And there it is. “Detox.” Almost finally.
I don’t know who it is or who it has been for other people. I imagine some people have been waiting and waiting for the new Guns N’ Roses album, “Chinese Democracy” to arrive. It has been 17 years. Bruce Springsteen fans probably felt like it was an eternity between “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (1995) and “The Rising” (2002). Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” (2008) was even described as “long awaited,” even though the band had released an album in 2005.
I don’t care about any of them.
My Guns N’ Roses, my Springsteen, my Coldplay is Dr. Dre, and I’ve been waiting and listening to “The Chronic” (1992) and “2001” (1999) for the last 10 years, during most of which Dre was peppering us with hints at an album called “Detox,” which, if the past can predict the future, will be one of the best rap albums of all time.
The beat in the Dr. Pepper commercial is supposedly a beat off the new album, which is supposedly being released some time soon. With Dr. Dre, everything is supposedly. You never really know until it hits the shelves. First, “Detox” was going to come out in 2004, then 2006, then 2008.
I haven’t exactly been on the edge of my seat this whole time. But I’ll put it to you like this: Whatever they decide to charge for this think, people will pay. I don’t think $30 would drive away many customers, and it would probably still go platinum at $40. If you like rap music, you’re going to buy it.
I can’t even think of a logical analogy in the rock world. I was going to say it was the rap equivalent of The Beatles releasing “Let it Be” (1970) and telling you it was their final album, but that doesn’t work because “Let it Be” was their 13th album. It’s the same with the Rolling Stones. The body of work preceding what might be considered their iconic albums is so large, and the time between those albums’ releases is so small, that there isn’t a good comparison.
I’m sure you could come up with something. Some (pretty) good rock band that made only a handful of albums and made you wait for them, but Dr. Dre isn’t just a (pretty) good rapper. He’s the most important rap producer ever, and most would say the best. His first album, N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” made rap mainstream and his first solo album, “The Chronic,” is one of the five best rap albums ever. He’s an icon.
And he says he’s done after “Detox.” Rapping, he says, is a “young man’s game,” which is true.
“I think it’s time to move on,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Yeah, maybe. But I doubt it.
(Just for kicks, Dre in a Coors Light commerical from 2002):