In 1996, Dr. Dre left Death Row Records to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. He produced a compilation album, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, in 1996, and released a solo album, 2001, in 1999. During the 2000s, Dr. Dre focused on producing other artists, occasionally contributing vocals. Dr. Dre signed Eminem in 1998 and 50 Cent in 2002, and co-produced their albums. He has won six Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. Dr. Dre has had acting roles in movies such as Set It Off, The Wash and Training Day. Rolling Stone ranked Dre 56 on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
Young was born in Compton, California, the first child of Theodore and Verna Young. His middle name, Romelle, is derived from his father's amateur R&B singing group, The Romells. His parents married in 1964, separated in 1968, and divorced in 1972.:7–8 His mother later remarried to Curtis Crayon and had three children: sons Jerome and Tyree (both deceased):7,25 and daughter Shameka.:6–8 In 1976, Young began attending Vanguard Junior High School in Compton, but due to gang violence, he transferred to the safer suburban Roosevelt Junior High School.:9 The family moved often, and they lived in apartments and houses in Compton, Carson, Long Beach and in the Watts and South Central neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Young has stated that he was mostly raised by his grandmother in New Wilmington Arms housing project in Compton. His mother later married Warren Griffin, whom she met at her new job in Long Beach,:10 which added three stepsisters and one stepbrother to the family; the stepbrother would eventually become rapper Warren G.:14
Young is the cousin of producer Sir Jinx. He attended Centennial High School in Compton during his freshman year in 1979, but transferred to Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles due to poor grades. Young attempted to enroll in an apprenticeship program at Northrop Aviation Company, but poor grades at school made him ineligible. Thereafter, he focused on his social life and entertainment for the remainder of his high school years.:2 Young fathered a son with Cassandra Joy Greene named Curtis (born December 15, 1981). Curtis was brought up by his mother and first met his father 20 years later, when Curtis became rapper Hood Surgeon.:11