Wednesday, November 17, 2010
TBG Beats: "Kush" -- Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon
M'man Nick'a e-mails:
"The new Dr. Dre song is the same old piano loop sh*t...and quite awesome."
The new Dr. Dre song is called "Kush". Before the above e-mail, I hadn't heard it. Nick nailed the most notable feature, as Andre Young does love those piano keys. As for the "awesome"?
Yeah, I'd say that's spot-on.
The administrators at YouTube have been atypically authoritarian in taking down the unreleased song from their site, so I can't guarantee that the above link will work. If it doesn't, head on over and give one of the other illicit copies a listen.
Dre -- who's never been known for his lyricism -- is helped here by some overt ghostwriting. My guess is that Dre's recent reconciliation with former protégé The Game resulted in the first verse. The growling delivery when Dre spits, "Cross that line..." and the serpentine sentence structure are straight out of Game's playbook.
I can't say I've ever been a fan of Akon, but his hooks are usually solid -- particularly on party cuts -- and he's just here to give Dre a bit of a rub with the young'uns. Snoop Dogg, on the other hand, sounds better here than he has in ten years ("Still I am. Tighter than the pants on Will.i.am.") I'm not ready to forgive Tha D-O-double G for his last two or three albums, but his energy in the second verse is worth the return of some goodwill.
The bridge is little bittersweet for me, though, as the Nate Dogg sound-alike ("Hold up, wait a minute...") is an unpleasant reminder of the health woes that have befallen the genuine article.
Oddly, in an era where ANY album publicity within the music industry is an endangered species, Dr. Dre has gone on the offensive to tamp down discussions and expectations regarding his long-awaited Detox album. If "Kush" is the first single, I'm ready to put it towards the top half of the singles in Dr. Dre's catalog. And, since you didn't ask, here's the list without "Kush":
1.) Deep Cover -- The definitive west coast track. Instantly legitimized Snoop Dogg and the g-funk genre.
2.) California Love -- Originally slated for Dre's never-released Chronic II follow-up on Death Row Records. The addition of Tupac turned it into the label's biggest hit.
3.) Let Me Ride -- Love, love, love the beat. The remixes with extended Snoop verses are equally phenomenal.
4.) Still D.R.E. -- Famously ghostwritten by Jay-Z. Snoop's "sticky icky icky" throwaway line took on a life of its own.
5.) Nuthin' But A G-Thang -- Overplayed to death on all the old-school rap stations. Unquestionably one of the seminal songs of the 1990s.
6.) Keep Their Heads Ringin' -- I'm in the minority on this, but I've always dug this song. On the soundtrack of my life for the summer of 1995.
7.) Bad Intentions -- Dre's failed attempt to create a new Snoop Dogg. Knoc-turnal had a decent flow, but he always seemed overshadowed by the beats.
8.) Natural Born Killaz -- True story: I was once at a strip club where THIS was one of the songs played.
9.) Tha Next Episode -- The unreleased original version was better, but Nate Dogg's appearance at the end nearly saves this one.
10.) Forgot About Dre -- Mrs. Bootleg LOVES this track. For me, the Eminem hook got old quick.
11.) Dre Day -- The first Death Row Records diss track. It became the template for their over-the-top attack cuts in later years.
12.) Been There, Done That -- This song and this album never happened. Cool? Cool.