Dr Dre - Compton
The circumstances surrounding the release of Dr Dre's third album are intriguing. By his reckoning, he was so inspired by the sight of his younger self, as played by actor Corey Hawkins, at a screening of the NWA biopic 'Straight Outta Compton', that he resolved to junk a decade's worth of work on the endlessly delayed Detox, and start afresh. The result is 'Compton', an album that seems preoccupied with Dr Dre's past: there is much reminiscence about the early days and initial success of NWA and it concludes with a track on which his former bandmate Eazy-E smiles proudly down from heaven at him, having presumably reconsidered the stance he took in the last years of his life, which he largely spent suggesting that Dr Dre was everything from a fake gangster who'd get shot if he ever went back to Compton to a closet homosexual. The album keeps reiterating that the 50-year-old billionaire who made it is no different from the 23-year-old who made NWA's debut album: "nigga with an attitude, still getting active", "that's just the way it is and how it always was", "fuck money, that shit could never change me." In true Dr. Dre style, nearly every track on 'Compton' is filled with features from the West Coast's past, current, and upcoming stars - everyone from icons Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, Dre-proteges Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, and relative newcomers like rapper / producer King Mez, who has writing credits on 12 of the 16 tracks on 'Compton'.