Dope is a Chicago-area quintet formed by brothers Edsel Dope (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Simon Dope (keyboards). Simon studied chemistry at the University of Florida, then received a scholarship to Polytechnic in Brooklyn. There, he was joined by his brother, with the two claiming to have financed their demos by selling drugs. The initial incarnation of the band included lead guitarist Tripp Eisen, bass player Acey Slade, and drummer Preston Nash. They began a selective series of gigs in late 1997. In October 1998, they were signed to Flip Records, which made a production deal with Epic.
Dope's debut album, Felons and Revolutionaries, was released in September 1999. The Dope brothers gutted their lineup after the ensuing tour, switching Slade to guitar and bringing in original bassist Sloane Jentry, guitarist Virus, and drummer Sketchy Shay. In the fall of 2001, they released their second album, Life. Two years later, the band inked a deal with Artemis, and issued Group Therapy. American Apathy arrived in summer 2005. The album featured covers of Depeche Mode's "People Are People" and N.W.A's "Fuck tha Police." It went on to top the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release. No Regrets was issued four years later and featured a guest appearance by Zakk Wylde. After an extended hiatus, Dope's classic lineup returned with a new album and coinciding tour. The band -- Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus, and Racci Shay -- released Blood Money, Pt. 1 in late 2016. ~ William Ruhlmann & Neil Z. Yeung