Breed 'em and lead 'em ' Compton

24 October 2015
If you’re wondering if you should watch Straight Outta Compton, you need to listen to the soundtrack first. And we’re not just saying that for any particular reason other than, it’s best to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

Dr Dre, original member of shock-rap trio N.W.A, prodigious producer, overall hip hop heavy weight and mastermind behind Compton is himself straight of Compton, as it were. Inspired by seeing his younger self in the biopic, Dr Dre scribbled down his pent up rage, rough ideas and life experience into somewhat of a love letter to his hometown. The result is an album that seems preoccupied with Dr Dre’s past while describing his tumultuous, often violent musical career.

But the ideas he tries to reconcile here belong to his current state of mind as a middle-aged billionaire who made it out of Compton as well as his former days as a rebel-rapper. Of course this is the watered down version. Dr Dre is still concerned with making an impact with an album that is relevant now as it likely would’ve been back then.

While the hastiness of it’s construction might betray what he’d promised about the seemingly mythical Detox; that it was supposed to be “the most advanced rap album ever”, and while Compton isn’t better than his previous LP, It’s a great use of his talents to galvanize his fans, nurture old and new voices while still speaking to the experience of black people everywhere.

As far as arrangement goes, Dr Dre remains the king of quality collaboration. It’s hard to miss the dazzling cast of features that undoubtedly up their game in his presence. From neo-revolutionary Kendrick Lamar, who lays his trademark rawness bare on Deep Water and Genocide to the occasional trap influences of the young’un King Mez in the brassy and bossy can opener of a track Talk About It.

Dre also rekindles his old romance with troubled child, rap star Eminem in Medicine Man. South African born songstress Candice Pillay also weaves her enchanting vocals through the harsh inflections and cutting percussion of confrontational hip hop beats, like a feisty breeze.

With the message that as much as he may have left Compton, Compton never left him, Dre continues to make an impact when he steps into the studio. Pity this may be his last time.

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