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Why We Can’t Forget About Dre

TechCrunch logo TechCrunch 12/05/2014 Alexia Tsotsis

The of Beats by Apple has captured the public imagination. Though it is not yet official, we’ve spent all weekend about it on Twitter, shocked at Andre Romelle Young’s , joking that Forbes should change its list because he’s now a billionaire, for some reason.

Quite honestly, part of the appeal of this story is that it’s refreshing: We’re used to all these faux humble acquisition tweets from startup founders and Dr. Dre’s like,

Some (reaching for yet another Dr.Dre post, because they’re more fun than what tech reporters usually cover) have I don’t think so. Dr. Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine are examples of a caste of atypical tech founders, entrepreneurs and leaders that are becoming all the more typical. People from the worlds of fashion and art, designers and marketers and artists — who have never written a line of code. is one. So is . So is . And even Bieber .

Tech’s future goes beyond engineering. It has to.

Dre the world’s first rapper billionaire, but he is a member of a different, very small group: Dre is one of the first founders who started as an artist — and the first musician — to have a tech company exit for more than a billion. Others include and , and if you consider Steve Jobs an artist, and going public an exit, Apple itself.

That is the true reason for our captivation. As post-Jobs Apple stacks its ranks with fashion executives like and , and Ashton Kutcher one of the best early stage portfolios in the Valley, Dre’s exit means media and fashion’s involvement in tech is more than just marketing, it’s serious money. Billions.

And what’s the difference between me and you Dre? Nothing.

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