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Revealed! How Rockstar Convinced Dr Dre to Appear in GTA 5

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No one anticipated Dr Dre, the West-coast rapper who stars in his own campaign in Grand Theft Auto Online, to release a whole EP of songs in the game when Rockstar revealed Dr Dre would be starring in his own campaign.

To put things in perspective, Dr Dre has not released any new music since his previous album, Compton, which came out in 2015.

So, how did Rockstar persuade one of the most legendary rappers of all time to provide his voice to a video game with such a prominent role?

A recent interview with BET Music (which is geo-locked outside of the United States) reveals what it was like to have Dre in the studio with Rockstar North’s Head of Development Rob Nelson.

It was important for him to be completely integrated so that the story made sense, and it was important for us to make sure his music had the effect it deserved, according to Nelson. “Our thinking was something like this: how can we incorporate Dre into this experience at every level, and how can we get there in a manner that seems credible and enjoyable? As a result, we essentially designed the game around him, rather than simply his music.”

That being said, it was DJ Pooh, a producer and long-time friend of Dre, who was ultimately responsible for getting Dre to collaborate with Rockstar in the first place.

A creative consultant and writer for GTA 5 and Online, DJ Pooh also served as a presenter on the West Coast Classics in-game radio station before joining Rockstar.

“Rockstar reminds me of Def Jam back in the day,” DJ Pooh stated in an interview with BET Music. “Early on, you would go to a record shop and pick up a record just for the reason that it had the Def Jam logo on it. You had a feeling it was going to be good. You already knew it wasn’t going to be a snoozer. And I had the same feelings about Rockstar’s games and its overall excellence.”

As a means to prepare for the future, Pooh approached Dre about collaborating with Rockstar on the Cayo Perico Heist update. This collaboration would ultimately lead to the creation of The Contract.

Dre was the first to raise his voice in opposition: “Initially, the answer was simply no. But that’s the standard response you’ll hear from Dre. Dre, on the other hand, is not a gamer, therefore the response was original no. He just did not participate in any of the games. It’s not that he hates them or anything; he just did not participate in them. He said something to the effect of “I don’t manufacture items for kids.”

Persistent in his pursuit of Dre, Pooh brought over his PlayStation (probably 4) loaded with a copy of Grand Theft Auto V to his residence and gave him the controller. “He was really taken aback. The fact that you can do all this stuff – all the levels of gameplay that people are referring to as the metaverse, but it’s much more than that – is something he didn’t know “DJ Pooh expressed himself.

“The fact that I was driving around in a lowrider made him exclaim, ‘This crap is great.’ The three of us are out here changing out the rims on the vehicle, participating in a firefight, hanging out with my pals, and I’ve even met someone new.”

Dre was impressed by the game itself, as well as the music and soundtrack, and he started to place his confidence in Rockstar Games as a result.

Dre immediately got to work on the music for the update, which ended in the release of The Contract EP, which included guest performances from Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and the late Nipsey Hussle, among others.

After being launched on three different generations of consoles, GTA 5 and Online has proven to be a fantastic success for Rockstar.

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