Conversations With Chad: Stu-B-Doo Talks Dr. Dre, “Rasassination,” Death Row Records, “Forgot About Dre,” Aftermath + More

In this in-depth Conversations With Chad interview, we sit down with multi-platinum producer Stu-B-Doo, who played a pivotal role in shaping the iconic sound of Dr. Dre‘s music. From producing on hits like the Ice Cube & Dr. Dre collaboration “Natural Born Killaz”, “California Love” off 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me, and Dre’s “Keep Their Heads Ringin'” for the Friday soundtrack to being the secret weapon behind the orchestral/symphonic sound on tracks such as “Forgot About Dre” with Dr. Dre and Eminem and the Ras Kass song “Rasassination,” featuring Mack 10 & Dr. Dre, Stu-B-Doo’s contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of hip hop.

It all began in 1994 when Dr. Dre, the architect behind the revolutionary g-funk sound, sought to break away from the genre he had popularized. While at Death Row Records, Dre noticed that his sound was being imitated by producers from all over. Determined to innovate and evolve, he set his sights on creating something entirely new for his Death Row Records sound and in his transition to his soon-to-be label, Aftermath/Interscope.

To accomplish this ambitious goal, Dre and Jimmy Iovine embarked on a search for the most talented musicians they could find. Among them were esteemed producers, including Sam Sneed and Stephen “Bud’da” Anderson. It was during this search that they discovered Stuart Bullard, better known by his stage name Stu-B-Doo, a/k/a Stu Fingas. Working alongside Dre, Bullard brought his exceptional musical abilities to the forefront as Dre founded his new production collective known as the Soul Kitchen: Dr. Dre, Bud’da, Flossy P, Stu-B-Doo, and Chris “The Glove” Taylor.

Little did the world know during this period that the distinct new sound of Death Row Records and Aftermath would become known for was a development of the “Pittsburgh sound.” This fusion of orchestral and classical music with hip-hop and R&B was spearheaded by Bullard along with other talented individuals which included the Street Scholars of Sam Sneed, Bud’da, J-Flexx, and Drauma.

With a deep-rooted passion for music, Bullard began his journey at a young age. Learning to play the violin at the tender age of five, he quickly became a prodigy, catching the attention of the music world. As the youngest member of the Ozanam Strings Orchestra, Bullard toured with the Classical and Rhythmic section of the prestigious Pittsburgh Symphony. However, Bullard’s musical talents did not stop with the violin. At the age of ten, he expanded his repertoire, mastering instruments such as the drums, piano, bass guitar, and trumpet. This diverse skill set gave him a unique edge and would become instrumental in his collaborations with Dr. Dre.

Within the walls of Aftermath, Bullard became the secret weapon, seamlessly blending his orchestral compositions with Dre’s visionary production. While Dre handled the reins of the overall sound and direction, Bullard played a crucial role in creating the symphonic elements that gave the music its unique texture. It was not uncommon to find him in the studio, effortlessly switching between multiple instruments, infusing each track with a touch of his musical brilliance. Bullard’s foundations are still there in the present Aftermath sound.

As we delve into this interview with Stu-B-Doo, we will uncover the fascinating stories behind his collaboration with Dr. Dre, his role in shaping the Aftermath sound, and the creative process that led to the creation of some of the most iconic songs in hip-hop history. Get ready to embark on a journey through the mind of a musical genius who has left an indelible imprint on the world of music.