Artist of the week: Dr. Dre
You may enjoy or dislike his music, sound production or whatever you may think his persona stands for, but the truth is that you will not find any other individual that has been more influential and successful in urban afro-american music than Andre Romelle Young, also known as Dr. Dre.
Not only has he started his career as one of the masterminds behind N.W.A., arguably the collective responsible to bring unfiltered and authentic gangsta rap to the mainstream, and defined with his first solo album the pristine synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats sound of West Coast G-funk, but he also produced albums and supervised careers of some of the key-figures of hip hop in the last twenty years such as Snoop Dog, Eminem, X-Zibit, 50 Cent, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. He also became the most successful black music entrepreneur in the world, having founded Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronic. That he managed to accomplish all these achievements with a low profile that is miles away from the media status of other similar successful businessmen such as Puff Daddy or Jay-Z only further proves there is no place for distractions or bullshit in his tremendously focused approach to anything he gets his hands on.
Sixteen years after his last solo album, Dr. Dre recently released what is supposed to be his third (and final) solo album. Though Compton has been marketed as a soundtrack for the Straight Outta Compton movie, the fact is that the album is a unified collection of songs inspired by the jazzy structure of Kendrick Lamar’s last LP with beats, grooves and a robotic funk that could only come from the mind of Dr. Dre. The guests are all stellar and fully deliver what is asked to them in every single track, turning Compton is an unexpected synthesis of what has made hip hop the most vibrant genre in pop’s last decade.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.