2015 was a pinnacle year for Dr Dre. He started by becoming Hip Hop’s first ever billionaire when Apple bought his Beats by Dre headphone line for 3 billion dollars. His artist Kendrick Lamar continue to push creative boundaries and setting the bar for the new generation with his spectacular release To Pimp a Butterfly. Then to top it off, The long awaited NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton was finally released in theaters and was critically acclaimed and became a Hollywood smash. Thus introducing NWA to a new generation of listeners.
The elephant of the room within the past 15 years is “When Dr Dre gonna release his followup album Detox?” We been introduced teaser singers such as “I Need a Doctor”, Kush, and supposed singles featuring T.I. JayZ, and Ludacris. Reference songs have leaked as well but really nothing official. Dre decided to scrap the album all together because of the endless pressure. Following up to two critically acclaimed masterpieces that were The Chronic and Chronic 2001 is no easy task.
Feeling creatively free from the pressure, Dre actually surprised everyone and released an Album/Compilation titled “Compton”. The direction of this album is like that of any Dre album, Sonic-ally crisp next level production, introduction of new emcees and appearances from the veterans he helped establish. But it seems like with Compton Dre is trying to appeal more to the current generation and even started rapping more.
The opening track Talk About it isn’t quite the way people expected or even wanted Dre to open up what was considered a long anticipated album. Dre’s flow is very unorthodox to say the least, but he was laying down the foundation of what made him a legend and boastfully brags about his new financial status: Getting money before the internet and having Eminem checks he didn’t open yet.The song also introduces North Carolina Emcee King Mez and Justus to a new audience.
But people don’t check out Dre’s albums because he’s top 5 dead or alive, They check him mainly for what level he’s gonna take production wise and whom the new emcees he recruited to be apart of the projects.
Compton features the legends he put on from Ice Cube, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Game, and Xzibit. But the main MVP’s of this Compton Project was Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Pakkk. These two scorched every track they are featured in from Genocide, All in a Days Work, and Deep Water.Kendrick really skyrocketed his net worth throughout but its Anderson Pakk whom will possibly be the next to blow due to his performances on half of this album. King Mez is also featured heavily on the project and did tons of writing so he’s gonna possibly receive great looks as well.
Its great hearing the legends represent throughout this album and this is where the album becomes more enjoyable. One of my favorites features the legendary OGs Cold 187, Xzibit, and new comer Sly Piper on Loose Cannons . Ice Cube shows that even though he’s in his 50s and now a family man that he can still go with the best of them on Issues. Snoop Dogg even joins in for the fun on Satisfaction and One Shot One Kill respectively . Snoop sounds right at home under Dre production and we can only hope we get a Snoop album produced in its entirety by Dre at least one more time in the future. Jon Connor also proved that he’s hungry and ready to be the next one on One Shot Kill as well.
My personal favorite on here is actually Just Another Day because it’s that trademark West Coast sound that we know from Dre. Anyone familiar with Straight Outta Compton have already heard this as a backdrop for one of the scenes. Game has shown so much vast improvement over the years and brought a more aggressive flow here on this track. Another noteworthy highlight is Medicine Man featuring Eminem which is one of his best performance in years.
People expecting a sequel to Chronic 2001 will be heavily disappointed with the direction. Dre clearly took the direction away from the gangsta rap grassroots and into a more dreamy melodic type of vibe within his production. The sounds are next level hollywood soundtrack shit and those sounds are also heard on Straight Outta Compton. I wish DOC would have had more involvement along with Quik to give it a more west coast flavor able sound.
Considering the hype, I’m sure many people would probably be disappointed. But if you’re not comparing this to any of Dre’s previous work, It remains as one of the best releases of 2015 and a top off the biggest year Dre ever had as a business man. Be on look out for Jon Connor, Anderson Pakk and King Mez in the future as well.
Vic Rating: 9.0 outta 10