Dr. Dre Tribute Album: We Tear It a New One
Seeing as Detox still shows no signs of life -- seriously, another couple years of this and we're going to get angry -- what's a real G supposed to do? For that matter, what are we supposed to do?
Now I need a doctor
Well, there certainly is plenty of prime Dr. Dre material ripe for re-purposing. So, in that spirit, indie label Versailles Records -- who specialize in tribute albums for everyone from Led Zeppelin to Tina Turner -- last month released The Chronic 2011: A Millenium Tribute To The Songs Of Dr. Dre. Is it any good? Not really, but it certainly beats waiting for Detox! Here's our track-by-track breakdown.
D.O.C.'s 1989 cut is reimagined here by hyper-sounding West Coast rap icon Spice 1, Notar (who sounds way too happy to be here), and the man who will emerge as this work's lone hero, Nate Sylak.
Frankly, the song simply sounds like an amateur version of the original -- which will prove a recurring theme. We're already wondering how this album got made.
2. "Nuthin' But A G Thang," Domino
They probably shouldn't have messed around with this classic in the first place. After all, it's untouchable; in a league of its own; a G-Funk classic. While there's nothing groundbreaking or criminal about this version, it's just kind of there. Domino, a Long Beach MC with some cred from the '90s, does a decent Snoop impersonation here, and sounds effectively spaced out. But again, they probably shouldn't have stomped on this ground to begin with. It's simply too precious.
3. "Dope Man," Nate Sylak
This Nate Sylak dude is easily the breakout artist of the album (although that's not saying much). Dude kills it. Definitely worth a listen.
4. "Henn N Juice," Felicia 'Bmore Snoop' Pearson and The Third Family
If you've ever watched The Wire you're familiar with Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson. The East Baltimore native is good at what she does: acting like the thugged-out badass she is. But rapping? Not her thing. And the reworking here of Snoop's "Gin and Juice"--- wait, this is a Dre tribute, right? -- is downright blasphemous.
5. "Kush," The Groundhoggz and Sixx
As the supposed first track from Detox, this new-school Dre and Snoop number gave fans their first glimpse at just what the hell the Doc had been up to over the last decade. And like "I Need A Doctor," which appears later on the album, this weed-toasting tune is not on par with Dre's earlier material. This version is acceptable at best. Sixx does manage to hold it down with a few decent verses, and on this album, let's be real, that's an accomplishment.