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MONDAY, JULY 04, 2011



Arts & Entertainment

If an alien spaceship got a freak transmission of Dr. Dre's video for his 2001 song, "Still D.R.E," the extra terrestrials may interpret the music clip as a documentary on Grand Mal seizures. Most of the subjects throughout the five minute video clip look as though they're feeling the after effects of electric shocks: cars, women's asses, Snoop Dogg's sinewy body and Dre's denim clad figure all physically reverberate throughout the music video. Strange, right?... Maybe if you had the sound turned off.

There is a certain quality to this song (the repetitive piano loop, the delicious and consistent bass line) that cause listeners to raise one corner of their upper lip in agreement with the beat. The reaction of spazmatic seizure-like movements is no surprise once you immerse yourself in the audio imagery of Dre's life in Compton. This song is one that translates through the ages, one that will forever be "my jam."

So I'm eight years late in reviewing 2001. "What of it?" I just needed seven extra years to hear a bunch of new music with which I can contrast the beauty of "Still D.R.E." I'm going to start reviewing songs and albums about seven years late, that way I can really contextualize the work and see what came after it, what essentially couldn't surpass it's epic quality. There is a constant notion of hip hop artists competing to create the next greatest album. Lil Wayne believes he's done it. He's the best rapper alive, according to himself. And yes, I have a soft spot for Young Money, but will his music transcend generations? Last year, Urban Outfitters began stocking a t-shirt with the image from the cover of Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic.I guess like me, they recognized that Dre's rap permeates through decades. Like my Motown favorites, Dre holds a solid spot in my heart because he is, as they say, "classic." Weezy may be able to release over 72 singles in a year, but one cliche Dre is adhering to is the concept of "quality, not quantity." It takes time to create a work of genius!

In "Still D.R.E," the Doctor confronts the consistent evolution of the rap genre, stating "they say rap's changed, they wanna know how I feel about it." His response? Rap might have changed, but he's still D.R.E, still not loving police, still rocking his khakis with a cuff and a crease, still got love for the streets, still repping 2, 1, 3. Still the beat bangs, still doing his thang, since he left, ain't too much changed; still representing for them gangsters all across the world, still hitting them corners in them low low's girl, still taking his time to perfect the beat.

Indeed he is taking his time. And usually, this pays off: he perfected the beats for other artists and achieved chart topping status as a producer, but has yet to release his own masterful, anticipated album The Detox, which will presumably contain "more hot shit," and be "another classic CD for y'all to vibe with." Supposedly the album will be released in 2009 on Aftermath records.

Until we get to hear it, don't forget about Dre. Keep bumping "my jam", and in another seven years, maybe I will have another favorite to add to my collection. Hip hop's been looking a little ill lately (and I don't mean that in a good way). Is the Doctor in? We're looking for a remedy.



I love your music reviews, they're pretty funny and original. Even though this one is "7 years late" ...but at least you got it in before Detox.

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