The much anticipated album from Dr. Dre hit Apple Music on Thursday afternoon. Many have been holding out hope for a Detox album that has been almost fifteen years in the making, in an interview last week Dre said he had scrapped the album and has been focusing on Compton The Soundtrack. In all honesty anything from Dre right now is Christmas come early! We have now had a chance to listen to the album which drops Friday and well we came away with some keen observations.
When we initially got the track listing we saw some old friends and some new collaborators on the album, truth be told we are glad he decided to mix it up. We have the usual suspects Eminem, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit. Yeah when is the last time we heard from X to the Z right? We also have standout like Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Justus, Jon Connor and more.
The opening Intro is an introduction giving us a glance at an interpretation of modern day Compton that leads into the first song "Talk About It", feat. King Mez and Justus. The track hits hard with an infectious drum beat that intertwines with straight lyrical jabs by the two featured artist reflecting on the chorus of "It was all a dream....". The second track "Genocide" hits us with a straight shot of Westcoast flavor that goes down smooth reminiscent of that old school Dre sound. The track features Kendrick Lamar with help from Marsha Ambrosias and Candice Pillay. Kendrick Lamar slays this track, did we expect anything less? The build up and sudden bass drops on this track make it one of the standout gems of the album. "It's All On Me", gives us a rather soulful track with Justus and B.J. the Chicago laying the foundation for Dre's verse that gives a retroactive look his life. The album maintains it's momentum throughout the opening tracks setting us up with "All In A Day's Work" introduces to one of our favorite up and coming acts Anderson .Paak (he recently played Denver for a Red Bull Sound Select show). The track highlights his unmatched style that is making him a rising star. We see the return of Pimp Yo Ride fame Mr. Xzibit, who slays his verse as if it were the year 2000 on the track "Loose Cannons".
On "Issues", NWA mate Ice Cube comes through with a hard nosed battle edged bombardment of lyrical assassination that compliments Dre as if they were playing Russian roulette with this song. The beat is infectious and a whirlwind almost playing out like an anthem to a horror picture (think the Halloween theme song). The hottest emcee in the game Kendrick Lamar get another chance to shine on "Deep Water", this time with help of Justus. Of course the track is fire and needs no explanation touching on the recent police brutality issues placed by recent events with the screams of I can't breathe being painfully drowned out by the sound of somebody drowning. A Dre album is not complete without the help of Snoop Dogg who shines on "One Shot One Kill", the chorus is as close as we get to having a club banger on this album. if you came to expect this album to feature a slew of club bangers look elsewhere, they are replaced with skillfully produced numbers that make the album work with the help of some of the best up and coming artist around.
One of our favorite tracks samples Bone Thugz and Harmony's "For The Love of Money", aptly titled the same song except we have the lovely Jill Scott singing the hook, with Dre and Jon Connor going back and forth about the evil known as money. One of the catchiest opening numbers comes to us in the form of "Satisfiction" featuring Snoop, Marsha Ambrosius and King Mez. Ambrosius hook is contagious and Snoop enters the fray at the right moment (as he always does). Our favorite track on the album features Anderson .Paak on "Animals", with Dre featuring prominently on this track that you can throw on a Sunday afternoon bbq, sipping on a cold beer and wait for the ribs to finish cooking, the production by DJ Premier is unmatched with his trademark scratching lending to the perfect track. The album begins to wind down with "Medicine Man", as Eminem lays into an angry rant that seems like it's never going to end reminding us of the old Slim Shady days that we have all come to know. The last track "Talking to My Diary", takes us on a voyage as Dre is writing a real life diary as he goes on a history of his career, the track ends with some well orchestrated horns that lends into a perfect segway for a remarkable album of pure genius. Many will be left wondering where songs like "Dre Day", "Forgot About Dre", and "Nutin' But A "G" Thang", have gone, truth is this album is not a sequel, rather an appreciation for the city in where it all started.....Compton.