The Detox Cycle: Longtime Dr. Dre affiliate Soopafly returns
In this week in "Detox," we bring you the latest developments from the opaque and dank world of Dr. Dre, the West Coast's most indelible sonic icon, weightlifting enthusiast and O.C.D. perfectionist. According to Hip Hop DX, Priest "Soopafly" Brooks, the renowned ex-Death Row keyboardist, has returned to work on the mythologically delayed album from Andre Young.
The news suggests a back-to-basics approach to the construction of the album. After all, reading the rumor-laden Wikipedia page for the album is about as entertainingly byzantine as a Pynchon novel. Here's an abbreviated list of the artists on the record, at one time or another: Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Warren G, Mary J Blige, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Raekwon, Ice Cube, Lady Gaga, Just Blaze, R. Kelly Common, Wayne Newton, Lil B, and Big L's ghost.
The last three are not actually true, but they well may be for all we know about "Detox." The first rule of "Detox" isn't don't talk about "Detox," it's tell the world that it's a masterpiece and it's almost finished. That way, journalists write blog posts speculating about the content of the record and thus continue to foster its mythological status and public interest in whatever Dre's doing. (Wait a minute...)
July brought forth the news that Snoop Dogg and the D.O.C. were back in the mix, and now the return of Soopafly (the man who played keyboards on "Natural Born Killaz," Tha Dogg Pound's "Doggfood" and several hundred other records of the post-Death Row years) would seemingly imply that they're throwing their hands in the air and waving them as if they care -- and are very confused about the record's direction. Not so, according to Soopafly, who told DX that "Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and [me] are making sure it got that finishing touch on it."
Later, Soopafly added that "[Detox] sounds good. I haven't even personally worked on anything yet. Dre's a perfectionist, so he takes his time. But, I listened to a lot of stuff [and] it sounds good. That’s all I’ma say."
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Snoop Dogg, left, is embraced by Dr. Dre at the BMI Urban Awards in August. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press