Dr. Dre debuts 'I Need a Doctor' video, pays tribute to Eazy-E: See it here!

Another footnote to the Ruthless Records era has just been written. Dr. Dre debuted his new video for “I Need a Doctor,” the second single off his third—and, supposedly, final—album, Detox. And it does feel like a career-capper. Check it out:


Full of images from Dre’s early days with N.W.A., it metaphorically imagines the life, death and rebirth of the elder statesman of West Coast hip-hop. “I Need a Doctor” begins with Dre standing atop a cliff, staring out at an ocean Inception-style, before cutting to fleeting, impressionistic snapshots of his earlier videos, spanning from N.W.A. to his Death Row days up to the Aftermath era with his protégé Eminem. After Dre endures a horrific car crash and finds himself on life support, Eminem raps about how he’d never have made it without the Good Doctor’s help and guidance. At one point, Dre even seems to appear in a bacta tank, the recuperative fluid-chamber Luke Skywalker takes a dive in in The Empire Strikes Back. (See Lady Gaga’s not the only artist who includes Star Wars references in her videos!)

Thematically, “I Need a Doctor” is something like Dre’s “Paparazzi,” full of rage against those who sell out the ones they supposedly love. As with most rap mythology, he’s clearly overstating his case—working hard producing and signing new talent doesn’t mean you’re down and out. And the video clearly devolves into shameless flaunting of his hard body near the end. But this definitely makes us hungry for an N.W.A. movie. Especially with that final close-up shot of the grave of Eric Wright (a.k.a Eazy-E), his Ruthless colleague and N.W.A. partner whose falling out with Dre involved allegations of kidnapping and even the intervention of the Jewish Defense League until they reconciled shortly before his death from AIDS in 1995.

For those hoping to catch a glimpse of Skylar Grey, who memorably performed the Grand Guignol chorus of “I Need a Doctor” at the Grammys Feb. 13—and who spoke to EW earlier this week—the vid must surely be a disappointment. Instead of this being Grey’s video coming-out party, a spectral Estella Warren parrots her chorus while floating in space like some hip-hop version of the Ghost of Christmas Past.

What do you think?

More from EW.com:
N.W.A. biopic takes shape: Your dream cast?
N.W.A. biopic, ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ in development

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • TC

    This video is amazing. I loved the flashbacks to his NWA days and clips from the other artists that he’s worked with. People forget what a prolific producer this guy is. I’m beyond happy that “Detox” is finally coming out and can’t wait to hear more. The album and that video in particular are fitting tributes to his amazing career. That scene at the end shows everybody that he hasn’t forgotten who helped him become who is today and we shouldn’t either.

  • Sally in Chicago

    I wonder if we’re going to see these rap guys in their 60s rapping? I mean most of them are in their 40s now….are they going to be like Aerosmith, still rapping when they’re 60?

  • kyle

    @Sally

    Probably not, this is his final album. He’s been “working” on it for almost 10 years.

  • Kristin

    The ending really got to me. Video of the year imo.

  • G

    The video was really emotional and the ending was very nice with his tribute to his friend. I love the flashback sometimes ppl forget how far they have come. Overall great video.

  • m

    Easy E was a fraud. Look what happened to him when Ice Cube stopped writing his rhymes. Easy was crap.

    • ree

      ignorant fool. Eazy was the reason NWA Existed you idiot just to let you know that when ice cube left eazy still continued and had a very successfull career even launching another great rap group bone thugs so you should take you ignorance somewhere else .

    • Justin Goldberg

      Ez was a fraud? I can’t even dignify that remark. YOU REVEAL YOUR OWN IGNORANCE. You obviously have no clue what what your talking about.

  • PN

    It’s about time that he respected his early days with his former rap group N.W.A. in the late ’80s that led him to be a successful producer and rap artist as well as having major hits with Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent for this video. I heard the song at the Grammy Awards and he’s still on point with those funky yet catchy beats and music! And the tribute to Eazy-E was very well respected. I remember Eazy’s raunchy rhymes on his records, yet it fit with his persona.

    • RuthlessPropaganda

      I agree.
      Eazy-ECPT.com Keeping the Legacy and memory of Eric Wright ALIVE

  • l

    estella warren is the angel/ghost

    • ziggy

      you’re right; i think skylar grey is the female doctor with the glasses…

  • ree

    finally some respect and tribute to eazy e good tune dre :)

  • Chewy

    I absoulety love this song. It have so much meaning behind it and the words are just so powerful.

  • ziggy

    This video is really powerful. I love the somber narrative and those shots of him being rehabilitated (amazing physique!) Also, Eminem is so passionate as a rapper and “actor.” Love his performance!

  • RuthlessPropaganda

    The video is OK. only part that was touching was the final scene of DRE at Eric (Eazy-E)Wright ‘s Grave.
    RIP Eazy-E
    It’s a shame it took this long for DRE to even show any kind of love publicly to Eazy. It’s a good thing for all those who love and have been showing Eazy-E respect since his last day.
    The best site around keeping Eazy-E’s Legacy Alive today is Eazy-ECPT.com

  • tj

    if we see eazy’s grave, why dont we seee pac’s… hmmmm

    • jules

      because he’s shouting out to his NWA days. tupac was not in NWA and isn’t relevant.

  • shaun rammutla

    dre is the best,he knows these hiphop game,detox i cant wait to put my huge ears unto it lookout for detox

  • Fred

    The lyrics may be great, but the song is weak. It sounds like one of those easy-to-forget tracks from anyone of Eminem’s records.

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