Dr. Dre feat Eminem- "I Need A Doctor" Song Meaning

By Cathy H - 11:43 AM





"I told the world, one day I would pay it back.

Say it on tape and lay it, record it, so that one day I could play it back."

 Eminem's music and lyrics combine together to represent a piece of his history and life. Being a fan of his for 5 years, I'm clearly aware of how much obstacles he had to overcome to reach the fame he has today. The biggest mentor and "savior" that made his dreams possible was Dr. Dre, whom believed in his talent and looked past stereotypes that automatically labelled Eminem as a unworthy white rapper. The debt and respect he owns to Dr.Dre is obviously unmeasurable-"But I can never repay you, what you did for me is way more."


  This song is a very emotional one talking about their mutual trust and friendship to each other, assisting one another through troubled times. "All I know is you came to me when I was at my lowest. You picked me up, breathed new life in me. I owe my life to you." This is obviously expressing Eminem's gratitude, that he came for him at a time of hitting rock bottom. He was "saved" by Dre, who saw his potential and believed in him when no one else did.  'Cause no one sees my vision....doubt startin' to creep in, everyday it's just so grey and black"-he was looking for a breakthrough, searching for someone to grant his dream of being a rapper. The second chorus is about the rough time Dr. Dre's going through, as his son died from overdose not long ago. Dre "needs a doctor" to help him stay back on track again. "It hurts when I see you struggle"- he's not himself and Eminem wants to remind him that he was "supposed to be a mentor." Mentors don't weakly second guess themselves; they're born a leader. Dre needs to trust himself, get over his obstacles, and come back with more vengeance than ever despite his personal struggles. 


"You risked your career for me, I know it as well as you....Nobody wanted to f-ck with the white boy..." He reminds Dr.Dre that he's a rap legend, who has accomplished and helped others so much. He needs to gather himself together, be back to how he was- "but I ain't giving up faith, and you ain't giving up on me." Eminem expresses he'll always be there, until the last moment. "All I see is Slim ...f-ck all you fairweather friends" This is about the fake friends he had, and his frustrations with the music industry; that had at one point betrayed him-"backwards producers, I'm back bastards.... packing up my bags and as I leave, I'm guranteed they'll scream" Dre's expressing that Eminem is the only loyal artist he signed on the label, who didn't betray or leave when he needed help.  They can always depend on each other. This song is about the gratitude Eminem feels toward the man that started his career, without him he would be nothing "it was you who believed in me, let's tell the truth." In turn, his belief in Dre will never falter no matter what he's going through. 


[Eminem]

I told the world, one day I would pay it back.
Say it on tape and lay it, record it, so that one day I could play it back.
But I don't even know if I believe it when I'm saying that.
Doubt startin' to creep in, everyday it's just so grey and black.
Hope, I just need a ray of that
'Cause no one sees my vision
When I play it for 'em, they just say it's wack.
But they don't know what dope is.
And I don't know if I was awake or asleep when I wrote this.
All I know is you came to me when I was at my lowest.
You picked me up, breathed new life in me. I owe my life to you.
Before the life of me, I don't see why you don't see like I do.
But it just dawned on me; you lost a son. See this light in you? It's dark.
Let me turn on the lights and brighten me and enlighten you.
I don't think you realize what you mean to me, not the slightest clue.
'Cause me and you, we're like a crew. I was like your sidekick.
You gon' either wanna fight when I get off this f-cking mic,
Or you gon' hug me. But I'm out of options, there's nothing else I can do cause... 

[Eminem]
It hurts when I see you struggle
You come to me with ideas.
You say that these are pieces, so I'm puzzled.
'Cause the sh-t I hear is crazy,
But you're either getting lazy, or you don't believe in you no more.
Seems like your own opinions, not one you can form.
Can't make a decision, you keep questioning yourself,
Second guessing, and it's almost like your begging for my help. 
Like, I'm YOUR leader.
You're supposed to f-cking be MY mentor. 
I can endure no more!
I demand you remember who you are!
It was YOU, who believed in me,
When everyone was telling you, don't sign me. 
Everyone at the f-cking label, lets tell the truth. 
You risked your career for me, I know it as well as you.
Nobody wanted to f-ck with the white boy...
Dre, I'm crying in this booth.
You saved my life, now maybe it's my time to save yours. 
But I can never repay you, what you did for me is way more.
But I ain't giving up faith, and you ain't giving up on me.
Get up Dre! I'm dying, I need you, come back for f-ck's sake

[Dr Dre]
It literally feels like a lifetime ago
But I still remember the sh-t like it was just yesterday though
You walked in, yellow jump suit
Whole room, cracked jokes
Once you got inside the booth, told you, like smoke
Went through friends, some of them I put on
But they just left, they said was riding to the death
But where the f-ck are they now
Now that I need them, I don't see none of them
All I see is Slim
F-ck all you fairweather friends
All I need is him
F-cking backstabbers
When the chips were down, you just laughed at us
Now you bout to feel the f-cking wrath of aftermath, faggots
You gon' see us in our lab jackets and ask where the f-ck we been?
You can kiss my indecisive ass crack maggots and the crackers ass
Little cracker jack beat making wack math,
Backwards producers, I'm back bastards
One more CD and then I'm packing up my bags and as I leave
And I guarantee they'll scream, Dre don't leave us like that man cause...

[Chorus]
Im about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life
Bring me back to life
Bring me back to life

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13 comments

  1. I will forever love this song and the video!!! Amazing<3

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  2. cool! thanks for the insight. always loved Dre and grew to love Eminem. great to know they are soul brothers for the long haul. also read your "idealizing love" post. cool again! i'm an older guy in japan who fell in love with a chinese lady who lived nearby for a couple of years but had to go home last fall. i was like you and always dreaming but she taught me straight up from both sides is the Way. hoping to climb mt. taishan with her soon and stay on course. best of luck to you. i'm sure you'll find true love because you are cool - jeff

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  5. Thanks for the help. I really like Dr. Dre and Eminem. I'm an aspiring music artist myself and those two are some of my big role models. It's nice to see inside their heads a little bit more, extensively.

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