Tag Archives: Dr.Dre
The Queens rapper still pushing repetitive nihilism and G-Unit production styles instead of branching out and taking chances with his music.
50 Cent is a noted disciple of self-help guru Robert Greene’s Machiavellian handbook, The 48 Laws of Power. Not only has the muscle-bound hip-hop colossus modeled his career after the cutthroat guide, he’s working with Greene on a street-flavored addendum called The 50th Law. So far, the four dozen over-the-top credos have worked swimmingly for 50: He’s sold more than 20 million albums worldwide since 2003 while pulling in auxiliary profits with Vitamin Water and other less amusing side hustles.
It’s rare that a victory lap amounts to much more than gratuitous showboating or preening for your adoring crowd. Yet in 2003, with a planned retirement in his sights, Jay Z went hard in the paint instead of gentle into that good night. The Black Album, which was at the time hailed as his final album, effectively obliterated any and all doubts following his indulgent yet successful The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. Boasting some of the biggest hip-hop producers of its time —The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Kanye West — the record largely eschewed special guests and put the spotlight firmly on the Brooklyn emcee at what could be considered his creative zenith. With ubiquitous singles like “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” and “99 Problems,” it went triple-platinum in less than two years.
The Sonny Digital-produced song received its gold certification on October 21 after reaching 500,000 certified units.
The lesson here: Sometimes it’s best to just forget about Dre.
But back in 2009, that wasn’t an easy task for fellow hip-hop artist 50 Cent, who watched as Dr. Dre raked it in with his Beats by Dre headphones. By the following year, 50 Cent thought, “I can do that,” a decision that has since cost him millions of dollars.
2.The Game-The Documentary
If 50 Cent's debut was a project propelled by a villain's charisma and the gulliest of origin stories, we must admit that Game, in contrast, was just riding the beats. With a soundscape dominated by Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, and Kanye West, The Documentary is a millennial blend of soul meta-samples, synth strings, tenor-sung hooks. This one tape alone hosts many of 2005's most memorable beats; the minimal, addictive synth cadence of "How We Do," the soul hypnosis of "Hate It Or Love It," and the godly stomps of "Higher."
The Documentary was everything a rap album could've been in 2005: a beatmaker dream team, one of the last great D'Angelo choruses, as well as Nate Dogg's last hurrah. (Plus, a Detox teaser). And while Dre receives all due props from Game, "No More Fun and Games" and "Church for Thugs" tally among the best work of Just Blaze's career.
5. G-Unit- Beg For Mercy
Beg For Mercy, as its title suggests, was G-Unit's twisting the bayonet. 50 had just overwhelmed the rap game as a solo artist, and he had opened the door for his right- and left-hand men. Given the degree of 50's success (Get Rich Or Die Tryin' had been released nine months prior), the trio could have phoned this one in and had no problem with sales. What resulted was a very well-executed group aesthetic with a gang of classic songs, maybe even a classic album. 50 was rapping with the relaxed composure of someone who knew he had the game in his palm, while Banks and Buck came with the hunger.
The formula for a Beg For Mercy song was to take one of many perfect beats (the whole album was sonically reminiscent of The Chronic: 2001 to me, with a crispness that Dre had perfected just a couple years prior, despite