Dee Barnes Responds to Dr. Dre’s Apology

Dr. Dre’s ‘young and dumb’ rebuttal isn’t sitting well with a victim

Last week, Dr. Dre was riding on top of the world. The F. Gary Gray-directed N.W.A.biopic, Straight Outta Compton, inspired by and based on his, and his band of brothers’ usurp of the music industry and their changing of the mainstream Black, inner-city narrative, debuted at #1 at the box office, with weekend sales of over $50 million. Furthermore, his somewhat-surprise new album, Compton, was extremely well-received, and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts with over 250,000 first-week units sold.

However, everything wasn’t all gravy for the Beats by Dre head honcho. The domestic abuse allegations that have hung over Dre since his Chronic/2001 days were re-highlighted during this current run, most notably, Dee Barnes, the journalist who claims she was black-balled from the industry after being physically assaulted by the rapper and producer. After an admission of guilt in the New York Times from Dre, Barnes responded with a story, published on Gawker.com, in which she detailed not only the horrific nature of her abuse, but why she feels Dre should not be excused because of a generic apology over 20 years later. An excerpt is below.
In 1999, eight years after the incident, Dr. Dre added insult to injury by producing and releasing the Eminem single “Guilty Conscience.” This song was no “fucking mistake.” Em’s rap brought up Dre’s violent past while accusing him of hypocrisy: “You gonna take advice from somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?” Eminem also rapped: “Mr. Dre, Mr. N.W.A., Mr. A.K. coming, Straight Outta Compton, y’all better make way. How in the fuck are you gonna tell this man not to be violent?”

Dr. Dre Issues An Apology To All The Women He Has Hurt

Dr. Dre has been on a winning streak. He’s on the top of the Forbes list, and the movie Straight Outta Compton reigned in the box office as well as the soundtrack which he produced. Which is no surprise that his troubled past is haunting him in the midst of all this success. The biopic omitted Dre’s alleged assaults on women including former journalist Dee Barnes, however, it is said that the assault was included in the original script.

Dr. Dre addressed the issue in the following statement released to the New York Times:

Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.

He also addressed the issue in his Rolling Stone cover story with Ice Cube saying:

I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true—some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.

Apple also decided to back up their consultant with the following statement:

Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed

The women at the center of the allegations are hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes, Michel’le, an R&B singer and Dr. Dre’s former girlfriend, and Tairrie B, a onetime label mate, have all come together to tell their stories with the help of social media. Barnes argues that her coming out after the release of Straight Outta Compton isn’t opportunistic and the N.W.A members are the ones who brought up the past with the film.

The women have yet to respond to Dr. Dre’s apology. Stay tuned for any updates on this story.

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Read Dee Barnes’ Essay Addressing the Exclusion of her Assault from Straight Outta Compton

“The truth is too ugly for a general audience” – Dee Barnes on why she was left out of the Straight Outta Compton film. Continue reading Read Dee Barnes’ Essay Addressing the Exclusion of her Assault from Straight Outta Compton