Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Nope.
Don’t get it twisted Dr. Dre is hip hop royalty. He’s a great producer. He’s been responsible for some of the most memorable movements in hip hop and he helped usher in a style that paved the way for many artists. BUT over the years he’s been deified. Dre is not hip hop’s musical Jesus. He is very good at his job, but like all of us he’s not infallible. Want proof? Here’s a few times when the good Dr. let his patient die on the table.
Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath
A lot of people forget that this album was horrible. We haven’t. The album’s second single, “Been There, Done That,” was the only glimmer of light in a dismal heap of trash (excuse the mixed metaphor). The worst part of the album was reserved for those of us who made it through 67 minutes of hell, only to be treated to this:
Nothing about this song is good. Nothing.
What happens when you take Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown and Nature on an album? A whole lot of bad music. The Firm was supposed to be a hip hop super group. It was not. The first single was very promising. “Phone Tap” had everyone anticipating The Album. But when it dropped we were all treated to a colossal failure. At the time, The Source gave the album a very generous 3 1/2 mics, but The Los Angeles Daily News summed the album up like this: “With some tracks produced by the overrated Dr. Dre, this collection is so predictable you find yourself finishing the rhymes on the first listen.” Very true. If you listen to this album you will find yourself wondering if you have what it takes to be a rapper, since these 4 managed. Just keep in mind, that only one of those rappers made it out of the 90s still rapping for money. We can’t blame Dre for the subpar lyrics. But we can blame him for releasing this abomination.
Bishop Lamont/Joell Ortiz/Rakim
At one point Dre had signed the hottest young rapper on the West Coast and was slated to kill the game. Obliterate it, even. Nope, not talking about Kendrick Lamar. Rewind 10 years. This is an instance of Dre failing not for what he produced but for what he didn’t. We waited for two full years while Dre teased us. Bishop Lamont dropped numerous mixtapes, singles, and promos. He towed the company line. The he disappeared. Dropped from the label. The Reformation, his debut album, lost to the masses. Think I’m overselling it? Take a listen.
Dre did the same thing with Joell Ortiz. This was before Slaughterhouse. We were all geeked to be able to hear a bona fide beast rap over Dre beats. But that never happened.
I don’t want to talk about the Rakim nonsense, too much. The God MC was supposed to be with Dre. Audio orgasms were expected. Instead, we got nothing. Not a single god damned track. The only rapping we got from Rakim on Aftermath was his verse on Truth Hurts’ single “Addictive.”
For whatever reason Dre and Rakim couldn’t agree on the direction the music should go. I blame Dre.
I always blame Dre.