The D.O.C.: Regaining His Voice Again At 50

The late 80’s and 90’s hip-hop was on fire with rhythms and beats coming out of both the east and west. But it’s the sound that was coming from Compton, CA that was hitting the hardest. From Dr. Dre and NWA to a newcomer named Tracy Lynn Curry, better known as the D.O.C., who was set to take the throne next.

His 1989 solo album No One Can Do It Better came on the heels of NWA’s breakout, and it became a classic, going platinum and earning shout-outs from Jay Z, among many others. But only three months after its release, driving home intoxicated from a video shoot, the Dallas rapper crashed his car. When the arriving paramedics tried to insert a breathing tube, he fought them, which caused his larynx to be scarred. In a flash, his on-point melodic flow, hardcore delivery and command of a microphone seemed to be gone. It seemed that his career in front of the mic was over.

So what has he been up to now?

The D.O.C. would go on to ghostwrite big hits from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, like “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” and “The Next Episode.” He still continues to write and even now perform again with a newfound voice–one that is raspy and not quite as strong, but it’s still his voice nonetheless.

“It’s been a real struggle,” says the D.O.C. “And I’m sure that I tried to commit suicide a whole bunch of times. Lots of drugs and alcohol, and not being able to do the one thing that you really love doing. It was a real struggle. But through all of it, I never turned my back on anybody. I never said anything ill of anybody. I love and have respect and admiration for everybody in my past. I don’t have any animosity toward anybody. And for God to tell me, He’s always put me in a position that I could do something special, and I’m really trying to do the right thing.”

“I don’t have expectations anymore for anything,” confesses the D.O.C. “The doctors told me that those vocal cords would never work. So the fact that they’re working means that there’s something bigger at play. And so I’m going to look at it from a spiritual perspective and know that I could be in the middle of a moment that’s not really of my doing or my planning, but it’s very positive, and it’s very powerful, so I’m going to just continue walking.”