WRITTEN BY MARK MCAULEY
Co-written by Michael Grant (Editor)
It was like the new Terminator Genisys film, the hip hop world was tangling with the squabbling between Drake & Meek Mill, and Action Bronson put on blast by Ghostface Killah for breaking the unwritten hip hop commandment, when suddenly – BOOOOOOOOOM!!! Dr. Dre drops the bomb in his new soundtrack-album and the hip hop world has divided, they either love it or hate it.
This is Dr.Dre’s final project, so one of hip hop’s pioneers has to go out with a bang. After 16 years of trial and error, doubts creeping within his fans, Dr Dre ultimately shelved Detox. André Young is a perfectionist, and with that, gives himself high expectations which in effect has his fans in high expectations.
Inspired by the film ‘Straight Outta Compton’, the Doctor has crafted 16 tracks, with a plethora of legendary artists combined with the newest cats in the game.
1. Intro – Movie type entrance and brief but powerful tribute to Compton and past troubles.
2. Talk About It (feat. King Mez & Justus)
3/5. Not a favorite on the album but I can see why it opened the album due to its fast pacing, the hook is a bit of a throw off but Dre’s verse about still having that fire and motivation still was admirable.
3. Genocide (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius, Candice Pillay)
3.5/5. Much stronger track than the previous, unconventional sounding Dre beat but well suited to the artists on the track, Candice’s verse was only thing that dragged this song down, Kendrick’s feature was very strong as he rep’s Compton and his rise as an artist, this song shows the brutality and bleakness going on in Compton, I can see people enjoying this one slightly more than me.
4. It’s All on Me (feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid)
4/5. The most down tempo song on the album, As Dre dives into his past for a minute and speaks on his first time meeting Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight and he speaks on when he wasn’t as rich as he is now, I really think if they used BJ The Chicago Kid more effectively and Nate Dogg was still here to jump on this one instead of JustUS, then this song could have pushed this one up more.
5. All in a Day’s Work (feat. Marsha Ambrosius & Anderson Paak)
4.5/5. The Anderson Paak might throw off a Hip-Hop head on first listen but for me he impresses highly on here and I can hear his passion, As Dre talks about how he was always about his grind and making history despite his surroundings and how that reality star fame ain’t for him and he references Jay Z “Can’t Knock The Hustle” as he knocks that hollywood fame cursing the game.
6. Darkside/Gone (feat. King Mez, Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius)
4/5. Solid track with a more down tempo side to it , this track is split in 2 parts from a different perspective, on “Darkside” King Mez speaks on still been stuck in the gangster lifestyle despite not been one, Dre And Kendrick come correct speaking on staying real and not letting change happen despite what people say or whatever controversy they bring. Marsha Ambrosius is great on the hook and I love the piano over the beat. Eazy-E also appears in the way of sampling and its nice touch.
7. Loose Cannons (feat. Xzibit & Cold 187um) 3.5/5.
This song is a little too chaotic for me but I still enjoy it on the whole, aggressive track with a lot of imagery on it, Xzibit comes correct with a standout verse. Eminem would have taken this track up a notch if he was on it, seemed fitting for his style.
8. Issues (feat. Anderson Paak & Ice Cube) 3.5/5.
The production was not really my style, Was nice to hear Cube again as he speaks on how you better respect his rep, Dre sounds great on here tho and has the strongest verse, Dem Jointz brings this track down with his modern and auto tune sounding hook, solid track besides a little flaws.
9. Deep Water (feat. Justus & Kendrick Lamar)
4.5/5. Oh man the production is beautiful here with the Jazzy horns, This one is another passionate shout to Compton but Dre speaks on his worries for the youth, the Environment and the peer pressures that come with it, Kendrick Lamar steals the show and takes this track to the next level with his best feature on the record, he takes some shots at Drake, then gets deep and emotive when he slips into some Characterization like he does on his previous work, really does create imagery while listening to the song.
10. One Shot One Kill (feat. Snoop Dogg & Jon Connor)
4/5. Great production on this song and tempo, Snoop Dogg is on his old school sound and sounds passionate and like he has some fire in his voice as he speaks on how he deserves his respect for what he’s done in the game and how he knows how to make records, Jon Connor steals the show with the hook and his rapid fire flow.
11. Just Another Day (Featuring The Game & Asia Bryant)
3.5/5. Probably one of the best beats on the whole project, very lavish and jazzy horns again, The Game shows a lot of technical skill rapping but there’s not really much lyrical content on this one and Asia Bryant comes in sounding a lot like Rihanna, The Game fans should feel happy with this one though and be more positive about “The Documentary 2”.
12. For the Love of Money (Jill Scott & Jon Connor & Anderson Paak)
4/5. They lean on a sample of the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony of the same name, Jill Scott is beautiful on the hook and its a welcome addition to the song, Jon Connor spits more of that passionate and fast paced rapping and Dre really shows his rapping skills on this with an equally as fast pace, the finale of the song with the strings add to the quality.
13. Satisfaction (feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius, Snoop Dogg)
3.5/5. Just another smooth track with nothing too special going on lyrically, some comedic bars are thrown in as they speak on the topic of Money and how materialism isn’t always as good as it is made out to be.
14. Animals (feat. Anderson Paak)
5/5. My favorite track on the album, Very deep record as Anderson Paak gets emotive, as he speaks on his people been portrayed incorrectly in the media and treated like “Animals” by the Police, The hook is beautiful but emotive as Anderson says “The police don’t come around these parts they tell me that we all a bunch of animals, The only time they wanna turn the cameras on Is when we’re f***!n’ sh!t up”, DJ Premier comes in at the end with some scratches and fun rapping, this track is perfection.
15. Medicine Man (feat. Candice Pillay, Anderson Paak, Eminem)
4.25/5. Candice sounds a lot better with just the hook, Dre raps passionate and speaks on his frustrations of the way the world is at times and the behaviour of some people, Eminem steals the show with some shock lines and more of his old style shining through on the record, good feature for sure from him.
16. Talking to My Diary
4.5/5. Straight up Hip-Hop record right here and the most personal song on the record from Dre as the song title suggests. The production on this song is beautiful and the flow is smooth as hell, definitely the right song to end the project on.
At time of publishing this, I haven’t heard the album as the stream is not available in every country in apple store. Gathering from what I have heard on social media, a lot of people are disappointed with the record. I found this surprising as Dr Dre stated he wasn’t happy with creating Detox. Could it be that fans were hoping for another ‘Chronic’? The concept on this album is different to the previous two. The one similarity between this and 2001 at least, is that Dre brought in a formula of bringing back artists we know and love as contributors, while bringing in new artists on that will bring hip hop into the next few years. Fans also need to realise that this is a 50-year-old man who cannot talk about the same things he did in his NWA/Chronic days, nor can he re-create that same sound. If he did, it would sound contrived. Bottom line, the likes of Illmatic, 36 Chambers, Chronic etc will NEVER be re-created. Maybe when the film is released and sure-fire music videos come out, some of these tracks will make a lot more sense because sometimes visuals bring out the tracks a lot more. The album doesn’t really sound that bad, just that fans wanted that groundbreaking result.
Dr. Dre: THANK YOU. The Detox speculation is finally over, you are appreciated. But just because it’s his last project, doesn’t mean he’s hung up his production keyboards.