Dr Dre - Compton
After years of waiting for "Detox", Dr Dre instead offers the music world the lyrically rich "Compton" – a soundtrack by Dr Dre.
This album dropped as the movie "Straight Outta Compton", about NWA, was released in the USA. However, it is not that movie's soundtrack, but a soundtrack into the life of Dr Dre, who has proven that he in no ephemeral phenomena, & with no doubt is an epoch-making player in the industry. You will be taken by the effects filled and atmospheric tracks, the music that has character, and rhymes that say rap is alive, track intros and endings that are stylish.
"I remember when I got started my intention was to win", goes the Dr as he spills his heart out on the album's last track "Talking to my diary". This here is a project that is just part of what goes on in the mind of the icon who sometimes 'got lotta sh***t in my mind'. 'I am just starring at the sky, U probably think I am high...' are some of the lines that have seen drop this soundtrack to share some of these things. Check out the saxophone, trombone and Trumpet assist that just elevates the perky and heartfelt track that has the line 'This is for passion, this where my heart is...,' definitely a perfect way to end the soundtrack. 'I know Eazy can see me now, looking through the clouds...' '...I know my nigga still proud'. 'A nigga having flashbacks...,' he makes more diary entires.
The album intro is that of a movie starting and a story told on what Compton is, how it shaped him, and the life experienced there. Epic in approach, this intro was perfectly made to prepare the ear, mind and inner self for what it has to offer.
"Genocide" is a killer track (pardon the pun) done with Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & South Africa's Candice Pillay, and instinctively absorbs one's musical ear with its revolving spin. Talk about back to the future, this cut will take you back to the cutting edge sound that we have come to expect from the Dr. and still manages to find its space in the current sphere. Hard core in approach, it will break you down, as he does a soul spin towards the end and hits you in the face with it, as it takes you all up once last time.
Candice once again appears on "Medicine Man" that also features Eminem and Anderson Paak. This is one of those break-out tracks on the concept album, and you are guaranteed to feel its healing and captivating nature. Eminem is let loose on the track and the chorus is just to die for (...but then again, the Dr. with his troops is at hand to the rescue – musical rescue that is).
'That's just the way it is, and how it always was...' goes the track on "lt's all on me" that has the old G, still rhyming 'f***k' the police with Justus and BJ The Chicago Kid. Its "All in a day's work" in the realistic, hard-hitting and driven track that throws punches non-stop, well ...and also telling the men in blue to (...well, you know what).
"Darkside/Gone" featuring King Mez, Marsha Ambosius & Kendrick Lamar is a mixture of beats that is driven by the featured acts' rhymes throws a curve ball and makes an indelible mark. "Loose cannons" sees Xzibit, Cold 187UM & Sly Pyper on the ride on the track that shoots from all sides. Anderson, Lamar, and Justus hook up with the Dr. on the deep "Deep Water". Be immersed in the water, swim along with them and don't fight the tide.
NWA member Ice Cube marches along with the assist troupe that addresses real "Issues" with Anderson Paak and Dem Jointz. Love the cool off from the driven rhymes to the momentous chorus that is a big part and has a life of its own on the number. Uncle Snoop gets to pull the trigger on "One shot one kill" with Jon Connor on the killer track that rocks with the line 'You are now not in the presence of nice guys...' "Satisfaction" is the name of the game as an inspired Snoop (say wot? What did you expect? He is working with the Dr.) throws his weight (rhymes speaking that is) again, with Marsha and King Mez to add a fulfilling touch on the album.
The Game rides "Just another day" with his musical master and Asia Bryant on this track that is shortlived. Thank God for repeat, you get to enjoy it "Just another day". "For the love of money" is blessed by Jill Scott, Jon Connor and Anderson Paak, and carries that love of gangsta rap, and of course the loot. Riding on a dry snare and thumping bassline, "Animals" has that energy that was associated with rap back in the day, and Anderson Park is just perfect for it. Yeah, you will agree with Dre when he says 'what the f***k, I feel the rage...', as you enjoy the ride with the pack on the DJ Premier produced cut.
No need to despair, apparently "Detox" is done (...with Dre you never know), and this, is just the perfect start to the main course. What a starter it is. Review by Mandla Motau