‘Compton’ By Dr. Dre Album Review: A Smart And Entertaining Masterstroke
Sixteen years. Sixteen years we’ve been waiting for a new Dr. Dre album, since the release of his masterpiece 2001 in 1999. Inspired by the film Straight Outta Compton that’s hitting the theaters on Aug. 14, this new album is supposed to be the soundtrack of the whole Los Angeles neighborhood no less.
Dre explained his inspiration a week before the release, on Apple Music’s radio Beats 1. “I was leaving the set, coming to the studio, and I felt myself just being so inspired by the movie that I started recording an album,” he told Zane Lowe. He added that it would be his “grand finale,” and the record definitely feels like it is. Everything sounds is spectacular. Compton is like the fireworks celebrating his whole career — as a producer, as a successful businessman and, most of all, as an entertainer.
Compton By Dr. Dre Album Review
Simply put, this is an entertaining record. If you’re willing to have a good time and just enjoy the music, you don’t have to analyze every lyric or every rhyme, you don’t have to listen to the album entirely, you don’t have to know Dre’s career like the back of your hand. Compton is an easy-to-access record showing that Dre understands how people consume music nowadays.
You can feel that by the fact the producer has surrounded himself with new artists, such as King Mez, Justus, BJ the Chicago Kid and Kendrick Lamar, who all bring a fresh boost to these incredible instrumentals that will give you the chills. You can see it clearly when the Beats founder invites Eminem to collaborate again on “Medicine Man.” But it doesn’t quite work as it did on the Detroit rapper’s Relapse album. More than rapping creepy rape lyrics again, Eminem sounds like he’s counting on his technique to impress the listener. Eminem used to be Dre’s little protégé, but the place has definitely been taken over by Lamar now, who is like the lyrical right-hand man to Dre.
At the end of the day, Compton is just a hit machine, made to be blasted loud on your car’s stereo as your head goes from the headrest to the steering wheel. The tracks are very melancholic and offer insight into Dre and Ice Cube’s story. The Straight Outta Compton inspiration isn’t in the instrumentals — some don’t even sound like they should represent this neighborhood — but in the lyrics, in the general ambiance, or in some samples, such as one by Eazy-E on “Darkside.”
Compton offers a panorama of all of these rappers’ feelings about L.A’s most dangerous neighborhood. Compton is a master stroke: Dre has proved his music could evolve, and instead of trying to represent Compton blindly, he gives us an introspective look at what it used to be. Like a wise, old uncle in his rocking chair.