"Like my homie D.O.C., 'No one can do it better,'" Dr. Dre once rapped in "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang." Outside of that lyric and the D.O.C.'s brief cameo in the "'G' Thang" video, post-Doggystyle hip-hop fans have probably never heard of the rapper who lined up alongside N.W.A at the birth of the G-funk era. In 1989, the D.O.C. released his Dr. Dre-produced debut album No One Can Do It Better, an acclaimed portrait of gangsta rap that's still considered one of the greatest hip-hop records ever. However, tragedy struck just months later and the D.O.C. permanently damaged his larynx in a car accident. He continued on as an indispensable ghostwriter for Dre and Snoop Dogg, but because he lost much of his voice, he never fulfilled his immense potential as a rapper. At least, until now maybe.
One of the major medical advancements in the past dozen years has been the advent of stem cell technology, which allows damaged cells to renew or heal themselves. While not fully embraced yet by our medical community, stem cell treatments still occur; take for example New York Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon's stem cell-repaired arm. That's where the D.O.C. comes in: For a new reality show called I Got My Voice Back, the rapper and former Death Row Records co-owner will undergo a stem cell treatment to see if he can repair his voice and, in the process, his rap career that was cut short.
"I'm probably one of the best motherf------ to ever pick up a microphone and spit in it," the D.O.C. told the Dallas Observer. "But you'd never really know that because I never really got a chance to show you." The D.O.C. will reportedly undergo the surgery under the watch of physician Paolo Macchiarini, "famous for performing a windpipe transplant using a woman's own stem cells," the Observer writes.
If all goes well, the D.O.C. can resume his hip-hop career, even though he never really left the game entirely: Earlier this summer, he reunited with his buddies Dre and Snoop Dogg to help the Doctor finally put the finishing touches on Detox. Judging by how frequently Detox gets delayed, if the stem cell treatment is successful, the D.O.C. can make his triumphant return with a guest verse on Detox by the time it finally comes out.
Here's the D.O.C. in his prime: