COMPTON — Rapper and music producer Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre, says he will be donating all his artist royalties from his new album,”Compton,” to help fund a new performing arts and entertainment facility here — an idea he says came from the city’s mayor.
“I’m honored that Mr. Young has decided to make a significant investment in his community” said Mayor Aja Brown. “He clearly has a heart for Compton, especially our youth.”
Brown said an arts center would “provide a pathway for creative expression” and training for work in industries that support arts, entertainment and technology “while providing a much-needed safe haven for our youth.”
“Children in urban communities suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome in higher proportions than veterans and they need therapeutic outlets, which arts and drama has proven to provide,” she said. “Compton is a special place and I believe this center will harness our ingenuity and transform our community from within for generations to come.”
Dre announced his decision in an interview on Beats 1 Radio.
“We’ve reached out to Aja Brown quite a few times in the last month or two,” he said. “I’ve been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn’t quite figure out what it was. She actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, ‘Boom, this is what we should do.’”
Dre was criticized two years ago when he and music mogul Jimmy Iovine gave USC $70 million for a new art and technology academy, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some critics questioned why he was not instead giving money to black colleges or schools in Compton.
“We look forward to working with Dr. Dre and his team to develop an amazing place for our community,” Mayor Brown said of the planned arts and entertainment center.
“Compton,” Dre’s first album in 16 years, was released Friday on iTunes. Dre said the album was inspired by a visit to the set of the new film “Straight Outta Compton,” which was the title of Dre’s 1988 debut album with the pioneering rap group N.W.A.