Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the Year 2000: Dr. Dre and the Inna Nets

As I was contemplating the impending arrival of some new Dr. Dre music (finally) the other day, a thought occurred to me: how will the internet handle this? Why do I ask this question? Well, the last time Dre dropped an album, I was in junior high, playing NBA Hangtime on N64 24/7, chatting with my friends using AIM on a PC running Windows 98 with a 2 GB hard drive and a 56k dial-up connection. Phew! Remember those days? Flash forward eleven years later and the world is a very, very different place - the inna nets being no exception.

Dr. Dre's musical output has never before been met by the cynical, snide, hyperbolic sarcasm of the online community. What judgment will Detox meet in the presence of the hipster deity form known as Pitchfork? Will it receive a 5.3 rating? 6.7? 8.4? Will Tom Breihan write the review (#noshots)? These things matter in 2010, for better or for worse.

The last time Dre dropped an album, 5 Mics in The Source actually meant something. In the '90s, many great rap records received this coveted rating, from Illmatic to Ready to Die, The Low End Theory to Aquemini. That was the '90s; the 2000s were far different. The last album to earn 5 Mics in The Source was Lil Kim's The Naked Truth. (That must've been some bomb-ass head!) The album also got a perfect score in Vibe Magazine. (Like a Hoover vacuum!) Even Pitchfork gave it a score two decimal points shy of the solid 8.0 mark. (Blowjobs for everyone!) Where are we at in 2010?

When he's not fapping to PAWGs - I'll betcha Dre has no clue what any of that means - Byron Crawford kicks the facts. In his latest XXL piece, he writes: "Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine at the Boston Red Sox’ home opener... [was] obviously just a commercial for those Beats by Dr. Dre headphones." So true. And that's something that troubles me about the all-of-a-sudden rush to push Detox, and attend MLB games, and go on Maria Bartiromo's show (of all places), and so on and so on. Jimmy Iovine went so far as to say that we need more Lady Gagas in music nowadays. Really? Would he have said that if she didn't have her own Heartbeats line under the Beats by Dre/Monster umbrella? GTFOH!

In watching these pathetic pseudo-infomercials - not nearly as appalling as Kim Kardashian appearing on Letterman's show to defend the diamond trade in Africa - one thing was quite noticeable: Dr. Dre seemed uncomfortable as fuck! I guess that's why we don't see him in the media spotlight as often as we'd expect from any other celebrity. Words can't describe what the fuck this is supposed to mean:

(Who had it worse, Dee Barnes or that baseball?) ... But that's fine. Dr. Dre is a genius in the booth and I've still got some faith in the project. I'll let the music speak for itself once I hear it (and you should too). Stay tuned...


  1. DJ Fade the hiph0phypeApril 8, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    Dre did look UNCOMFORTABLE on Maria Bartiromo's show , he is a damn puppet. I think DETOX will be a good album

  2. 2 old ass guys pimpin their wares all over TV. Arent Jimmy & Dre too big for that? I guess not.

    Detox will be copped wothout a listen. Not expecting a classic anymore but I just want some good ass beats.

    I like the YouTube non clicky link thing. Kim K lives up to my expectations of being an airhead. Would smash it, then take her to school. Russell Simmons is kinda wack for that

  3. First of all, anybody who listens to music in the "digital revolution age" is already aware that the sound of mp3's is not the dopest format, but i don' give a damn about how good it sounds on my "30 cent headphones", as long as I can make out the beats, samples, and lyrics. I will never spend $350 dollars on Dr. Dre headphones, Bose Headphones or any other wack ass headphones just to listen to my ipod. I guarantee there is not $350 dollars worth of hardware in those things, despite Jimmy Iovine's claims of superiority.

    Dre needs to A) release al of the tracks recorded with artists that he dropped in the last 10 years (B sides, etc) and finish his albums already. At 10 years between albums, I lose mad interest waiting for him to do some "next shit". I would be amazed if he actually produced an entire album with a notable rapper and stop trying to hype these new "lames" all the time.

    Dr. Dre and Common, Jay-Z, Nas, Joell Ortiz, Saigon, anybody that would make me actually want to buy a CD. He waited so long to release an album, that CD's aren't even popular anymore. Don't be surprised if it sells or soundscans at Double Wood but gets DL'd like crazy.

    PS - Kim K is dumb as hell, and while I am disgusted with her ignorance of the diamond trade (like they would tell this bimbo from the US anything but good news), she was just hyping her 15 minutes as usual. All she does is be famous for being famous, why do we give these people attention. Maybe if her DVD's were her bouncing on a bed in slow-mo naked, it would be worth watching, LOL.

  4. Just for the record - I still subscribe to AIM and to Nintendo64. Fox in SuperSmash Brothers >>>>>>

    In regards to the anon post above me - I agree about the Dre headphones. Dre and Jiminy Cricket wanna make it seem like they burned up the liner notes of the original "Chronic" and put the ashes inside, but we all all this shit is a $30 headphone with Dre's name on it. But, I will say, I do have a pair of Sony studio headphones I copped for like $120 something like 6 years ago, and they still work and sound awesome. Some higher-end headphones do make a difference, it just depends on what you are buying.

    And as for Ivan and how Detox will be received - I still am dubious on it being released this year. But assuming it does - the internet will do what it always does. The fanboys will love it, the haters will hate on it, people with no sense will see Jay-z's name on a track and think it's the best thing ever, and much like Cuban Linx 2, even if people think it's a great album, the reviews will always have something along the lines of how it's a great followup but it couldn't touch his other 2 albums - but that it was still a "worthy effort" or has plenty of "replay value", or whatever the fuck.


  5. First of all let me preface my post with the following:

    I love Dr. Dre. Not in a homosexual way, but in the musical sense. To me he is one of the dopest DJ's ever. He is also one of the best producers. I was buying his mixtapes at the Roadium swapmeet when he was still with World Class, years before NWA. Back in the era of the pre-gangsta's paradise. When being a 'gangsta' meant you represented either red or blue. Dre started gradually integrating his homeboys such as Eazy and Cube into his mixtapes and thus the era of the true gangsta's paradise had begun and NWA was on its way.

    Dre clung a bit too tightly to the gansta thing and it was a restricted regional thing mostly limited to the west coast. But when he made his mixtapes 99% of the music was EAST COAST HIP HOP. And he freaked that shit like no other, but don't my word for it. Just google or youtube Dre Roadium mixtapes.

    Anyway I'm getting bored with own post to I'll cut to my current of opinion of Dr. Dre:

    He's a brand to be applied to a label or sleeve to sell records.

    He's lost his muse. His tedious, plodding, slow beats were dope up to a certain point, say around 1996, but the man refused to grow musically. He stuck with the same old program and until I hear something that doesn't sound like typical Dre shit I won't be impressed.

    I think Dre is stuck in a helluva rut and he seriously needs to expand his musical scope as a producer.

    My advice?

    GET BACK ON THE TURNTABLES. Fucking freak that shit like you know how! Explore different styles of music, maybe dub/dub step, travel a bit, go to Europe and check out what kids are into out there because it's live.

    Just sayin', something's broken with Dre IMO. It's almost akin to a tragedy to me because I KNOW the man can come up with something that will fuck my head up. It's not like he's been in an accident that has taken away some of his brain mass so he's limited to what he creates as a result.

  6. Wait a minute, Ivan I just watched the Dre & Iovine headphone infomercial- "Dre seemed uncomfortable as fuck"?

    Really?? He looked relaxed and a bit methed out but other than that, what gave you the impression that he seemed uncomfortable?

    You know who looked stupid as fuck: Jimmy Iovine with his dick laced Dre headphones around his neck like he was about to.. what get on some turntables or something?

    A few other impressions from watching the infomercial:

    1) The economy DOES indeed suck enough to where people will not be investing in $350 headphones. Give me a fucking.

    2) Jimmy; if the digital music on your ipod, computer, or cellphone is encoded at say 128kbps, how will $350 headphones make that shitty encoding quality make it sound better? Is that the point of the headphones? I could be missing it. I mean try listening to anything with any kinda bass or Led Zeppelin encoded at 128- sounds like utter crap, I hope your star spangled headphones can fix that(doubt it).

    3) Haven't these headphones been out for over a year now? I saw a busted up pair on display at Best Buy back in 2008 or 2009. Btw it doesn't exactly help sell your product when you walk in a store and see a mangled, broke pair of headphones that you're trying to pawn.

    4) This is further proof that Jimmy Iovine and the entire record industry still have nary a fucking clue as to what they're doing or where they're going. "Who ever shows up at the party first"? Really Jimmy? With what a pound of cocaine?


  7. Hold up, one final thought about the headphone infomercial;

    I've never seen such a blatant depiction of a slave and master, even in Roots. I don't give a fuck what pals they are, it smacked of an old cracker tryin to sell off his uncle Tom.

    It just looked dumb, dodgy and cheap.

    But I still maintain that Dre didn't look uncomfortable!

  8. @Benovite

    Actually, Dre did look uncomfortable to me.

    Also, I have to disagree with you on Dre's musical sense. I think his music has become more original and complex than his G-Funk days. He has grown a tremendous amount since the G-Funk. I literally study Dr Dre, if that’s weird I don’t care, and his music has become more complex in terms of melodies and how he puts together his shit. IMHO, his beats nowadays had more musical value and his G-Funk beats, the g-funk beats were just catchy. To say he hasn’t grown musically seems stupid to me but I guess that’s your opinion.

  9. Dont mistake a trademark style for musical stagnation.

    Dre needs Detox out of the way so he can free himself of the pressure to create the perfect album.

    He can still switch it up - look at Relapse.

    Once Detox is out, Dre is free to experiment and flourish further. He has to play it safe somewhat for Detox.

    Anyway, even though I gave up waiting for Detox long ago, I know its still gonna be amazing.

  10. Decapitatah; I understand and totally respect that you study Dre's music. I could say the same of me, but here's the thing;

    Dre's G-funk era of musical production style WAS NOT his first style of music production.

    Get what I'm saying? He didn't come out the gate with G-funk, as it's been coined.

    He came out the gate with electro and World Class Wrecking Crew, which evolved into the very early gangsta beats for Eazy in the form of "Boys in the Hood", soon thereafter with Cube's first crew C.I.A., which then lead to, IMO, the dopest era beats he ever created, which was for that first pivotal 12inch NWA EP with 8-Ball and Dopeman. And yet he was still clinging to his electro roots along with Arabian Prince to produce Panic Zone.

    I'm probably forgetting a group or two that he produced in between the ones I mentioned above.

    In between all this you had Dre producing mixtapes for the Roadium swapmeet in which he would bring in Sir Jinx, Krazy D, Cube and Eazy for cameos.

    At this point he had ALREADY gone through about 2 musical eras and this was before the release of 1989's Straight Outta Compton in which he refined his gangsta beats for NWA. Then you've got Above The Law, The DOC, Michel'le..

    He started to overproduce NWA after this(again IMO) with 100 Miles and Running and Niggaz4Life.

    After all this, then he starts to go back to the basics of gangsta music, ditches his overly-produced style and essentially starts to dumb it down for the G-funk era.

    In the G-funk era he still obviously had a shit load of originality and creativity.

    Later when he would create beats for The Firm, he created one of the most simple yet(again) IMO dopest beats for the track Phone Tap.

    I think at some point during this post-Death Row, Aftermath era he clung a bit too tightly to simple, plodding beats. But then I could just rehash everything I said earlier and I think you get my point.


  11. @Benovite

    Thats the thing, his post-death row/aftermath beats aren't simple to me.
    Funny thing is that, to me, your analysis on his music from WCWC to aftermath is vice versa for me so i guess its really an opinion thing. I personally think that the beat he makes now are unable to be duplicated properly and that's what make them his best beats to date.

  12. Ok can you do me a favor? When you get the chance point me to some post Death Row/Aftermath Dre tracks that you really like. I'm not trying to be facetious, I just wanna make sure I'm not missing something that I might like. One of my boys was telling me about the Dre/Busta/DJ Scratch stuff and I have yet to look into it, but in theory it seems dope.

    My opinion is mostly based on stuff Dre did with Eminem(although some of the early stuff I do like) and the more recent Raekwon Cuban Links 2 stuff Dre did, which was mostly uninspiring for me.

    And to be perfectly honest, I'm a turntable junkie and I know how utterly fucking brilliant Dre can be on the tables. Which has a lot to do with my growing disappointment over the years with Dre as he as drifted away from the skills that brought him to the forefront.