I have nothing against Dr. Dre the producer. I honestly think, even if assisted, he’s a pivotal part of Hip Hop. Has been since it was the in-thing to be a part of. Hell, even back when he was part of the suspiciously ambiguous The World Class Wreckin’ Cru (lolz @ DJ Yella with the Morris Day lip caterpillar) he was putting in work for the culture, albeit freshly off the heels (pun intended) of disco. One can’t begin to discuss rap music’s greatest beat makers without talking about Dre. However, for all the accolades, achievements & accomplishments, which are plentiful, it should be clear as glass that dude is a douchebag, to the highest possible degree of tooltivity, if you will. If Donald Trump is a black belt, Dre is surely purple status, waiting for the master to die.
There’s an awful lot of clamor about this ‘Under Pressure‘ song, which features self-proclaimed king of NY, Jay-Z & is rumored to be the ‘Detox’ jump-off single. Dre & Jimmy Iovine have even been using various platforms to further trigger our Pavlovian reflex for this urban legend called ‘Detox’. The song, which I’m positive will probably be awesome, can only do so much as to fill the hole Dre unfortunately started digging the first time he mumbled about his ‘Detox’ album in public. I am as optimistic as a Black man in America can be, but at this point, I’m not even sure I really care whether it comes out or continues to be the longest running joke in Hip Hop since it turned out that DMX really DID smoke crack.
By now, any “new” talent Dre could’ve injected into the industry has abandoned ship, so to speak. In nautical terms, the sign of a bad captain is a mutinous crew. I’ve seen more life jackets & rafts floating away from the Aftermath vessel than hit records. Unless, of course, we’re speaking on Eminem or 50 Cent. & even that aspect is arguable, depending on your vantage point. I can understand letting a Rakim or a Last Emperor slip through your fingers for the sake of them being more folklore legend than bankable superstar, because after all, it’s a business. But Bishop Lamont is a key player in the evolution of the new west coast. Why not keep the young, green rap cats around? Speaking of which, anybody seen Hittman lately? No shots, just saying. The last thing I really want from a “new” Dr. Dre album is an “old” Dr. Dre formula, if that makes sense. Releasing the first single with an artist who’s career is based on market saturation is a bit redundant, even if the album has become the “Bigfoot” of the Hip Hop forest.
The one thing that the good doctor has going for him is this whole “old man rap” movement. He better jump on board while he still can though, because I don’t see an “elder man rap” scene thriving for too many years afterwards, if only because dead rappers get better promotion.