original power rap had.
“LA gang culture is a weird thing man,” he notes. “Like it has so much testosterone in it, that it puts you in a place that makes it difficult for you to grow — as a person.”
Reflecting deeper, The D.O.C. noted, “I love where the Dogg is right now. He walks that line so well today. That’s the demonstration I would like these young guys to see — so they could walk that line. That it’s cool to be a real one, but don’t be a real asshole.” Pausing calmly he stated with supreme clarity “We are not our worst enemies. We are our only hope.”
For more of this fascinating interview with The D.O.C. watch People’s Party with Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh.