Tracy Curry’s mom wanted him to be a great serviceman. He wanted to be a great rapper. “I got the first flight I could,” he says. “I had a bag and a basketball and I just left.”
It’s the origin story of The D.O.C., the man who would convince Dr. Dre to record a solo album, who wrote some of Eazy-E’s best songs, who went platinum on his debut album, 1989’s No One Can Do It Better. A car wreck took his voice from him. But as Zac found while profiling the man, it didn’t take his mind.
Late last month, he sat across from Tim, Zac, and me at Table No. 1 at the Old Monk, tracing the history of his career and his plans for the future. He wants to create infrastructure for artists here in Dallas, so they don’t have to leave like he had to. “Give us our due, goddammit,” he says. “Our due” might just wind up being Death Row South, after Doc’s buddy Snoop Dogg scooped up the rights to the label.
For anyone interested in the history of rap music and Dallas’ place in it, this is a must-listen. Doc, as everyone knows him, went from walking from his home near Westmoreland and Ledbetter to changing the face of popular music. But you wouldn’t know that if you stuck to the lore; even in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Doc is reduced to little more than a side character.
Luckily, he has his own documentary to set the record straight. The DOC premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Snoop has signed on as a producer to help find distribution. (Watch Eminem geek out trying to rap Doc’s lyrics.)
Here’s Zac, in his profile: “The film chronicles his life and impact on hip-hop, and it includes testimonials to his influence and importance from the likes of Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and others. The screening’s after-party featured a surprise walk-on performance by the rapper Slick Rick, one of Doc’s heroes.”
The folks who shot The DOC are also responsible for The Last Dance, the Michael Jordan doc series that kept us occupied for a few weeks during the pandemic. It’s a big deal.
Start with the podcast, though. Give it a listen after the jump. Get to know the legend who lives among us. And thanks to Katie at the Old Monk for letting us really test out the sound system for the intro. “The D.O.C. & the Doctor” sounds best when the bass rattles the front door.