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Dr. Dre’s “Detox”: A Review

June 12, 2009

detoxHip hop heads, prepare to be jealous: I, Matt Hoffman, have just come into possession of the full version of Dr. Dre’s long-awaited magnum opus, Detox. I’m not going to say how I obtained this recording, though I will suggest to Dre that he should change his password to something less obvious. (Just because you spell “chronic” with a K, doesn’t mean you’re fooling anyone.) I’m also not going to leak the album to the internet, as I have too much respect for the Dr.’s work to give his music away before the official release date. (Plus I’m afraid he’d have me killed.) What I will do, though, is give you loyal Pegleg Spinners readers an overview of what to expect from this rap giant’s latest LP.

First of all, Detox‘s production is, as one would expect, immaculate. The beats range from synth-laden originals to incredibly clever samples–for example, who would’ve thought that the Jeopardy! theme could be used as a bangin’ backing track for a song called “L.A. Skullf***”? Dr. Dre, that’s who. The album’s instrumentals are so crisp that even when they are played through the best stereo systems on the market, the human ear cannot fully do them justice. For instance, “Spin That S***” sounded to me like three minutes and seventeen seconds of silence, but something must have been going on because while it was playing, my pet terrier got up on its hind legs and started doing the Crip Walk.

Please don't hurt me.

Please don't hurt me.

Dre’s vocals, however, leave something to be desired. Sure, he’s got a classic hip-hop voice, and he can still keep up with a rhythm, but the fact that his lyrics are ghostwritten is at times painfully obvious. Take a look at this line that he spits on “Blazin’ It Up”:

“See us rollin’, sweet ride/We don’t run, we fly

Chronic gettin’ me high/’Cause my name is T.I.”

Call me paranoid, but that doesn’t sound like Dre’s flow to me. And don’t get me started on the second verse of “1 Ho, 2 Ho,” which seems to be taken verbatim from the soundtrack of High School Musical.

Still, even if Dre’s rhymes ain’t what they used to be, the album is chock full of notable guest performers. These include Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Nas, the Wu-Tang Clan, MC Hammer, Grandmaster Flash and the guy from the Montgomery flea market (to name just a few). Lil Wayne gets a track all to himself and spends every verse asleep, his snores Auto-Tuned to the melody of “Hot Cross Buns.” The man is a genius.

One complaint I did have with this album was that there was a lot of product placement on it. I thought Dre’s Dr. Pepper endorsement deal was bad, but it’s small potatoes compared to tracks like “So Easy a Motherf***ing Caveman Could Do It” and “Allstate: You’re In Good Hands, B****.” Even the skits just consist of Dre talking about how much he loves the ShamWow.

All in all, though, Detox is a really great record, so great that I’d award it the highest honor attainable by modern music: I might actually pay for it when it comes out. Until then, I’ll keep hacking Dre’s accounts. I’ll let you know when I find some tracks from Detox 2.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2009 9:36 pm

    hmmmm no thanks.


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