Dr. Dre is finally dropping a new album. Do you care?

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It’s been over fifteen years since Dr. Dre dropped his last album. Since then, he’s become a billionaire headphone mogul and , seemingly, been lifting all sorts of weights. He’s “produced” a few songs here and there but, for the most part, he’s been fairly removed from the current music scene.
For years, people have been talking of his new album “Detox”. “It’s almost done!” was something that would pop up every few years to be followed up with nothing. While this sort of delay on an album is common to music, he’s more Guns a Roses than Despot or Jay Electronica cause he’s one of the most famous producers in rap history. He is basically our Quincy Jones. Thing is, if we’re both honest and have been paying attention the last 15 plus years, Dre isn’t exactly making beats anymore. It’s fairly well known that Dre has been using other peoples tracks for a long time now. Similar to what Kanye does. It’s truly taking the role of a “producer” in the rock and roll sense. A person who sits back in the studio and oversees. A Rick Rubin type. They may not create the music but they make sure it comes out the way it needs to come out.

Now, I could easily be talking out my ass here. I don’t know for a fact that Dre hasn’t been tapping pads on his MPC for 15 years. I’m just going off what I hear. But, if what I’m saying is true, it makes this delay even crazier to me. Surely, someone NOT creating the actual music could have put together an album of hand picked tracks and rappers in under 15 years, right? Well, apparently, “Detox” got scrapped cause Dre didn’t like it. He didn’t want to give his fans something less than the highest quality. Which is cool cause , say what you will, the dude has never half assed a project in his life. Thing is, now this new album comes out in like 3 days…why not just call it “Detox”? Perhaps he decided to scrap it entirely to get a fresh start and even out the wild expectations. That’s fine. Weird, but fine.
So, his new album “Compton” drops August 7th. It features tons of guests.
Here’s the track listing:
1. “Intro” Dr. Dre
2. “Talk About It” feat. King Mez & Justus
3. “Genocide” feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay
4. “It’s All On Me” feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid
5. “All In a Day’s Work” feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius
6. “Darkside/Gone” feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar
7. “Loose Cannons” feat. Xzibit & COLD 187um
8. “Issues” feat. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak
9. “Deep Water” feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus
10. Jon Connor,”One Shot One Kill” feat. Snoop Dogg
11. The Game, “Just Another Day” feat. Asia Bryant
12. “For the Love of Money” feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor
13. “Satisfiction” feat. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez
14. “Animals” feat. Anderson Paak
15. “Medicine Man” feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak
16. “Talking To My Diary”

Some familiar names. some less than familiar. I’m curious who the co-producers are cause that’s really where this album will fail or succeed. But , listen, I’m an old rap fan. To me, Dre will always be somewhat relevant. I grew up on his music. But, even with that in mind, I can’t help be a little skeptical of this album. It’s just my nature. But I’m more curious of what you think. You’re most likely younger than me. You most likely love some songs Dre has created (dudes got more classics than most record labels). But I wonder if the news of a new Dre album and tracklisting like the one above does anything for you guys. Well…tell me!
You can vote for more than one answer.

Things that are wrong with the world vol. 32

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It’s the same old song. At least round these parts. About twice a year, a new painfully average white rapper pops up that threatens to blow up. I hear it, get somewhat sad then eventually write about it cause , hey, this blog needs content. This case, however, is a little special. This rapper, JT, is a protege of Dr. Dre. Yes, the same man who bought us Snoop, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick lamar has decided to pluck this fucking kid out of obscurity and prop him up to be the next big thing. Will it happen? I dunno. In this day and age, a co sign from Dr. Dre doesn’t hold the weight it once did. Hell, a Co-sign from anyone doesn’t promise anything. But it certainly can’t hurt.

Sometimes, all you need to know about a rapper can be summed up in one line. As writers, a rappers awareness of what is and isn’t corny or played out is crucial to sounding even remotely original. I realize that “being original” is completely unimportant to many of the new generation of rappers, much like striving for authenticity has gone the way of the dodo bird. However, as much as Dre can look at this pimple faced kid and see dollar signs, I know he still has that old mentality. The dude is 50 and has been around for every generation of rap. Every rapper he’s ever put on has had something. You may not like 50 cent but there is a thing that makes him special, like it or not. This kid, though?

He said “Wettin’ em like a shower” in a rap song in 2015. Seems harmless enough but, if you step back and think about it, it speak volumes about how little creativity is going into his verses. That’s a line that a c level rapper would have snuck on a deep album cut in early 90’s. Like Kid n’ play would say that. It’s really all I need to know about this kid. He’s willing to write that line and say it. It doesn’t make him a bad person at all, it just speaks volumes of his character as “an artist”. The same thing as anyone who would rap “Smoking rappers like cigarettes”. It’s novice rapper 101 shit. It’s lazy. It’s a glaring sign that reads “Meh, who cares?”. That’s fine and all. It’s not Like Wocka Flocka or Cheef Keef are walking around caring about lyrical integrity. But this music isn’t that. I’d almost give this kid more credit if it was.
This article I read about him talks of what makes him special is how he carefully crafts lines and is a workhorse. In reality, dude sounds like he’s freestyling after listening to drake for a week straight. But his shortcomings as a rapper are secondary to me. There are COUNTLESS mediocre rappers out there.The emergence of the overly cocky swaggy white rap dudes who look like someone mad magazine would draw as a slack jawed teenaged fast food drive thru worker is boundless. It’s the fact that anyone takes them seriously that befuddles me. There is nothing about the kid that sets him apart from every other dude who has made a youtube video of him rapping while smoking weed. Mac miller was the first to really run with that and, compared to this kid, he’s the god mc. It’s as if human taste can no longer be trusted so the tastemakers simply go off algorithms. I can imagine , when Dre decided to fuck with this kid, he didn’t listen to the music as much as write an equation that ends in “= $$$$$$”.
I think the thing that gets me most about this is that it’s unnecessary. Dre is a billionaire. He can do whatever he wants. The fact he hasn’t put out Detox says it all. Clearly, the guy hasn’t actually made music in like 15-20 years but to see this kid and be like “He got next!” ? That’s just irresponsible. I could sort through my demo reviews and find 100 more worthy rappers who would fit this kids description. You would think a guy with all the money in the world might be like “Fuck it, I’mma just put out stuff I like, regardless of it’s marketability”. After all, he’s Dr Dre. His name still has enough pull that that could work on some level. At the very least , it could shine a light on someone who deserves it. But, no. He’s gonna back this middling , old navy wearing dork. Oh well…I just hope when Detox drops in 2055 , it’s not full of lost takes from this kid.

I realize this just sounds like hating but, I swear, I simply expect more of people. This kid is just doing him. He’s not out to ruin hip hop. I can’t fault him for anything outside of his skill set. He’s just doing what he’s been allowed to do. But who I can fault are the people who are paving the way towards success for mind numbing shit like this. There is a ripple effect to all of this. Do better.