If Dr. Dre takes a rapper under his wing, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re on their way to rap’s upper echelon (See: Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, The Game, and 50 Cent, among others.) Now, Dre’s hoping he’s found yet another golden goose with his latest mentee, a 23-year-old white rapper named Justin Mohrle. Are you still accepting resumes, though, Dre?
A native of Garland, Texas, Mohrle was originally signed to the label of another Dre apostle, Death Row rapper D.O.C., who had the youngster locked in a 360 deal before sending his demo on to Dre. Since linking up with rap’s resident MD just last summer, Mohrle has relocated to Los Angeles, where he spends 13-hour days writing and rehearsing in Dre’s Record One studio. He’s not alone in his creative pursuits, though — Dre has recruited the likes of Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, and BJ The Chicago Kid to collaborate with Mohrle.
Of course, just what exactly Mohrle’s working on remains unclear. In a lengthy profile piece on the young MC, D.O.C. said that Dre’s entire entourage, including Mohrle, are “putting our energy toward building another classic for The Good Doctor,” possibly referring to the long, long, long delayed Detox or a separate, as-yet-unspecified album. D.O.C. went on to say that after that mysterious project is released, Dre is “going to take his time to help us build a classic for the youngster.”
Mohrle himself is well aware of what the Dre bump might do career-wise, remarking during a trip to the mall for the profile that “Dre could decide to drop a track tomorrow, and then I might not be able to ever go to the mall again like this. Just us. By myself.”
To preserve any buzz surrounding Mohrle’s debut, Dre’s team has scrubbed most of his music from the Web, save for a few tracks released back in 2012 as Love, JT. Though not groundbreaking, cuts like “Beast” and “Selfish”, both of which are streaming below, have a Drake-ian charm, the kind of youthful vigor a vet like Dre might want to inject into his upcoming projects.
So, does this mean rap fans should start prepping glitter signs with Mohrle’s name on it? Maybe not, but someone of Dre’s stature taking an interest in a completely untested commodity does make you want to pay attention, and thankfully for what seem to be valid reasons. Also, you’ve got to give it to Dre: If he’s going to take the time and effort to mold a young talent, controlling their past releases is a good way to extend the hype and influence the scope of Mohrle’s eventual impact. Of course, this could all be a case of overblown hype, something Dre has experienced plenty in his storied career.
For more on Mohrle, including some great background, check out D Magazine’s profile.