I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the USA Today article about Dr. Dre and the music industry myth which is his forthcoming LP, Detox. In the article, Dre says,
“I’m just now — over the last couple of months — starting to feel that it’s going to be right and it’s something I can be proud of, and everybody is going to love it… In a perfect world, I’m shooting for a November or December release.”
Bullshit. The reality is, Dr. Dre has been hinting at the release of this album for almost ten years. It’s long overdue. It’s overdue to the point that I don’t think anyone outside of the music industry even cares if it ever comes out. Really, how many new fans that have been turned on to hip-hop in the past ten years even know who Dr. Dre is? It’s like when I was a kid, you could tell me all about the greatness of this one and that one before me, but as much as I respected them, I didn’t buy their records or get into what they were doing just because. They had to make something I liked right now. How many Soulja Boy or V.I.C. Get Silly fans do you think Dre can appeal to? I don’t even think the average Lil Wayne fan could get with a Dr. Dre record right now.
With the direction that hip-hop has moved in, I don’t see Dre fitting into the current paradigm, and I don’t know that he has the cultural or musical relevance anymore to get with the times. He’s a looming figure, but he doesn’t put out enough material to keep himself relevant, and the projects he has been involved with over the past few years haven’t really lived up to expectations. The Big Bang anyone?
He keeps talking about Detox like it’s some musical masterpiece, which I’m sure on a technical level it will be, that he’s this big perfectionist, and blah blah blah…. I think he’s just waiting for the current tide of kiddie rap to pass by so he doesn’t have to worry about catching a brick, which is very possible with the way hip-hop fans treat their elder statesmen. The reality of it is, kiddie rap ain’t going anywhere, and pop rap hasn’t even met its full potential just yet. What, you thought Fergie rapping on a Nelly song was a rarity? That’s about to be the norm. Get ready.
But seriously, if I’m Dre, I just man the fuck up and keep it real with the people, with his fans, and just come out and say that I’m taking forever with this project because I think I might come out and people just won’t give a shit the way they used to. That I stood by the wayside while hip-hop became a buffoonery show (see: Rick Ross) and nearly died, and I pretty much did nothing but make records and keep them locked away on a hard drive somewhere.
Put your money where your mouth is Dre. No more talk. Put a record out, any record. Just do it.
Because while the whole aura and mystique of Detox was once a cool thing, something that added to the anticipation, now it’s just making you look bad. A running joke. A myth.