Dr. Dre initially turned down GTA Online because ‘I don’t make things for kids’

Late last year GTA Online added The Contract, a bunch of new story content bringing back one of the main GTA 5 protagonists Franklin and debuting new music from the legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre. This followed a brief Dre cameo in 2021's Cayo Perico update, but according to a new interview with DJ Pooh the whole shebang barely happened: because Dre said “I don't make things for kids.”

A recent show on the UK's Channel 5 (which has now sadly disappeared from its on-demand service) called The Oral History of How Dr. Dre joined 'Grand Theft Auto The Contract' features DJ Pooh explaining further (thanks, Kotaku).

“Initially it was just no. But the answer was initially no because Dre’s not a gamer. He just didn't play any of the games. It's not like he dislikes them or something, he just didn't play them. He was like I don't make things for kids.”

You'd think someone so into the chronic would at least have had a bash on Mario Kart, but I suppose the life of a jet-set baller is a busy one. DJ Pooh thought Dre just didn't quite get what GTA had become over the years, and so insisted on bringing over his console so they could check it out.

“He was blown away. He didn't know you could do all this stuff—all the layers of gameplay that people are calling the metaverse, but it's doper than that. He was like, 'This shit is awesome,' and he's seeing me driving around in a lowrider. We out here putting different rims on the car, getting in a shootout, hanging out with my friends, I got a girlfriend–all that!”

Following his tour of the game, Dre had a change of heart. The deal was made with Rockstar and, as well as new music, Dre provided voiceover work and motion capture.

It's especially notable to me that DJ Pooh out of nowhere references the metaverse, because it's obviously one of those buzzwords of the moment and GTA Online often gets dragged into these conversations. The difference is that GTA Online is wildly successful, aims only to be GTA Online, but has this incredibly rich layer of options that let players roleplay in in so many different ways. Dr. Dre is one of those artists that has been consistently ahead of the curve, and stayed relevant his entire career. So it's no surprise that, when the he got a glimpse of GTA's potential, he set out to operate.