Dr. Dre doesn’t surface regularly – since N.W.A. disbanded in the early 1990s, he’s released only two albums and supervised one compilation – but when he does, he exudes what feels like decades’ worth of tension.
Taking hip hop on his back has been relatively light work for Dr. Dre, when he has deigned to do it, but what he needs, mainly, is to be a conduit for others – to get out of the way.
“Compton” – which was inspired by “Straight Outta Compton,” the new N.W.A. biopic Dr. Dre was an executive producer on – is a mixture of utter confidence and hodgepodge distraction.
T’s virtually an open-door policy in place for collaborators, meaning attack dogs like the new Compton celeb Kendrick Lamar coexist alongside more doubtful abilities, just like the young Dre proteges Justus and King Mez.But those are issue, and Dr. Dre is macrominded.
Dr. Dre, by contrast, is more concerned with feeling, mood and texture.
Largely what “Compton” shows is that Dr. Dre isn’t wracked by self doubt.
In light of the recent agonizing on the utilization of ghostwriters in hip-hop, it is worth noting that Dr. Dre has long been understood to use young talent to contribute to his verses.
Mr. Lamar is the photonegative of Dr. Dre – he’s a packed lyrical tech who can be all trees, no forest.
Dr. Dre has said that “Compton” will be his “Grand finale.” Maybe that is since the flashlight is ultimately passed, and today he does not owe anyone anything anymore.