Nowadays everybody wanna talk / like they got somethin' to say / But nothing comes out when they move their lips / just a bunch of gibberish / And muthafuckas act like they forgot about Dre.
What do you do if you're an extraordinary producer with a superior technical ear for hip hop who has altered the course of that music twice — from consciousness to gangsta, and from gangsta to G-funk — but still can't get the respect you deserve?
What do you do if you're Dr. Dre?
You let futhamuckas know. Whether or not you admit it, Chronic 2001 is a damn good album. True, it's as raunchy and baseless as the Chronic. And with you being older now, and a parent, all the misogyny, violence and weed smoke probably cuts closer to the bone. But while it may not feel as good as it did in '92, it sure sounds dope.
Eminem, old grasshopper Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Kurupt and newcomer Hittman form the core of a new batch of rhymeslingers who keep tracks including "Forgot About Dre" and "Xxplosive" moving ferociously. Even Royce the 5'9" chimes in, writing "The Message," an ode to Dre's brother touched by the voice of Mary J. Blige. But, as always, it's Dre and partner Mel Man's production that sprinkles the litterlike sparks from a magician's wand. Save for a few sparse moments where beats slow down somewhat frustratingly, or skits such as porn star Jake Steed's cheap-thrills ménage à trois waste of time, Dre is the Jordan of his craft. He always makes his team better.
Khary Kimani Turner writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.