(Preface - Before you weigh in with a witty "who cares?", understand that Detox is to hip hop what Chinese Democracy was to rock music.
It is the Holy Grail. And we've been waiting 20 years on it. So kindly fuck off.)
HNHH- The word is out -- Dr. Dre has been steadily putting in work on his next project, an album that may or may not be the long-awaited Detox. In any case, fragmented news on the project's production has been relatively steady, with a recent update from KXNG Crooked signaling a long-anticipated collaboration between the two legendary west coast icons. Now, thanks to an IG Live stream from DJ Silk, who was previously pictured alongside both Crooked and Dre, we have an idea of what their collaboration will sound like.
I can't fuckin believe it. I refused to give up faith. When Eminem told us in 2004 on "Encore" to "don’t worry ’bout that Detox album. It’s coming. We’re gonna make Dre do it.”
And when Dre himself barked "Look out for Detox" on The Game's 2005 "Higher"
and all the time in between then and now… Now, it seems as though it was all worth it.
And who would have thought, fans feverishly awaiting the album 20 years in the making have a "greedy bitch" soon to ex-wife of the Doctor to thank for finally getting it to see the light of day.
Lyrics aside, this song snippet is a gem.
Immediately you can hear Dre's signature sub-bass kicks, and high-pitched keys. Then come his lyrics-
"Trying to kill me with them lies and that perjury, I see you trying to fuck me while I'm in surgery," he spits. "In ICU, death bed, on some money shit / Greedy bitch, take a pick, girl you know how money get." He switches up his flow but not his message, rapping "you know we don't tolerate that nonsense, by any means get your hand up out my pocket / this life is private just like the pilot, it's been decided, this the Poseidon." From there KXNG Crook slides in with the hook and a dexterous verse, making impressive work of Dre's haunting production as he tends to do. "Tin man shit, your music lack heart," spits Crook. "Thought it was voodoo, we making magic with this black art."
What a long and strange road it's been for Detox…
Way back in 2002, after his smash hit Chronic 2001 Dre immediately announced he would be releasing Detox as his follow-up album. He went into detail explaining that the album would be a "concept album" based on the life of a hit-man by the name of Paul, his character in Denzel Washington's Training Day film.
MTV- “I had to come up with something different but still keep it hardcore, so what I decided to do was make my album one story about one person and just do the record through a character’s eyes. It’s probably going to take me a year to get it all together.”
He had artists like 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Eminem on board as featured "characters", and Denzel Washington was rumored to narrate the whole thing.
Issues began to pop up almost immediately when Dre began working Ice Cube's Aftermath label debut project (which never ended up happening) and pushing Detox off.
The next year Dre told XXL that he gave “the cream of the crop” of his Detox beats to 50 Cent’s megahit Get Rich or Die Tryin’, including “In Da Club.” Nevertheless, Interscope suggested that Detox might appear in the fourth quarter of 2003.
If you listen to Get Rich Or Die Tryin' and imagine 50 Cent never signing to Aftermath, it's not hard to bet Detox probably comes out a few years later. Because Dre only got busier and more unselfish as the years went on.
The plan was still to release it in 2004 and Dre was on record as saying he wanted to “have 12 or 13 singles. So I’m really taking my time with each one. No album fillers or nothing like that. No fast-forwarding.”
Scott Storch, Dre's right hand man, told MTV News that Detox would be “the most advanced rap album, musically and lyrically, we’ll ever have a chance to listen to.”
But by the middle of the year Dre decided to push it off again and instead focus his attention on 50, Eminem, Busta Rhymes and others.
In 2005 newly signed artist The Game released The Documentary. An absolutely flawless album that would have, and should have, been Dre's. The beats are incredible and the epic guest features from 50 Cent belonged on Detox.
In 2007, Dre gave an extensive interview to the LA Times. Journalist Robert Hilburn suggested that, contrary to popular belief, the rapper had been working on his third album for the past eight years. He somewhat unfavorably compared Dre to Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, Axl Rose and “earlier pop music train wrecks” before acknowledging that the West Coast icon was far from an eccentric studio recluse.
“I was really hoping to have it out this year, but it’s going to have to be pushed back a while because of some other things I’ve got to work on.” He continued to refer to Detox as his final album.
Then in June 2008 Snoop Dogg reported that Detox was finished, he had heard it start to finish, and it was amazing.
Rolling Stone - “I was starting to doubt it myself and then I went up in there and he played so much music for me it knocked my head off,” Snoop said.
“In a perfect world, I’m shooting for a November or December release,” Dre said, adding that it would feature Nas, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne.
But then Jimmy Iovine stepped in and said Dre was too busy working on Eminem's Relapse to put the "finishing touches" on Detox.
Again it was pushed back…
In 2009 a ton of Detox reference tracks and throwaways began to surface. Including -
In 2010 it seemed like we might really be getting it. Jimmy Iovine made an official announcement that Dre’s collaboration with Jay Z, “Under Pressure,” would be the album’s first single, But then an unfinished version of the track leaked. And Dre was fucking pissed, he posted a “Message From Dre” on the Interscope website. “The song that’s out on the Internet is an incomplete song that I’m still working on,” he wrote. An official version has yet to appear. Which sucks because the song is fire.
Then more leaks… and a more pissed off Dre.
Later in the year Dre. OFFICIALLY released two singles, "Kush" featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon,
and "I Need A Doctor" featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey
Then in 2011 Dre and Eminem performed the song at The Grammy's
It seemed like there was no way Detox wouldn't come out…
Then more leaks…
50 Cent went on the record saying the leaks killed Dre's passion and that his excitement for the album's release had been lost.
It once again was shelved.
In the meantime Dre continued to pump out hits he seemingly gifted to other artists. Beats that were supposedly supposed to be his own.
He also produced the entire Straight Outta Compton soundtrack in 2016.
Since then there's been the ugly divorce proceedings and then a brain aneurysm in January that almost killed him.
But maybe, just maybe it inspired him to complete the album and release it to his rabid fans.
Here's a sample of beats (in addition to Get Rich Or Die Tryin') alleged to have originally been for Detox at one point or another-
stuff like ‘lost ones’ by jay z, ‘imagine’ by snoop dogg