Ilja Karilampi’s video The Chief Architect of Gangsta Rap makes the conjecture that Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre (b. 1965), studied architecture before becoming famous as a hip-hop producer and rapper.
The Berlin-based artist describes Dre’s rise in the music industry, from his early techno-influenced records, to his role in the controversial group N.W.A., and finally to Dre’s solo albums and major collaborations with fellow rappers Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent.
Throughout the video, the artist proposes Dre’s connections to and opinions of the work of Modernist architects like Le Corbusier (1887–1965). Karilampi also incorporates his own biography into the video, speaking about how his life has intersected with Dre’s music. Though Karilampi offers no proof to his assertions, the video presents its own, nearly convincing logic. Although imagining of the types of buildings the music producer would design may seem far reaching, Karilampi’s suggestion that urban planning—in this particular case, it is that of Los Angeles’s Compton neighborhood—significantly helps in shaping the culture of a region contains more fact than fiction.Rent this work for public screenings