Dr. Dre’s Compton Album Shows His Age!!!
Just under three mid-decades (1986 – 2015) and counting Dr. Dre has ranked among the most powerful forces steering the direction of the rap industry but Dr. Dre’s Compton Album Shows His Age.
Dre’s long-awaited follow-up to 1999’s cultural juggernaut 2001, we get Compton, a soundtrack for Straight Outta Compton composed of all new music, but he finally made an old-timer’s album. There are a few great moments and performances that do stand out, but as a body of work—one with the heretofore immaculate Dr. Dre stamp of approval amounts to a just a collection of fancy new sounds.
We get that Dre was trying to honor that of N.W.A. and Eazy-E, but without the lyrical genius of Ice Cube the Compton album doesn’t add up.
What was probably the most disappointing thing about the Compton album, is how little it sounds like a Dre record with the exception of “Medicine Man” featuring Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson .Paak, “Issues” featuring Ice Cube, Anderson .Paak & Dem Jointz, “Genocide” featuring Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay and “Deep Water” featuring Kendrick Lamar, Justus & Anderson .Paak. While other songs like Dr. Dre’s songs “Talking to My Diary” is a reflection of Andre’s life with N.W.A. and “Darkside/Gone” feature King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar, chronicles his life of where he is today.
Dr. Dre’s Compton is good, but NOT great like his previous albums the Chronic, 2001 and Aftermath. Over the years since his last LP, Dre has released promising songs like “I Need a Doctor” (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey) and “Kush” (feat. Snoop Dogg & Akon) and with the buzz that surrounded his Detox album that NEVER released, Compton is NOT as impressive as we expected.
The reason why Dr. Dre albums are so great is due to the simple fact that he’s considered the godfather of both West Coast gangsta rap and the G-funk sound, but for some reason Compton is missing that impact. However, the tracks with Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube and Eminem and Dr Dre are the only one’s that make the album worth it. We wanted more of that, but we only count six outta the sixteen track soundtrack that we feel worthy of the Dre stamp.
Even is else wrote the words Dre’s unmistakable identity was notarized by his husky, laconic voice which rode over the wavering synths of his beats. Compton doesn’t give us any of that.
If you remember, Snoop Dogg and the D.O.C. were the primary lyrical architects on his solo debut, 1992’s still-massive The Chronic. His second album was led by the skills of Daz Dillinger and Scott Storch and Mel-Man and Mike Elizondo while reciting lyrics from Snoop and Eminem and Jay Z. But at some point in his transition from primary composer of sounds to the master evaluator, tinkerer, and mixer of the work presented to him by others, the quality of “Dr. Dre’s” output hinged entirely on the quality of his associates. The master tinkerer and mixer sound has truly changed up, but we would say that is because Dr. Dre worked with producers like Focus and Cardiak and rhymers like Jon Connor and Justus, which resulted in the muddled, unspectacular Compton.
Dr. Dre solo albums have never been about much more than having fun, bucking back at the haters, and reasserting his preeminence. Compton takes a different tack. As is typical of aging rappers long removed from the poverty and struggle that both gave them intensity and grounded them in reality. Instead Compton offers the illusory nature of rap-borne luxury and success isn’t what we’ve come to expect from a Dr. Dre song.
Overall, Dr. Dre’s Compton is a bit lackluster, with six great songs, which is unheard of when speaking of Dr. Dre. He usually has an album that is flooded with great songs from start to finish, but could it be his own perfectionist in him questioning the worthiness of a song making it to the album?
At this point we think Dr Dre should release the Detox album for Christmas. The version he did back in 2008. We spoke to a source who had heard the full album with Dre and he told us that the album was banging. It was music gold, but Dre never released the album. Hopefully that will change, but if it is anything like Compton, then we say safe it.
Either Dre is ahead of the curve with Compton, but what we found disappointing with Compton is the similarity of what is on the airwaves currently. Dr. Dre’s music has always been defining definition of hip hop, molding the image of where hip hop will be going. But if Dr Dre has lost his impact, could that mean hip hop is on the way out?
One thing we will say is Ice Cube’s most recent album I Am The West stayed true to who Cube is. He has NEVER fallen into the pitfalls of common hip hop, that’s for the MC’s who are here today and gone tomorrow.
CelebNMusic247.com gives the Compton LP a C.
review written by C. Menzo