Favorite Song Friday #9

6/21/19

“Forgot About Dre”

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Dr. Dre is without a doubt one of the most influential, successful, and known talents in all of hip-hop. Being a member of N.W.A surely gave Dr. Dre his notoriety but it wasn’t until his 1992 album The Chronic came out. This album is a classic in every way and still stands the test of time even today. This album also marked the introduction of legendary musician Snoop Dogg, however, today’s song comes from Dr. Dre’s sophomore album, 2001. “Forgot About Dre” served as the second single from the album following “Still D.R.E” in 1999. Eminem makes a guest appearance on the song and instantly gives this song a new sense of purpose and liveliness.

“Forgot About Dre” prompts a simple question to the listeners when Dr. Dre ponders if he can ever truly be forgotten. With two classic albums, a history with N.W.A, and being responsible for introducing Eminem and Snoop Dogg to the musical world can Dr. Dre ever be left out of the conversation? Dr. Dre hits hard on this track when he firmly answers this question by flaunting his wealth, lifestyle, and lyrical prowess throughout the song. Eminem comes through for Dr. Dre by detailing some of Dr. Dre’s accomplishments and reiterating that he should never be forgotten about. Additionally, Eminem adds his own twisted lyrics into the track and show that Eminem too should be known and respected. Fast-forward almost 20 years later and Dr. Dre is one of the most iconic rappers of all time especially with his well-known endeavor of “Beats by Dre”. Eminem too is regarded as a legend by many even if his newer work doesn’t stack up against his early albums. Dr. Dre not only reintroduced himself into the rap game with “Forgot About Dre” but he also reminded everyone that he will never be forgotten.

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Detox: The Fabled Album

In the 2000s and 2010s, there was consistent talk about an album called Detox. Detox would have been Dr. Dre’s third album following his prior two classic albums. The name Detox was throughout a plethora of songs and interviews since the 2000s. The album was supposed to be a huge event that would have featured many artists in an attempt to make one of the world’s most hyped albums. But alas, this album never came to be. However, the album has an interesting history spanning at least a decade since it’s announcement. Detox may have never been made, but we can ponder about what could have been and why it never came out.

Dr. Dre was at the top of his game in 1999 when he released his album 2001. This album was a followup to his 1992 classic The Chronic and stood as a testament to the skills and sounds that Dr. Dre could bring to the table as a solo artist. With both albums being a success, it was pertinent for Dr. Dre to campaign for his third album as being a big deal. In doing so rappers such as Eminem, 50 Cent, and Dr. Dre himself would continuously promise that Detox was on its way. While this never happened, we did see some singles from the album. Songs such as I Need A Doctor and Kush were surefire indicators that the album was coming soon, however, those singles never amounted to anything other than being quality releases from Dr. Dre. Supposed work on Detox was also done during a busy time for Dr. Dre due to him producing for major artists and eventual Beats Headphones involvement years later. Seemingly, Dr. Dre wouldn’t have an ample amount of time to produce the album and thus each year the release date was pushed back another year until it was indefinitely delayed.

With the album’s release date nowhere in sight, fans wondered what Dr. ordered. With Detox being postponed, Dr. Dre continued to work in the background doing production and guest features here and there until 2015. After no word of Detox or any other albums, Dr. Dre surprised everyone when he announced Compton was coming out. Compton was released on August 7th, 2015 and serves as Dr. Dre’s true third album. The album was made in conjunction with the N.W.A film Straight Outta Compton. With both film and album being overwhelmingly received well by critics Dr. Dre seemingly proved that 16 years later he still had his touch. Compton is said to be a derivative of the original Detox album thus potentially ending the search for the lost album. With Detox never coming to fruition we were gifted with Compton instead.

16 years of waiting led up to a stellar album in Compton, however, it wasn’t Detox nor was it what Detox could be. Detox had the potential to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time with Dr. Dre’s production and his connections. While we never got Detox and probably never will, hip-hop has a legendary tale of the mythical album. I do hope one day we get a taste of what else Detox was supposed to contain but until then we must wait once more. While it may or may not ever come out, Detox will always serve as hip-hop’s greatest fabled album.

Hip-hop’s Greatest Debut Album/Hip-hop’s Greatest Tragedy

How would you feel if you lost everything you worked for in an instant? This was the case with The D.O.C. in 1989. Shortly after releasing his debut album, The D.O.C. was involved in a car accident which resulted in the loss of his voice. The D.O.C. is arguably one of the greatest rappers and wordsmiths alive, however, when he lost his voice that all changed. Only one album was made before the accident and in my opinion, it is hip-hop’s greatest debut album. No One Can Do It Better is a classic but above all else serves as a reminder of how well The D.O.C. could perform before the accident.

No One Can Do It Better was released on August 1, 1989, under the production of Eazy-E and Dr. Dre. Ironically, for an album produced by members of the N.W.A the only “moderately explicit” song on the album is the one that actually features N.W.A. The D.O.C. took a very clean approach when it came to making this album and decided to showcase his prowess in rapping rather than gloating about his life. The D.O.C. also notably wrote every song on the album himself which compared to today’s standards is extraordinary. Not only could he rap elegantly and quickly, but The D.O.C. was also great at his delivery skills. Every line spoken feels powerful as he glides across the beat and not only highlighting his skills but also the work of Dr. Dre. Songs such as “Portrait of a Masterpiece”, “The Formula”, and “Whirlwind Pyramid” are just a few of the many songs where the beat and lyrics match perfectly to create some of the most impeccable works of art. However, while No One Can Do It Better is one of my favorite albums it’s success could never be duplicated.

In 1996, The D.O.C. tried to return 7 years later with the release of Helter Skelter and then 14 years later with Deuce. Both albums are valiant efforts for someone with a damaged larynx, however, the vocal damage set The D.O.C. back in terms of ability. Recently, The D.O.C. has revealed that he’s working on another album and has regained more of his voice than he used to. If this album ever comes out it would mark approximately 30 years since his debut album in 1989. Given that The D.O.C. has the writing, lyricism, and production all taken care of, this album could be miraculous. But until then, The D.O.C. remains as hip-hop’s greatest tragedy. The man who lost his career and who had the smoothest and swiftest voice in hip-hop will one day rise again, however, this time it’ll be just a little different than it was in 1989.

Is Kendrick Lamar worthy of the hype?

October 22, 2012, marks one of the most important days of my life. On this day, an album was released that made me rethink everything that I knew about hip-hop. This, of course, marks the release date for Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City.

Up until that day I had no idea who Kendrick Lamar was or what he sounded like. This album was my introduction to his mind and style. At the time I picked up Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, the only Kendrick song I was familiar with was “Swimming Pools”, which I knew exclusively from the radio play it received. One of my main attractions to the album was the appearance of Dr. Dre. When I saw that Dr. Dre was featured on the tracks “Compton” and “The Recipe”, I decided to give this record a listen and immediately fell in love with this project. The story presented on this project is real and the emotions are representative of a young and cautious Kendrick Lamar.

This album made me a huge fan of Kendrick Lamar and even made me interested in more rappers from Compton such as The Game and YG. Less than a year after Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was released, Kendrick Lamar decided to flip the rap game on its head once more.

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