If Dr. Dre is so desperate for an excuse to promote Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, how come he can't just compile a disc's worth of throwaways from the first two Chronic albums and release that? He could still call it Detox, if he wanted to. I wouldn't even be that upset. I'm just afraid that he's gonna put out an entire album's worth of songs that sound like this song "Kush" that hit the Internets last night, and it's gonna be the saddest thing in hip-hop since that DVD of Big Pun pistol whipping his wife for failing to bring him a ham sandwich.

This could be downright ugly.

I was over at Rap Pravda just now, checking to see if it's still a website, and I saw where they had audio of Dr. Dre talking about last night's leak. He's not gonna pull the same shit he pulled last time, where he tried to pretend as if the white guy from 2dopeboyz hacked into his email and stole a half-finished version of the song (which he of course stores in his email), is he? I guess that will depend on how well "Kush" is received, now won't it? Already, I see they're referring to it as a "warm up single." Tha fuck? The album is supposedly coming out before the end of the year. It's not like we don't know what a Dr. Dre song sounds like. And it's not like there haven't been umpteen other leaks from the album, over the course of several years now.

But it looks like this time might be the real deal. Detox might finally be hitting stores, which is to say sites that post suspect rapidshare links. Dr. Dre is on the cover of the big two month year end issue of XXL, along with the most no name brand Eye Candy of the Year in a minute (hopefully, the African fellow who does those interviews got a ride in the tank, so to speak), and Kanye West's third XXL review, not to mention a story on Wacka Flocka Flame's mother, which be the most interesting XXL story evar, just based on how she comes off in YouTube videos. Whenever Gucci Mane thinks it best to sever business ties with you, you know there might something wrong with your general demeanor.

The story on Dr. Dre is touted as an exclusive interview, which I took to mean that XXL is back to its old Interscope shenanigans. Not that I'm complaining. A decent percentage of my livelihood is based on Ronald Reagan-style trickle down (no Rush Limbaugh watersports fantasy) from said shenanigans. I'm just saying. They could have tried to be a bit less obvious. First this "Kush" crap crops up on all of the blogs that can be counted on to slavishly post promo material from major labels, regardless of what it is, then the next thing you know, here comes this XXL cover, with Dr. Dre's huge light bulb shaped, grecian formula coated head.

I could assume those were both consequences of steroid use and the aging process, if XXL didn't have a lengthy and storied history of purposely playing jokes on its cover subjects. Like those times they featured Baby and Lil Wayne and then 50 Cent and Soulja Boy in what looked like a sweaty, post-coital embrace; that time they had Jay-Z looking like Joe Camel (I mean, even more so than usual); that time they had Rick Ross wearing those fake Gucci sunglasses. (Don't these magazines have people they pay a full-time salary solely to pick out clothes for those photo shoots?) If you had the time and the interest, I'm sure you could find numerous other examples.

This Dr. Dre cover has to be right up there with the best of them. In addition to how old he looks (which is bound to happen when you're 46 or whatever), there's the fact that he's playing chess, which is something that a lot of guys, like Howard Stern, only start to get into in middle age, when they've got the time (but not as much energy), and the fact that he's wearing what looks like a Member's Only jacket, with Michael Jackson-style black leather trim. Nullus? I happen to know, because I checked the Internets after I saw a crackhead at my job in a Member's Only jacket, that you can't even buy a new Member's Only jacket anymore. You probably haven't been able to since, like. '89, before there was a such thing as the Internets. You could probably go to the Goodwill and cop used ones three for a dollar, or for free, if you can prove you're blind, which I can, but I can't find anything my size at the Goodwill. Most of those clothes are 20+ years old, and people didn't used to be this big. I was among the first. (In that sense, at least, I'm in a category with the likes of Barack Obama, the first black president, and Ronald E. McNair, the first black man to blow up in space.) No, someone went out of their way to make Dr. Dre look that ridiculous. Or did Dr. Dre bring that jacket himself, and no one had the heart to tell him to take it off? That seems to be a running theme in his career lately.