It’s been 23 years since he ‘pulled off in that hoo-ride’ with The Chronic and, ‘if you ain’t up on thangs,’ almost 16 years since he prescribed 2001. But at long last, the moment, that just one week ago seemed unfathomable, is here as the Good Doctor, otherwise known as Andre Young, but widely recognized as Dr. Dre pushes start on a new era with the forever-in-the-making, Compton.
Definitely not Detox, the new album arrived at the stroke of midnight on iTunes, just moments after another shift in pop culture took place with Jon Stewart biding The Daily Show adieu. But that’s besides the point. What Dre creates with Compton is rare moment that can be best summed up in one line from the album, which appears on the serene number “It’s All On Me: “This one of them dreams you don’t wake up from.” Weighed by a deep duality, the line reflects both the surreality behind the Good Doc’s new record being actually tangible, as well as the rearview gaze he peers at throughout the entire album.
On “It’s All on Me,” he chronicles his rise to power, including the moment N.W.A’s integral single “Fuck tha Police” was created. “Any given day, like, what the fuck? / Face down on the pavement with the billy clubs,” he raps. “Took that feeling to the studio and queued it up/Now it's 'Fuck tha Police' all up in the club.” Dre also reminisces on the late Eazy-E, whose presence looms via soundbites (“Darkside/Gone”), familiar instrumentals (“For the Love Of Money”), and references in-rhyme (“Talk About It,” “Talking to My Diary”). On the ruminative closer, he speaks to the floating spirit of his late friend. “I know you can see me now, looking down through the clouds,” he pours, before adding “Regardless, I know my n**** still proud.”
Set as a companion piece (or “A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre”) to the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” the album finds Dre narrating the audiobook of his own story — from his start as “a starving artist” (“Diary”) through being a force whose “influence runs deep like the ocean” (“Deep Waters”). And so, like its stunning artwork, Compton is overall plush, hectic, but overall still D.R.E.
Over a decade in the making, Dre's puts together a gravitating record that not only sums up his illustrious career, but adds a period to the end of the statement that he is one of the best to ever do it. It's no Detox, but it's something that surely sounds better than the former could have ever been.
Seeing as how there are so many elements left to unpack, including the performances from the newbies (Jon Connor, Asia Bryant, King Mez, Justus) as well as the master craftsmen (Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Game, Eminem), it’s going to take a minute before all the gems get unearthed. However, Compton’s immediate standouts are worth pointing out. And so, here are some of them below:
“Talk About It”
The sense of urgency is immediately laid upon the opening seconds of this astounding opening number: “I don’t give a f—k.” As if it was responding to the “What took you so long Dre?” questions that amassed since Detox was first announced over a decade ago, this record cracks the pavement with basslines thick enough to shake the ground.
Newcomers Justus, who appears on the hook, and King Mez, who opens and closes the song, seize the moment right away, while making way for Dre to talk his s*** "I remember selling instrumentals off a beeper / Before the headphones or the speakers," he raps, reminiscing about what life was like over two decades ago. "I was getting money before the Internet / Still got Eminem checks I ain't open yet."
“It’s All On Me”
Over a silky smooth backdrop, Dre, Justus and BJ the Chicago Kid create off one of the unarguable rewind-worthy cuts on the album. Reflective and oozing with nostalgia, this personal cut is Dre talking to the man in the mirror. “I would've never saw this happening from that far back, homie / What it came to be, would have never believed, living the life I lived in C-P-T,” he recounts. “A motherfucking dream to reality is what you call that, homie.”
Over the sonic equivalent of a high-speed chase down Highway 187 — courtesy of the Good Doc and Dem Jointz — Dre, Candice Pillay, and Kendrick Lamar go in for the kill on this immediate standout. “I’m very aware that hip hop needed something to carry it,” Dre raps. “So I married that b**** and swung down the chariot.” Meanwhile, K. Dot, who slays every feature (“Deep Water,” “Darkside/Gone”) that he is on, shows out with a scene-stealing performance. “My discretion, f*** your blessing,” he warns, before proceeding, “Fuck your life / F*** your hope, f*** your mama / F*** your daddy, f*** your dead homie / F*** the world up, when we came up, this Compton homie!” Recognize.
"Talking to My Diary"
Kicking off with a cinematic intro, Compton's closer is a fitting curtain call. As many times as we've mentioned Dre having pensive moments all over this album, it is here that he shines the most. At one point, he gets so caught up in his thoughts, that takes himself back to the N.W.A days mid-rhyme. "We used to sit back, laugh and joke / Now I remember when we used to do all-nighters / You in the booth and Cube in the corner writing / Where Ren at? / Shout out to my n**** Yella Damn, I miss that / Shit, a n**** having flashbacks." Consider this track a fitting closing credits to an impressive film.
Are you ready for “Straight Outta Compton,” the biopic on the legendary hip-hop group N.W.A.? Before the movie hits theaters, the cast will take over REVOLT Live and YOU can be a part of the fun. Visit www.revolt.tv/audience to join our live studio audience on August 10th.
In : #HOODKNEWGLOBAL
Tags: dr. dre's 'compton': first thoughts revolttv revolt ralph bristout
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