Dr. Dre's Chronically Late "Detox" Finally Ready for Release

The "Chinese Democracy" of hip hop is due early next year

By Mac Montandon
|  Thursday, Nov 18, 2010  |  Updated 12:16 PM PDT
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Rock Stars: Then and Now

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During the 2004 Vibe Awards, rapper and producer Dr. Dre was set to receive the Vibe Legend award for his contribution to hip-hop. A witness to KCAL-TV, "I saw Dr. Dre fighting somebody...I don't know if he was fighting back. But there was a guy taken out basically bloodied."

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For those keeping score at home: We're closing in on a decade since Dr. Dre first spoke about a new album he was working on called "Detox."

The wait for its release might finally be over.

"Kush," a Dre-produced track with Snoop Dogg and Akon handling microphone duties, has landed online -- and it's making fans forget about an unfortunate, prematurely leaked song from this past summer.

As opposed to that undercooked earlier effort, "Kush" recalls Dre's glory days as an NWA-alum and studio master of the West Coast gangsta rap scene. An insistent piano part gives Jay-Z's epic "Empire State of Mind" a run for its ivory-tinkling money.

For years "Detox" had been considered a sort of "Chinese Democracy" of hip hop, prompting snarky shots in the way that Guns 'N Roses' long-anticipated record did.

But now Dre is on the cover of XXL's December issue and he says the new work will be out in early 2011. Perhaps no one is more ready for the songs to be heard than the 45-year-old beatmaker.

"My energy has been back and forth with the record, tussling with doing it out of obligation, as opposed to doing it because I really feel it," Dre told XXL. "My feelings about it have been going up and down. Now I’m in that place where I’m really feeling it, and it’s coming out right."

Some of his fan's aren't quite ready to believe that's true.

"He didn’t even set a release date," one commenter on XXL's website pointed out. "He got us all feeling like 'Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.' I’ll believe it when I see it."

If Dre pulls the record back this time -- like Lucy with the football that Charlie Brown so desperately wants to kick -- he may never hear the end of it.

Selected Reading: NY mag, XXL, AllMusic.

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