Curtis Young

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (

Where do I begin with recapping about this shoot with Curtis Young, the oldest son of the newly billionaire Dr. Dre? For starters I can say this every time the team goes out for a NextShark feature it’s extremely humbling and inspiring. A lot of these individuals go from nothing to rising beyond limits. Curtis, however is on a another level. While driving around he told us stories about growing up near gang activity and running from cops. This isn’t something from a movie, it’s his actual life.

So what do you say when you talk to the offspring of one the most influential hip hop groups? You’d think that the son of a successful individual would kickstart life with a silver spoon in his mouth. This was far from Curtis’s case. He grew up in Compton and had to work his ass off –just like everyone else to get to where he is now. Dr. Dre didn’t give him any handouts.

One thing he always told me was, ‘You got the name — run with it. Just by having that birthright of the name, it helped me push myself as a business person.”

In terms of the actual shoot Curtis took myself and the rest of the NS team through the Compton neighborhood he grew up in. You can bet he got recognized and we ran into a few interesting encounters while walking to and from street corners. I photographed Curtis entirely on 50mm. Since we were running around Compton I wanted to keep things versatile and light weight. Additionally as a team we decided to go a little out of our comfort zone and shoot a docu-style interview. Therefore I would also need a lens that could account for filming.

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (

Behind the Scenes:

Curtis Young by Melly Lee (


You can watch his interview below or read the full article on NextShark

Equipment Used:

Nikon D800
Sigma 50mm/1.4

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