Category: Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre to debut new track, 'Die Hard,' on Showtime on Friday night

Dr.dre In what continues to be perhaps the slowest rollout in the history of recorded music, Dr. Dre will unveil a new song from the forthcoming-ish album "Detox" on Friday night during the finale of the Showtime series "Fight Camp 360 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley." The new song, called "Die Hard," features Eminem, which automatically makes it required listening for anyone who's been following either of the lauded rappers' work.  

"Detox" has been in the works for most of the 21st century, with repeated delays, the occasional leak, and two hot singles -- "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor" -- released. There's no word on when the third, "Die Hard," will be officially released. Nor is there any word on when "Detox" will see daylight in its entirety.

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Dr. Dre signs with Chrysler to develop sound systems

Dear Dr. Dre: Forget 'Detox.' Focus on the planets

Dr. Dre returns with 'Kush,' first single from long-awaited 'Detox'

-- Randall Roberts

Photo: Dr. Dre photographed in 2010. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press

Dr. Dre signs deal with Chrysler to develop automobile sound systems; 'Detox' remains without release date

0drdre Nothing says "luxury hip-hop" quite like a Chrysler 300 Sedan. At least that's what Dr. Dre and one of America's most venerable automobile companies are hoping following the announcement that the man who brought you "The Chronic" will be the new face of the firm.

Unveiled this week during the 2011 New York Auto Show, the agreement finds the legendary producer pairing with fellow rapper, spokesperson and Aftermath Entertainment honcho Eminem to help shill for the iconic brand. According to reports, the commercials will begin in May and will revolve around Dre's dedication to his music and line of headphones, Beats by Dre.

Additionally, the audio technology behind the aforementioned headphones will be implemented in the 300 vehicle model. Reportedly developed by both Dre and Interscope Records President Jimmy Iovine (and presumably a fleet of highly skilled engineers), the automobiles will feature a 10-speaker system that Iovine claims "will set the bar for the way music should be heard in cars."

“Beats By Dr. Dre has always been about restoring the emotional music connection between an artist and the listener, and Chrysler vehicles beginning with the Chrysler 300S will let drivers hear music the way the artists intended,” said Oliver Francois, the president and CEO of Chrysler Brand, in a prepared statement.

Slated for a fall release, the pimped-out autos follow closely on the heels of Eminem's recent success hawking for the Michigan-based firm. Earlier this month, the firm reported that month-to-month sales of the company's 200 model sedan increased 191% in the wake of Eminem's Super Bowl commercials and endorsement.

Of course, Dre's deal isn't the first union between rappers and the world of audio. Most notably, the Doctor's own half-brother Warren G once endorsed a line of JVC subwoofers. As for Dre, whose "Detox" currently remains without a release date, his Chrysler pact is merely the latest in a string of corporate sponsorship deals including Dr Pepper and Hewlett-Packard.

At the moment, the album's purported first two singles "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor" both rank in the Top 20 of Power 106's playlist. Ostensibly, the third single, "I Need a Mont Blanc to sign this Lucrative Pitch Contract," will be rolled out soon.

RELATED:

Dr. Dre returns with 'Kush,' first single from long-awaited 'Detox'

First listen: "Mr. Prescription, another possible 'Detox' leak, hits the web

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: Dr. Dre. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

 

 

Dr. Dre partners with Mafia Wars to sell 'Kush'

Jo87dunc Plans to whet our appetites for the decade's most anticipated rap album have gotten a Face(book) lift lately, thanks to Dr. Dre's recent partnership with Mafia Wars.

Zynga, the game's San Francisco-based developer, announced Friday that Dre's new single,  "Kush," and other game experiences inspired by the legendary West Coast hip-hop producer would be featured in the popular social game, playable through Facebook, the iPad and the iPhone.

The gritty, single-player crime adventure now features a "Hustlin' Wit' Dre" portion -- allowing players to pick up virtual goods such as headphones, weapons and a vintage car. Of course, the game also features a stream of "Kush" (featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon) off the long-awaited "Detox" album slated for early 2011. There's even a link within the game to buy the single on iTunes. Whether you're busting caps, slapping hookers or stealing cars, Dre's music, persona and sales pitch are now ever-present.

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Dr. Dre returns with 'Kush,' first single from long-awaited 'Detox'

DrdreIt took more than a decade, but the seemingly impossible has happened: A new Dr. Dre single has officially arrived.

Not that Pop & Hiss doesn't trust Dre, but learning that the legendary producer was finally releasing a track from his oft-delayed album, “Detox,” was met with a little skepticism. After all, we've heard some of "Detox" before, and it was selling soda-pop. 

But what do you know, the notoriously perfectionist producer actually came out of hibernation, albeit forced.

After “Kush,” the Snoop Dogg- and Akon-assisted track hit the Net early Tuesday in an unmastered, prefinished form, Dre unleashed a more definitive edition. The cut was sent to radio and is now available for purchase on iTunes. Listeners can also stream it on his website

The single is sure to be a breath of fresh air to Dre fans -- unless they are busy partaking in the song’s theme. Dre followers have waited more than 10 years for the album, reportedly his final. "Detox" has become rap’s own version of Guns 'N Roses’ “Chinese Democracy,” an album that feels more myth than reality, although the G'NR effort did eventually make it to retail. 

In a radio interview with host Big Boy on Power 106 (105.9), he mentioned he didn’t intend for "Kush" to come out, at least not yet, and hopes it doesn't give listeners the impression that “Detox” is all about blunt smoking, as classic of a Dre and Snoop theme as it is.

“It’s about weed smoking, and I don’t want people to think that’s what my album’s about,” he said. “This is actually the only song with that type of content in it. But it seems that everybody likes it. So we’re going to go ahead and push with it.”

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Dr. Dre protege Dawaun Parker releases first single

DawaunParkerPic 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.

Download:
MP3: Dawaun Parker-"Lost" (Left-Click)

Photo: Dawaun Parker; Credit: Team DP

Dear Dr. Dre: Forget 'Detox.' Focus on 'The Planets.' Please. Saturn needs a score.

EMINEM_DRE_TREK

At this point, there's no way Dr. Dre's long-awaited "Detox" can live up to our expectations. It's been almost a decade that the famed L.A. producer has been talking about the album, the follow-up to his 1999 album "2001," and by now it's just better served to go down as a hip-hop myth. 

Look, right now some Best Buy employees are playing laser tag amid forts built out of unsold "Chinese Democracy" albums -- or at least they should be. "Detox" needs to avoid this fate, and there's only one way that can happen: If it forever stays on Dre's custom-branded fancy laptops. Think, how awesome would the much-hyped Guns 'N Roses album had been if it had just lived in our dreams? Super awesome. The greatest album no one ever heard. 

So it's time to move on. Time to make like Janelle Monae and drop a space-themed concept album. It's not crazy. He apparently has one in the works. Dre tells Vibe that he's been working on an instrumental album called "The Planets." Says Dre: 

"It’s just my interpretation of what each planet sounds like. I’m gonna go off on that. Just all instrumental. I’ve been studying the planets and learning the personalities of each planet. I’ve been doing this for about two years now just in my spare time so to speak. I wanna do it in surround sound. It’ll have to be in surround sound for Saturn to work."

YES! Want. Dre's work with Eminem has produced numerous hits and all, but how about a collaboration with "Up"/"Star Trek" composer Michael Giacchino? It's not totally out of the realm of possibility. After all, Dre already has the outfit, as witnessed in Eminem's video for "We Made You."

--Todd Martens

Photo credit: Screenshot from Eminem's "We Made You," which is available for streaming on Vevo.com. (This post may or may not have been written solely as an excuse to reuse that photo.) 


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Chronic samples: The collected source material for Dr. Dre's opus

Hhir_sample_set_158_the_chronic Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" is one of those albums that has inspired so many words, any discussion of its merits involves reiterating well-worn cliches. It kick-started the G-Funk era and the reign of Death Row Records. It provided a poignant look at L.A. in the aftermath of the riots. It offered most of the world's introduction to Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and Warren G. It ended the career of Tim Dog. It is responsible for the widespread dissemination of the words "skeezer" and "busta."

It was one of those rare records that any West Coaster of a certain age remembers with a permanent nostalgia. Listening to it provides instant transport to the era when schoolyard fashions canted toward khakis and absurdly oversized shirts with chronic leaves, Raiders and Kings caps and an AM/FM stereo blaring Power 106 and the late 92.3, the Beat. And blank tape in the cassette deck ready to record the latest hydraulic-ready hit burrowing out of South L.A.

Two summers ago, I made a Summer Jam mix that represented my best attempt to capture the brief window when G-Funk ruled the world (the download link is still active, F.Y.I.). After all, the higher the mercury goes, the better Dr. Dre's masterpiece sounds. It may have been released in December 1992, but it was recorded the previous June, right in time for the stifling furnace of the Los Angeles summer.

Nearly 20 years after its release, "The Chronic's" only flaw is that for most of us, it has been played so many times that it's impact has been blunted. While it's impossible to go back to a time before most us heard it, the collection of samples from "The Chronic" done by local hip-hop blogger Hip-Hop Is Read allows for a new window into the genius of the record. Specifically, Dre's reworking of classic soul and funk records to create something wholly new.

For those looking for something ferociously funky on a scorching summer day, there is little better than listening to vintage Parliament/Funkadelic, Leon Haywood, Donny Hathaway, Willie Hutch and Joe Tex. You may even catch something you didn't notice the first time. I've probably heard both a hundred times, but I never before caught that the drums from "Lyrical Gangbang" were swiped from Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." And while you're at it, you may want to dig up that old copy of "The Chronic" -- like you always do about this time.

-- Jeff Weiss


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Album review: Eminem's 'Recovery'

review Eminem Recovery

Eminem Ever since Kanye West looped Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," the hip-hop zeitgeist has tilted toward techno. Skinny-jeaned stars Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi have rapped over Alice Deejay and Robert Miles, while Power 106 keeps house DJ David Guetta in heavy rotation.

Admirably, Eminem has always ignored evanescent trends. Despite an over-reliance on gross-out gags and tired pop culture riffs, his last album, "Relapse," further plumbed the weird depths of his psyche. Yet on his sixth album, "Recovery," he ushers in the "Night at the Roxbury" era, sampling Haddaway's "What Is Love," the Eurodance ballad mocked in the "Saturday Night Live" skits and spinoff movie. The song ("No Love") isn't as awful as it is illustrative of the pitfalls facing Marshall Mathers. In its quest for six-digit download numbers, the industry has reduced Eminem, Lil Wayne and highly gifted producer Just Blaze to plundering grooves for the silk-shirt and silver-suited set.

"Recovery" is thwarted by similarly ill-fitting decisions. Beats from his longtime collaborators the Bass Brothers and Dr. Dre are largely nonexistent save for the latter's co-production on "So Bad." In their stead are anthemic, hackneyed hooks and big-budget producers du jour (Boi-1Da, Jim Jonsin, DJ Khalil) at their most monochromatic and monotonous. Cameos from Pink ("Won't Back Down") and Rihanna ("Love the Way You Lie") further exacerbate the disconnect from the qualities that made Eminem a star: wariness of cultural cliché, knack for storytelling and conflict, and a caustic wit. Thematically, Eminem eschews the offbeat for the inspirational, with the 12-step single "Not Afraid" serving as a manifesto for his newfound sobriety. The central salvation is Mather's enduring virtuosity. Throughout "Recovery," he weaves dazzling internal patterns and clever word play.

But ultimately, until Eminem is able to restore the memory of what got him to the top in the first place, full recovery is impossible.

-- Jeff Weiss

Eminem
"Recovery"
Interscope/Aftermath
Two and a half stars (Out of four)


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From beer to the Red Sox: Some of Dre's post-'2001' greatest hits

DRE_RED_SOX_AP_6

We here in Los Angeles expect an East Coast bias from ESPN. Now with all due respect, we do, however, feel a little -- how shall we say, dishonored? -- when such favoritism is evident in our rappers. 

BEATS_REDSOX Dr. Dre unveiled some Boston Red Sox-branded headphones Sunday night at baseball's opening day game -- a bout between the only two teams network executives care about -- and we can't help but feel a little burned by the lil' devils pictured to the right. Really, Dre, did you have to coat it in blue? That hits Dodgers fans where it hurts.

But the release of the latest Dre-branded/endorsed product would certainly be forgiven if it brought us closer to some actual new music. That's apparently the case, but you'll forgive us a little skepticism.

In a pre-game interview posted on NESN.com, in which Dre proudly sports a Red Sox jersey (we'll pretend this is largely an anti-Yankee sentiment), Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine reveal that the Los Angeles rapper has a collaboration with New York's No. 1 cheerleader in Jay-Z titled "Under Pressure," a song that sounds finished enough that Dre is already imagining it as walk-on music at a baseball game. 

All fine and dandy, but we refuse to get excited this time. No, we've been hurt before. "Detox," the followup to Dre's 1999 album "2001," has been an urban myth since about 2002. Back in 2007, Dre told The Times that "Detox" was two or three songs from completion. "I was really hoping to have it out this year, but it's going to have to be pushed back a while because of some other things I've got to work on," he said.

Indeed, Dre hasn't exactly been agoraphobic, and in the eight-plus years that Dre has spent working on "Detox," his supposed last album, there's been plenty of distractions. Some of Dre's greatest post-"2001" hits -- of the non-music sort -- are listed below. 

Continue reading »

Eminem replacing 'Relapse' sequel with 'Refill'

Eminem_getty_images Eminem is rebooting plans for the successor to his first studio album in five years, “Relapse,” which brought the Detroit rapper back to the top of the national sales chart when it was released in May.

He had announced his intention to release “Relapse 2” in December, but now comes word that on Dec. 21,  he and his label, Interscope Records, are putting out “Relapse: Refill,” an expanded version of the first “Relapse” that includes seven bonus tracks. He said he and producer Dr. Dre had to rethink what they had come up with for the follow-up.

“I got back in with Dre and then a few more producers, including Just Blaze, and went in a completely different direction which made me start from scratch,” Eminem states in post on his website. “The new tracks started to sound very different than the tracks I originally intended to be on ‘Relapse 2,’ but I still want the other stuff to be heard."

The bonus material includes “Forever” from the “More Than a Game” soundtrack; “Taking My Ball,” which appeared first in the DJ Hero video game; and five previously unreleased recordings.

"Hopefully, these tracks on 'The Refill' will tide the fans over until we put out 'Relapse 2' next year," Eminem said.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Getty Images

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