A key contributor to both Ruthless
and Death Row Records
' most significant releases, The D.O.C.
is best known for his own landmark 1989 Dr. Dre-produced debut album No One Can Do It Better
whose success, due to a tragic accident that destroyed his larynx, he would never be able to replicate. But that album remains a true hip-hop classic. The D.O.C. was born Tracy Curry (aka Tray) in Houston,TX but moved to Dallas where in 1986 he became a member of the hip-hop trio Fila Fresh Crew
along with Fresh K
and Dr. Rock.
Originally he went by the rap name Dr. T
but later switched it to Doc T
. The Fila Fresh Crew relocated to the Compton area of LA where, through Dr Rock's World Class Wreckin Cru
era affiliations with Dr. Dre
, landed several of the trio's tracks on the 1987 album N.W.A. and the Posse
. This Macola/Ruthless
release was essentially a compilation showcasing the talents of extended N.W.A.
family (including Eazy-E
, Ice Cube
, Dr. Dre, MC Ren
, and the Arabian Prince
) plus the Fila Fresh Crew whose own poorly-received album, titled "Tuffest Man Alive" - featuring the same songs, would be released
on Macola a year later. Neither that album nor the single from it, "Dunk The Funk" would experience much success and the act soon disintegrated. By this stage the D.O.C., a skilled battle emcee who displayed a superior lyrical finesse and a knack for writing memorable rhymes, had already moved on to work with the members of N.W.A. In no time he had proved himself an invaluable part of the Ruthless creative team. In tandem with the young and talented Ice Cube (the main writer) he ghost-wrote a good deal of Eazy-E's 1988 debut album Eazy-Duz-It
(the two also guested on the opening prelude track "Still Talkin'" ). Not long afterwards he got busy both ghost-writing for and contributing vocals to N.W.A.'s landmark 1988 Straight Outta Compton
album on which he appeared on the track "Parental Discretion Iz Advised." By this time he had changed his name to "The D.O.C." - apparently abbreviating "Doc" to D.O.C. as a direct influence of N.W.A.'s use of periods between each abbreviated letter of their name.