Dr Dre’s issued apology for his abusive past is difficult to accept at face value, given the timing.
It comes shortly after the release of his self-produced biographical film Straight Outta Compton, and specifically after it was criticised for completely ignoring that well-documented side of the producer’s past.
The New York Times quoted Dre saying that he was "a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life.
However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I've been married for 19 years and every day I'm working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I'm doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again."
It is, of course, possible that the sentiments are genuine – the public is not aware of any continuing pattern of behaviour since charges were laid against him some 25 years ago.
BUT… it is difficult to simply accept the timing of this statement as incidental.
It feels very much like an afterthought – an unwanted afterthought – given the announcement of Apple’s buyout deal of Dre’s Beats company (for which he allegedly pocketed $800m).
It must also be noted that the issue only arose in the wake of the Straight Outta Compton’s release, after former girlfriend Michel’le and journalist Dee Barnes spoke about their specific stories last week.
Supporters of Dre might argue that it is reasonable to expect a subject to omit dark elements of his past as a producer of his own film.
But it was commentator Jimmy Dore who countered this argument effectively by noting that the film itself was a golden opportunity to express regret by including the issue and its documented related incidents – even just a mention of them – as an element in the film. It might have made a pretty strong redemptive statement.
Instead, what was supposed to be a moment of achievement has turned into a difficult situation for the mogul, rightly or wrongly. It seems too much like the motivation for the statement of repentance is a public relations exercise.
Whether or not Dre has left that part of himself behind him is now immaterial. Should he have said anything at all? Yes. But he probably should have said it 25 years ago.