After 16 years, it’s finally here. Well not really, we were waiting for the Detox though, weren’t we? Nonetheless we have ‘Compton : A soundtrack by Dr.Dre’. For the fans of Dr. Dre, one of the greatest personalities in Hip Hop, the news of his new album was quite exciting. He has been building artists for the past 3 decades, and if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be listening to geniuses like Eminem, The Game, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar. One of the most succesful entrepreneurs in the industry, he made up for his 16 years of absence by launching his album ‘Compton’ followed by the movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’, the biopic for N.W.A. in Compton, California.
He couldn’t approve ‘Detox’, so it never made it outside the Studio. Years of work was thrashed in the blink of an eye. That’s the kind of confidence an artist needs, to give his audience an album like Compton.
Dr. Dre has left no stone unturned and collaborated with a diverse set of artists like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Xzibit and The Game. Roping in so many different voices, he has skilfully blended the contemporary hip hop scene with that of the 90s. Unlike the 90s, the album dwells more on the emotional front as opposed to the gangsta. The difference can be felt in the beats as well as the lyrics, especially when compared to Dre’s last album ‘The Chronic’. Dr Dre does not feature in two songs of the album- ‘Just Another Day’ featuring The Game and Asia Byrant, and ‘One Shot One Kill’ featuring Snoop Dogg and Jon Connor.
When you start listening to the Intro of ‘Compton’, you expect to learn about the city, but it speaks more about Dre’s struggle in the game. ‘Genocide’ talks about the high murder rate in Compton, whereas ‘Talking to my Diary’ Dre reminisces about his journey in the industry. He is 50 years old and still killing the mic with his lyrical and technical expertise. Kendrick Lamar is blazing it in ‘Darkside/Gone’, taking the song to another level with his wordplay and delivery. After contributing to songs like ‘Still D.R.E.’, Snoop Dogg just had to be on this album. Almost 2 decades have gone by, yet Snoop Dogg sounds as fresh and new as ever.
In terms of production, Dr. D.R.E.’s involvement in every aspect of the music is palpable, even though he hasn’t produced all the songs. The beats are eclectic and energetic. We had all been waiting for DJ Premier and Dre and they came out with one of the finest tracks on the album, ‘Animals’. The music in ‘Talking to My Diary’ and ‘Darkside/Gone’ also is really ‘dope’, as they say.
On the commercial front, the album was released on iTunes and has been downloaded half a million times in the first two weeks and was streamed 25 million times in its opening week. The album debuted at number 2 on the billboard 200.
The words, “Don’t ever call me fortunate, you don’t know what it cost me; So anybody complaining about their circumstances lost me homie” from Darkside/Gone gave me goosebumps. We don’t know when are we going to hear new music from Dr.Dre but we know that he’s still building careers.
– Rahul Maheshwari