Dr. Dre’s Brutal Assault On Dee Barnes Kickstarted Hip-Hop’s Moral Decline Speech Says

The former “Pump It Up” host recently revisited her 2019 appearance on “The Wendy Williams Show” following the news of the talk show host’s health issues.

Former Pump It Up! host Dee Barnes was brutally attacked by Dr. Dre in 1991. Although she filed and civil suit against the famous Hip-Hop mogul and won, Barnes was essentially blackballed by the industry. In 2019, Barnes revealed she was homeless and could barely afford to buy groceries. A story written by AllHipHop‘s Kyle Eustice in which Barnes talked about her plight went viral and it ultimately led to an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show.

On Friday (February 23), Barnes shared a clip of Williams addressing the story as news of the troubled talk show host’s health issues hit the internet. She wrote in the caption, “Thank you again. #wendywilliams.” Upon seeing the clip, Arrested Development’s Speech posted part of Barnes’ appearance on the show. In the video, she described the night Dr. Dre assaulted her. Visibly emotional, she recalled him following her into the bathroom, where the attack continued.

As Speech explained in his caption, the Arrested Development visionary believes that night marked a clear shift in the direction Hip-Hop was going.

“I’ve known this sista for decades, this violence perpetrated against her by Dr. Dre is fact – not gossip,” he wrote. “(According to Wikipedia) January 27, 1991, Dr. Dre encountered Barnes at a record release party in Hollywood. According to Barnes, he picked her up by her hair and ‘began slamming her head and the right side of her body repeatedly against a brick wall near the stairway’ as his bodyguard held off the crowd with a gun.

“After Dr. Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women’s restroom. Dr. Dre followed her and ‘grabbed her from behind by the hair again and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head.’ Finally, Dre and his bodyguard ran from the building. And she wasn’t protected nor properly redeemed by Hip-Hop, rap, the Black community nor law enforcement. This incident was (IMO) the beginning of when hip-hop lost its moral compass. We need find our way again.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Speech (@speech__)

Dr. Dre addressed his violent past in a 2017 episode of HBO’s The Defiant Ones, saying, “Any man that puts his hands on a female is a f##king idiot, he’s out of his f##king mind. I was out of my f##king mind at the time, I f##ked up. I paid for it, I’m sorry for it, and I apologize for it. I have this dark cloud that follows me and it’s gonna be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man.”

But the damage was done. Following the assault, Barnes was having trouble finding work in her field, which eventually led to her precarious financial situation.

“Everything was gradual,” Barnes said in a 2017 interview. “People weren’t carrying cell phones. If that would have happened now, people would have filmed it and it would have been on video. It wasn’t all over the internet, but it was a gradual thing. There were a lot of people from the East Coast at the party because it was before the American Music Awards, so by the time the awards happened, it was being spread everywhere by word of mouth. By 2000, everything was up. We had blogs and things of that nature. The spotlight wasn’t on me because of my TV show now, it was because of what happened and who it was with.”

Barnes filed criminal charges against Dre and a civil suit followed. They settled out of court in 1993, but over the years, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E had turned the incident into a joke. In fact, in an 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Dre reduced it to “no big thing,” while Ren said the “b#### deserved it.”

To add insult to injury, Eminem’s 1999 track “Guilty Conscience” featuring Dr. Dre reduces her to a pop culture reference with the line, “You gonna take advice from somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?”

“Even as I was moving on with my life, eight years later, Dre makes that track with Eminem,” she said. “Mind you, I’m living my life after the fact. Technically, the trial was two years of my life I can never get back. Nobody talks about that. If you step back, you could see I must have forgave him a long time ago because there was nothing vengeful about my behavior, you feel me? There was no smear campaign. My concern was it went from physical abuse to psychological abuse with that song.”

More recently, Barnes discussed the Recording Academy naming an award after Dr. Dre—the Dr. Dre Impact Award—which was just given to JAY-Z on February 4.

“Everybody wants to separate the art from the artist, and sometimes that’s just not possible,” Barnes told Rolling Stone. “Most people without a knowledge of [Dr. Dre’s] history are going to say, ‘Oh, he must deserve that. He must be such a great person for them to put an award in his name.’ But they named this award after an abuser.

“It wasn’t just a one or two-time thing; these are choices. The first time, it’s maybe a mistake. The second time, okay. The third time, it’s a choice. I’m not saying he is the same person now, though. I don’t know. I’m not around him anymore. I haven’t talked to him. But to name an award after someone with that type of history in the music industry, you might as well call it the ‘Ike Turner Award.'”