By Chuck Salter, BEAST Music Correspondent
Dr. Dre’s mega-hyped final solo album, “Detox,” is going to piss off a lot of people, record executives and hip-hop illiterati not being one of them. Trust me, my opinion matters here, because I’ve been following the rumors and news of this album since Dre started talking about it over ten years ago. I also spent a good five years of my life exclusively listening to Dr. Dre and G-Funk music and talking shit on west coast rap message boards.
In middle school, I used to come home and blast West Coast gangsta rap like the world was ending. I didn’t even know what weed was then, but it was the album that brought the hood straight into the living rooms of White America. The Chronic was everything grown ups wanted to shelter their kids from: Violence, black people, weed, gangsters, LA riots, and the television news, all wrapped up and delivered with a fat pot leaf on the CD.
When Dr. Dre 2001 came out in 1999, I don’t think there was an album at the time that I ever anticipated as much. This was before albums used to “leak” onto the Internet. It was everything I could expect and more: forward sounding, cleaner, still West coast but totally reinventing all of what hip-hop sounded like to me. I actually had my CD taken away from me in middle school because it too had a pot leaf on it and I brought it everywhere.
Then Dre began name dropping Detox, the final album to his solo trilogy. The one album to end all albums. Originally Dre said he was recording it specifically in 5.1 surround sound, with slated releases that fell through every year last decade. Nothing.
Now it seems to be that we have an April 19 drop date — a full day for pot smokers across the world to prepare for their Holy Day on 4/20. Not only do I smoke a lot of weed now, I can fully appreciate the lyrics way more than when I was a pre-pubescent kid who rocked a Kobe Bryant jersey and bragged to my friends that I had “been to Cali.”
But I’m here to tell you Detox is going to be a flop. I hope I am wrong, because I have thought about this — a lot, to the point of near insanity. I repeat: Dr. Dre’s infamous Detox album will be a FLIPPITY FLOP. And I say this without using record numbers to gauge the quality of an album. Dre will prolly sell a shit ton. The album is just going to be disappointing, period.
My worst fears were confirmed when I heard “Kush,” a so-so song with Akon, someone who is a horrible rapper. Then I saw “I Need a Doctor,” along with its music video, an overly-bloated cinematic sequence where Dre is brought back from the dead. Not only is the song a complete rip-off of Eminem’s single “Love the Way You Lie,” but Dre just sounds WEIRD and the singles don’t sound revolutionary like “Still DRE” and “Forgot About Dre.” I can’t put my finger on it. I know he doesn’t write his own raps and uses ghost writers, but he just sounds forced and out of place with his flow.
But I listen to Dre because he is the best producer in maybe all of music. He brought in NWA, Snoop, Nate Dogg (RIP) and Eminem and the Game and stuck with 50 when he was still good, but these first two singles are wack as hell. Avid West coast lovers are gonna hate the shit out of Detox. People who love Lil Wayne are gonna love it, and that freaks me out.
I mean, the way it seems now, the album is going to come with that neutral-sounding, steril club banger feel with lots of white bitches on hooks. And even though I am cool with this album not being strictly West coast, I don’t want it to be filled with Jay-Z/Beyonce duets and songs that aren’t any different from all the other garbage that is littering the radio today. But that’s what’s going to happen. Dre’s bringing in a whole colony of rappers and co-producing it. Hopefully Scott Storch laid down a lot of shit for it, cause he wrote a lot of songs on 2001.
I just came across this song that might make the album. Definitely better than the first two singles. Check it here.
Maybe I’m way too baked, but between Dre’s shitty cyborg commercials where he’s from the future and the absolute banality of his first two songs, I say Detox is a total fail.
Chuck Salter writes for The DEBASER, a hyper local bitch-smacking machine about Connecticut politics. When he’s not unemployed, he works as a reporter or as a stock boy at your local Harry & David.