Today is Andre (Dr. Dre) Young’s birthday. He turns 45 years old. Quote this, pound for pound Dr. Dre remains my favorite Hip Hop producer of all time. I claim Brooklyn all day, but I give much respect to the man that made me recognize they was cooking up heat in the West. I remember the first time I popped in that N.W.A. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ cassette tape into my Sony Walkman, how my jaw dropped. Before then, Cali was straight corney to me, Jherri curled headed niggas wearing bright colors, baggy pants with the tapered ankles, pop locking and doing all types of Boogaloo Flu forms of ghey dancing. I only copped the tape ’cause there was nothing new on the market that week. Plus, some white boy I knew had recently asked me if I had ever heard of of N.W.A. Funny how indirectly, back in ’89, it was white that introduced me to the Niggas With Attitude.
But getting back to ‘Straight Outta Compton’. I thought I knew what Gangsta rap was from hearing how KRS-One spit it on ‘Criminal Minded’. N.W.A. was on the next level though. Eazy E, MC Ren, Ice Cube, Yella, and helmed by Dre, them Compton boys orchestrated the most dignified plate of Hip Hop ignorance ever served to my ears. Them beats though? Not what I ever expected from the West. No way could I even imagine how them cats could come close to mimicking the Bomb Squad sound. Dre did that, made me broaden my rap horizons, made me take heed to what was being pumped from beyond my 5 borough tri-state radius. Dre took me from out of my exclusive Empire State Of Mind.
Seems like the world went ham when Jigga Man turned 40. The world’s first “official” 40 year old rapper. I’d like to take some of that fanfare and shine it on another rap icon that deserves as much shine. Take them names I said before, then add D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Death Row, Suge Knight, The Dogg Pound, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game. Then throw in ‘100 Miles And Runnin’, ‘EFIL4ZAGGIN’, ‘The Chronic’, ‘Doggystyle’, ‘The Slim Shady LP’, ‘Get Rich Or Die Trying’. I can go on and on. Plus, there will never be a song as ill as ‘Deep Cover’. Hip Hop owes Andre Young a whole lot more than the respect we’ve been giving, the homage we’ve been paying.
So yeah, ‘Detox’ is taking a long effin time to drop. Cat’s forget it was as recent as 2008 that Dre lost his son to a drug overdose. That’s nothing to just get over. Plus for what he’s put in, Dre has earned his break to do whatever the hell he needs to before he drops another classic. If Sade could chill for 10 years before dropping another classic, why nor Dre? I forgot to mention that that ‘Up In Smoke’ tour from years back was one of the best rap shows I’ve ever seen. To date. And I’ve seen a lot. It’s Rap History Month people. Let’s stop honoring only our dead and start celebrating our living. Personally, being the rap head I’ve been, still am, I’m so effin honored to be alive during this man’s entire career. Other than that Dee Barnes incident, there’s nothing that’ll ever let me forget about Dre. Salutes O.G., and happy born day!