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Dr. Dre will donate royalties from new album to fund new Compton arts center

Dr. Dre will donate royalties from new album to fund new Compton arts center
Dr. Dre will donate funds to build a new performing arts center in his hometown of Compton. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Compton's moment in the sun just got a little brighter: The city's legendary native son Dr. Dre said Thursday he will donate royalties from his hotly anticipated new album to fund a new performing arts center for the city's youth.

In an interview with Beats 1 Radio DJ Zane Lowe to promote his new album, Dre said he has spoken with Compton Mayor Aja Brown over the last two months to figure out how to give back to the city he and his N.W.A bandmates immortalized in their 1988 debut album, "Straight Outta Compton." 

"I've been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn't quite figure out what it was. She actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, 'Boom, this is what we should do,'" he told Lowe Thursday.

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The move comes as the music producer and co-founder of Beats Electronics plans to release his first album in 16 years -- titled simply "Compton" -- on Friday via iTunes.

Dre said the album's inspiration came from visiting the set of the new film "Straight Outta Compton" that tells the story of N.W.A's rise and fall.

"He clearly has a heart for Compton, especially our youth," Brown said in a statement. "I believe this performing arts center will provide a pathway for creative expression, exposure and training to the myriad of industries that support arts, entertainment and technology — while providing a much-needed safe haven for our youth."

Dre, whose given name is Andre Young, caught flak two years ago when he and music mogul Jimmy Iovine gave USC $70 million for a new art and technology academy. Some critics questioned why Dre did not give money to historically black colleges or schools in Compton.

Details of the new performing arts center will be unveiled in the coming months, said Brown's spokeswoman, Jasmyne Cannick.

"We are really happy that he hasn't forgotten his roots," she said.

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