A new Dr. Dre album. Yes, that’s right. A new album. From Dr. Dre.
The self-made billionaire and critically-acclaimed hip hop artist finally released his latest album, aptly titled Compton after his hometown.
Make no mistake, this is not a soundtrack for the recently released film Straight Outta Compton, this is an entirely different beast.
Taking a near 16-year hiatus from hip-hop, almost everyone forgot about Dre.
Excluding Dr. Dre’s surprise appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Dr. Dre has slowly drifted away from music and has dedicated the last decade towards his business career with successful ventures like Beats, which was recently purchased this past summer by Apple for a whopping $3 billion.
Since the release of Dr. Dre’s last album 2001 in 1999, fans have been clamoring for more, specifically for the release of the near mythical album Detox. However, instead of Detox, the fans got Compton.
Compton is filled to the brim with high profile features, ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Snoop Dogg to Eminem. Most of the artists that Dr. Dre has collaborated with have teamed up to create one cohesive album.
From the moment the album begins with “Talk About It”, you realize that Dr. Dre’s production skills remain exceptional, blending old-school west coast production with a more modern trap sound throughout the entire album. The trap sound is not only exemplified in “Talk About It”, but also in “Genocide” where Dr. Dre goes back to back with Kendrick Lamar all along a continuous thumping bass while describing how much of a dangerous place Compton can be to the uninitiated.
Although the album hits consistent high marks and is all in all good, it does not have that “classic” feel that that fans usually get from Dre’s albums. We needed an iconic anthem from Dre for 2015, just as “Still DRE”, “Next Episode”, or “Forgot about Dre” was for its time. But it is nice to hear from Dre again. Even if it is not what I consider a classic, it is a worthy album to his discography.
If Dr. Dre were to have a fitting last hurrah, Compton would certainly succeed in not only giving closure to fans, but to himself. Compton’s last track, appropriately titled “Talking to My Diary” brings production that sounds like a classic Dre. One could mistake the song for being released 16 years ago, not that it sounds bad. As a matter of fact, the song actually one of the highlights of the album. Dr. Dre pours his heart out, coming to terms with the falling out of N.W.A and reminiscing the good time’s with his friendship with Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E coming into the foreground.
A befitting end to what might possibly be the last solo record that Dr. Dre records, Compton provides a cathartic experience for not only the seasoned hip-hop fan, but Dr. Dre himself.