I Need a Doctor

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"I Need a Doctor"
Single by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey
from the album Detox
Released February 1, 2011 (2011-02-01)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2010
Genre Hip hop
Length 4:43
Label Aftermath, Interscope
Writer(s) Andre Young, Marshall Mathers, Holly Hafermann, Alex Grant
Producer(s) Alex da Kid
Certification 2× Platinum (RIAA)
Dr. Dre singles chronology
"Kush"
(2010)
"I Need a Doctor"
(2011)
"The Recipe"
(2012)
Eminem singles chronology
"That's All She Wrote"
(2011)
"I Need a Doctor"
(2011)
"Writer's Block"
(2011)
Skylar Grey singles chronology
"Coming Home"
(2010)
"I Need a Doctor"
(2011)
"Words I Never Said"
(2011)

"I Need a Doctor" is a single by American hip-hop artist Dr. Dre featuring rapper Eminem and singer Skylar Grey. The song is produced by British record producer Alex da Kid,[1] mixed by Dr. Dre, and was released for digital download through the American iTunes Store on February 1, 2011 as the second single from his third studio album Detox.

Musically, "I Need a Doctor" is predominantly a rap song, backed by a "spacey," drum-heavy production, with extra piano keys featured in the introduction and the chorus. Lyrically, the song is largely about Dr. Dre and Eminem's close friendship, and how they have often needed and inspired each other in the past.

Even though the song was leaked onto the Internet several months in advance of its release, it became a significant commercial success on its official release, particularly in the United States, where it peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Dr. Dre's second highest peaking song on the chart ever, and also peaking in the upper regions of many national charts. As of October 2011, it has sold over 2,206,000 digital copies in the United States alone. This makes it Dr. Dre's first song to reach this point.[citation needed]

Background[edit]

The official version premiered through Dre's official website.[2] It was produced by English producer Alex da Kid, who is known for co-writing Eminem's hit single "Love the Way You Lie". Kid told MTV News about the experience of working with Dre. "That was amazing. He's one of my favorite producers of all time. Everybody knows how much of a perfectionist he is: He's been working on his album for 11 years. For him to bring me in, trust me, not micro-manage me, and let me bring what I do to the table, I can't even describe how that makes me feel."

In an interview with WiLD 94.9, Skylar Grey revealed that the genesis of the song's recording was when Eminem invited her and Alex da Kid to Detroit to work on Detox with him and Dr. Dre. She said that they (she and Alex) came to the studio with the hook and "the track" prepared and they (Dr. Dre and Eminem) loved it. Eminem went into the backroom and two hours later came out and said that he was done writing his verses.[3] Skylar Grey also said that she was in tears when she heard Eminem's verses for the first time and that Alex da Kid initially proposed featuring Lady Gaga on the hook, but Eminem insisted on having Skylar's voice and said that they were not taking her voice off the track.[4] In the song Eminem raps two verses about his mentor, thanking Dre for believing in him in his early days and returning the favor, before Dre delivers the song's final verse.[5]

Music video[edit]

The video "I Need A Doctor" was shot with Allen Hughes, the director behind Menace II Society and The Book of Eli. The video premiered on February 24, 2011.

The video begins with an introduction of Dr. Dre's music career, such as when he and fellow N.W.A. member DJ Yella were in the 1980s funk group World Class Wreckin' Cru. There are also scenes of Dr. Dre and his family, such as him hugging his daughter and son and getting married. There are also snippets from past music videos. It includes many rappers such as Eazy-E, 2Pac, The D.O.C, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Eminem, Xzibit and all the rest of the members from N.W.A. The video then features Dr. Dre driving down Pacific Coast Highway in a Ferrari 360, with flashbacks of his life, crashing his car and the last thing heard was his daughter say "Good night Daddy." Then he is transported to a medical facility. The date at the beginning of the video is February 18, 2001 (his 36th birthday). They fast-forward to present day ten years later, where he has been hospitalized and is on life support. The Marin County Civic Center stands in for the medical facility.[6] Eminem raps next to him as he is floating in an isolation tank, during which the figure of The Pythia (played by Canadian actress Estella Warren) is singing as a hologram behind and over Dre, mouthing the words to Skylar Grey's vocal part in the song. Skylar Grey herself appears as one of the doctors in the video, but never actually appears singing her part. Dre eventually wakes up and goes through rehab, and the video ends with him standing next to the grave of Eazy-E, a rapper who had launched Dre's music career by founding N.W.A and was also a member along with Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella. A ticking clock is heard midway through the video.[7][8] The music video received complaints of being an "act of advertising" for a variety of product placements, such as Ferrari, G-Shock, HP, Gatorade, and Dr. Dre's signature headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre.[9][10][11][12]

On August 17, 2012 the music video was VEVOCertified after receiving more than 100,000,000 views on YouTube.

Live performances[edit]

Dr. Dre, Eminem and Skylar Grey performed the song at the 2011 Grammy Awards as part of a medley with "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" performed by Rihanna, Adam Levine and Eminem.[13] Eminem performed the first verse at the 2012 Coachella festival.

Critical reception[edit]

Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave the song a very positive review - rating the song five stars out of five; "Why is 'I Need a Doctor' such a brilliant single? Well, first of all there's the production from British knob-twiddling whizz Alex da Kid, which has a similar gravitas and bone-rattling bombast to his work on 'Love the Way You Lie' and 'Airplanes'. Then there's the haunting chorus, delivered by Diddy's 'Coming Home' bud Skylar Grey, which inhabits you from first listen. However, what elevates 'I Need A Doctor' from "very good" to "a little bit special" are the performances of Dre and Em. [...] That single manly tear dribbling down your cheek? Entirely, entirely justified."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

The track first appeared on the UK Singles Chart, at number 21 on February 6, 2011—being Dr. Dre's sixth highest-charting single in the UK and his ninth Top 40 single. It has since peaked at #8 as of March 27, 2011. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with sales of 226,000,[15] becoming his first top-ten single as lead artist on the chart in 16 years, since "Keep Their Heads Ringin" reached #10 in 1995, also that amount of sales were enough to earn a #1 in the chart Hot Digital Songs in February, 19. It is also his second highest peak on the chart ever as lead artist, behind only "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" which peaked at #2 in 1993. It has since peaked at #4 after selling 283,000 in its third week on the charts, the resurgence in sales seemingly due to its performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards.[16]

Awards[edit]

On November 30, 2011, "I Need a Doctor" was nominated for the Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song, both of which Kanye West won for his single "All of the Lights" from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).[17]

Track listing[edit]

  • German CD single[18]
No. Title Length
1. "I Need a Doctor" (Explicit Version) 4:44
2. "I Need a Doctor" (Edited Version) 4:45
Total length:
9:29

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United Kingdom[citation needed] January 30, 2011 Digital download Aftermath, Interscope
United States February 1, 2011
Germany[43] March 25, 2011 CD Interscope (Universal)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dinh, James (2010-11-23). "Dr. Dre Is 'Constantly Working,' Producer Alex Da Kid Says - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  2. ^ "'I Need a Doctor' feat. Eminem and Skylar Grey". Dr. Dre. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Nessa Interviews Skylar Grey PART 1 WILD94.9 KYLD SF June 22, 2011‏". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  4. ^ "Nessa Interviews Skylar Grey PART 2 WILD94.9 KYLD SF June 22, 2011‏". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  5. ^ "I Need a Doctor by Dr. Dre Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 2001-02-18. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Marin Civic Center makes appearance in hit rap video - Marin Independent Journal". Marinij.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  7. ^ Aoyagi, Daisuke; Ichinose, W.E.; Harkema, S.J.; Reinkensmeyer, D.J.; Bobrow, J.E. (August 29, 2005). "An assistive robotic device that can synchronize to the pelvic motion during human gait training". Rehabilitation Robotics, 2005. ICORR 2005. 9th International Conference on: 565. doi:10.1109/ICORR.2005.1502026. 
  8. ^ Aoyagi, Daisuke; Ichinose, W.E.; Harkema, S.J.; Reinkensmeyer, D.J.; Bobrow, J.E. (September 2007). "A Robot and Control Algorithm That Can Synchronously Assist in Naturalistic Motion During Body-Weight-Supported Gait Training Following Neurologic Injury". Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 15 (3): 387. doi:10.1109/TNSRE.2007.903922. 
  9. ^ "Dr. Dre's "I Need A Doctor" Filled With Product Placement [PHOTOS] - Entertainment & Stars". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  10. ^ "I Need A Doctor - Dr. Dre & Eminem|EMINEM| News | MTV European". Mtv.tv. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  11. ^ Lanier, Xavier (2011-02-27). "I Need a Doctor: HP TouchPad, Pre3, Beats Envy Notebook in Dr. Dre/Eminem Music Video". Gottabemobile.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  12. ^ Nicholas Deleon (2011-02-28). "HP Tablet Saves Dr. Dre's Life In ‘I Need A Doctor’ Music Video | TechCrunch". Crunchgear.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  13. ^ Vasquez, Andres (2011-02-10). "Dr. Dre Will Join Eminem For Grammy Awards Performance | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  14. ^ Dr Dre ft. Eminem, Skylar Grey: 'I Need a Doctor' Review by Nick Levine of Digital Spy. 2011-02-06
  15. ^ "Week Ending Feb. 6, 2011: Albums: Minaj Feels Like A Million - Chart Watch". New.music.yahoo.com. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  16. ^ "Latest Music News, Band, Artist, Musician & Music Video News". Billboard.com. 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  17. ^ http://www.grammy.com/nominees
  18. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Dr-Dre-featuring-Eminem-Skylar-Grey-I-Need-A-Doctor/release/2871974
  19. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart: 11/04/2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-04-10. 
  20. ^ "Top 40 Urban Albums & Top 40 Urban Singles". ARIA Charts. (Australian Recording Industry Association). February 28, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
  24. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201119 into search. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  25. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  27. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
  28. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  30. ^ "Chart #1766 – Monday 28 March 2011: Top 40 Singles Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  31. ^ "Romanian Top 100". Romanian Top 100. 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  32. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201116 into search. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  33. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  34. ^ "Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – I Need a Doctor – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  35. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart" UK R&B Chart.
  37. ^ "I Need a Doctor [Edited Version] - Dr. Dre". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  38. ^ "Pop Songs". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  39. ^ "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles - Issue Date: 2011-03-05". Billboard.biz. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  40. ^ "Rap Songs". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  41. ^ "American single certifications – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem and Skylar Grey – I Need A Doctor". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  42. ^ "Best of 2011: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  43. ^ Released in Germany on Amazon.de

External links[edit]