Dr. Dre protege Dawaun Parker releases first single
What a difference a Dre makes. If it weren't for the imprimatur of the notoriously reclusive Los Angeles legend Dr. Dre, it's unlikely that Dawaun Parker's debut single would generate coverage on every major hip-hop blog.
But considering the erstwhile Andre Young gets a co-production credit on his most visible protege's debut cut, "Lost" is fated to be scrutinized like it was an episode of the J.J. Abrams hourlong adventure saga. After all, "Detox" remains in permanent rehab, with no release date in sight, and Parker's effort for his forthcoming "The Decision" EP reflects another potential window into what's going on in that Valley studio.
When Parker spoke to The Times last year, he described the forthcoming "Detox" tracks as "soulful. Eminem’s progressions and sounds tend to be rock-oriented, while Dre’s influences are more rooted in R&B, funk and soul."
Indeed, "Lost" is a bronze slab of corruscating soul, with plangent trumpets, sinister piano keys and clean booming drums. Lyrically, the song is fairly boilerplate Aftermath Music fare: tough talk, drug talk and a smooth R&B hook. Parker prays that God "save him from the perils of this rap business," while excoriating the villians that crowd him at every angle.
But from this vantage point, things are looking good for the 26-year old Berklee College of Music grad. He's earned co-production credits on some of the biggest hits of the last few years ("Crack the Bottle," "We Made You"), Dre's got his back, and his new single is an impressive, if slightly rote, performance. Parker's not lost -- in fact, he ought to be handing out directions.
MP3: Dawaun Parker-"Lost" (Left-Click)
Photo: Dawaun Parker; Credit: Team DP