Release Date: Aug 7, 2015
Record label: Aftermath/Interscope
Compton is the album we didn't realize we wanted from Dr. Dre.While we all thought we were waiting for the long-gestating and interminably delayed Detox, Dr. Dre apparently scrapped it and has instead delivered Compton, a record we never knew was in development. When news of Compton surfaced, it was initially billed as a soundtrack of sorts for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Days after King Kendrick Lamar released To Pimp A Butterfly, HipHopDX Editor-In-Chief Justin Hunte called the album “ambitious in its attempt to inspire a generation to change the world for the better and poignant enough to actually do so.” Ladies and gentlemen, behold “Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre,” a Homeric West Coast narrative from K.Dot’s ideological benefactor. Dre balances a tightrope of contrasting dualities with true unapologetic mastery or life of opulence despite current racial tensions focused primarily on the poor and doing what he can to articulate those uneasy truths.
Dr. Dre has been holed away for a worrying amount of time. A few years ago, he released a pair of singles ostensibly linked to his since-abandoned third album, Detox, and they were dire. "I Need a Doctor", in particular, was awkward and clunky, and it seemed as though Dre was straining too hard to perfect his comeback.
“Doctor’s orders / Go fuck yourself.” Defiance is writ large across venerable hip-hop producer-slash-entrepreneur Dr. Dre’s long awaited new project, Compton, from the brash lyrics themselves to the album’s very existence. Dre has been toiling away on a forever gestating project to be titled Detox since 2003, with a pair of official singles and a lot of hype preceding it (including a downright bizarre world premiere clip as part of a Dre-starring Dr.
Reviewers often have an ongoing list of albums in production. These LPs hang around under the heading “forthcoming”, “TBC” or “YR” – “yeah, right”. Here, alongside My Bloody Valentine and D’Angelo, Guns N’ Roses spent the noughties with Dr Dre, as their Chinese Democracy album and Dre’s magnum opus, Detox, lingered indefinitely in that limbo reserved for rich, attention-deficient perfectionists.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. In order to wholly remark on West Coast legend, Dr. Dre's third album release, it's vital to first recognize the history behind it, the current landscape sustaining it and the legend propelling it. Cinematic in rule and resolve, Compton is more than a soundtrack, more than a statement of timely nostalgia and more than an answer to a decade-and-a-half of questioning.
The circumstances surrounding the release of Dr Dre’s third album are intriguing. By his reckoning, he was so inspired by the sight of his younger self, as played by actor Corey Hawkins, at a screening of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, that he resolved to junk a decade’s worth of work on the endlessly delayed Detox, and start afresh. The result is Compton, an album that seems preoccupied with Dr Dre’s past: there is much reminiscence about the early days and initial success of NWA and it concludes with a track on which his former bandmate Eazy-E smiles proudly down from heaven at him, having presumably reconsidered the stance he took in the last years of his life, which he largely spent suggesting that Dr Dre was everything from a fake gangster who’d get shot if he ever went back to Compton to a closet homosexual.
Compton, Dr. Dre's third official album, arrived on telephones coast-to-coast this week. Presented on a platter through Apple Music, the company Dre says made him hip-hop's first billionaire, it's a shockingly strong album, a confident statement that upends expectations of a 50-year-old who's spent more time over the past decade in board rooms and bulking up than releasing music.
Eventually, even gangstas grow up. It may have taken Dr. Dre 50 years, but at his half-century mark he has created the most mature — and some of the most bracing — music of his career. “Compton” — Dre’s first full album in 16 years, which came out Friday — finds one of the architects of ‘80s gangsta rap looking back on his life with more perspective than he ever had back in the day.
Who in the world has better ears than Andre Young? Throughout his many incarnations, the common thread in Dr. Dre's career has been his ability to hear things differently from everyone else, and his certitude that millions of paying customers will want to hear those things too. Paradoxically, he's been both prolific and patient: It doesn't seem like he's ever stopped working, and yet somehow 16 years have elapsed since his last solo LP.
We never really wanted Detox anyways. Dr. Dre revealed that he had between 20 to 40 songs for that project. The two we heard inspired little confidence. “Kush” was a percussive club effort that was ephemeral at best. The Eminem-featuring “I Need A Doctor” was more moribund than anthemic ….
Dr. Dre :: ComptonAftermath/Interscope RecordsAuthor: Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania"I JUST... BOUGHT... CALI-FORNIA!" booms the good doctor upon his (unsurprising) return album (his deal with Apple made an LP inevitable). Due to travel commitments I had the immense fortune to listen to "Compton" and ….
If anything, Dr. Dre is a master tactician. For years, he was chained to the promise of Detox, an album delayed by decades which, with all the hype around it, could never live up to its rumored existence. When do long awaited albums ever achieve what is expected of them? (Amirite Guns N Roses?) So, instead, Dre simply says he canned the entire album and in flurry of creative energy, the usually modulated Dre blasted out a new album that would serve as his third and final long player.
Can we be honest here? This is better than it has any right to be. A brief recap for those who haven’t been paying attention: Dr. Dre ended his verse on Rick Ross’ “3 Kings” with, “I only love it when her hair long / You should listen to this beat through my headphones”, and I shouldn’t have to explain why that’s an awful couplet. His verse on Kendrick Lamar’s “Compton” was perhaps good kid, m.A.A.d.
Detox has arrived. Except it’s not Detox, it’s Compton. And fortunately, Compton is not hip-hop’s Chinese Democracy — a mythical, long-awaited record released to shrugs and far removed from the relevant center of the culture. Dr. Dre, with little warning, declared Detox dead, and that ….
Let nobody accuse Dr Dre of not having an eye for a marketing opportunity. For 16 years, the rap mogul has largely conducted his affairs off-mic, building beats for Kendrick Lamar and protégé Eminem, refining his high-end headphones brand Beats By Dre, and all the while teasing a couple of follow-ups to 1999’s still-got-it gangsta epic ‘2001’. Those albums – the long-promised ‘Detox’ and an instrumental album, ‘The Planets’ – have failed to materialise, but in 2015, there is more important work to attend to.
Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” is often read as a meditation on the absurdity of the ego. In 14 concise lines, Shelley exposes the vast chasm between the ego’s aggrandized self-importance and its actual importance in the grand scheme of things. This standard reading of “Ozymandias” works, but it can go deeper. More than just mocking it, Shelley reveals the ego’s obsession with its own fragility, its nagging anxiety about its ultimate fate.
Dr. Dre wants it both ways. In Compton, he wants to be the hard-nosed chronicler of the crime and deprivation endemic to his hometown of Compton, the social realist who documents its poverty and relies on our pricked conscience to invite change. Yet it also sees him wanting to celebrate his successful grab for fame and riches, including his rise to the top of the hip-hop food chain and his $550 million dollar fortune.
The last time Dr. Dre dropped an album, we were all huddled in a bunker, surrounded by bottled water and canned tuna, fearing the wrath of Y2K. (Or was that just me?) But now a new brighter era is finally upon us as the good doctor has finally unveiled Compton, his new definitely-not-Detox album via an iTunes stream, a technology that literally didn’t exist during the last episode of Dre’s career.
Dr. Dre is one of the architects of West Coast rap and a pillar of hip-hop production. He is responsible for producing a large portion of California’s great gangsta rap catalog and for pioneering G-Funk, a bold re-envisioning of traditional funk sampling. After rising to prominence as the de facto leader of N.W.A., Dre went on the become an early titan of the rap industry, procuring an ownership stake in Death Row Records and releasing his debut, The Chronic, one of rap’s most celebrated LPs, in 1992.
Dr. Dre — Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre (Aftermath/Interscope)Just a day shy of 27 years after the first NWA record was released, Dr. Dre surprised, no sucker punched, the world with Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre. Gen X nostalgia will likely still position The Chronic as his oeuvre (and ….
As a member of seminal gangsta rap group N.W.A., Dr. Dre helped shape the sound of West Coast hip-hop in the 80s and 90s. Under corporate pressure to play the part of hyper-masculine gangster, there is a sense he was, for better or worse, beholden to and limited by that image. As his protege Kendrick Lamar put it in a 2012 interview with NOW, “I don’t think Dre got to tell his story the way he wanted to tell it...
For 16 years, the third Dr. Dre album was supposed to be The Detox, but that once-mythical, canceled LP was replaced by Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, a supposedly final effort that was "inspired" by the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. When Dre says "inspired" he likely means the film gave ….
It’s well known that Dr. Dre relies on ghostwriters for his raps, but his decision to name his 1992 debut solo album The Chronic might be the most ingenious use of a double entendre in hip-hop history. The iconic album cover is designed like a pack of rolling papers but most prominently features a portrait of a supremely self-assured Dre, wholly cognizant of how the music he’s making will forever transform the genre.
Dr. Dre doesn’t surface often — since N.W.A. disbanded in the early 1990s, he’s released just two albums and supervised one compilation — but when he does, he exudes what feels like decades’ worth of tension. A recurring theme of Dr. Dre’s lyrics and self-selected narrative is sacrifice ….
Where to begin with Compton? How about, well, Compton. Despite its violent reputation the City of Compton is actually one of the oldest cities in Los Angeles County and legend has it Griffith Dickenson Compton—the cities founder and namesake—stipulated that a portion of the city be zoned for agricultural use. For much of its history, the city was like any other place in Southern California: Relatively quiet, mostly white, family oriented, and suburban.
Listening to Compton: A Soundtrack, Dr. Dre’s new album, you’d think he didn’t already have a legacy in music - or, perhaps, he had one but you didn’t know it. The first thing Dre says here is, “I just bought California / Them other states ain’t far it behind, either.” Of course, Dre's new record is supposed to be a companion piece of sorts to the N.W.A.
After spending almost a generation in the interim between the genre-defining 2001 and what Dr. Dre now describes as his 'Grand Finale', the Chinese Democracy of the hip hop world has finally arrived. Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre – to give it its full title – is the product of sessions inspired by the forthcoming Straight Outta Compton biopic.