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Compton, A Soundtrack - Flying Out


Compton, A Soundtrack

Universal Music

If there's a surprise here, it's that Dre, a 50-year-old near-billionaire long suspected of drifting out of touch, sounds charged-up, nimble, and relevant. Dre has always relied on other rappers and producers for inspiration and his own legacy is tied up in showcasing talent, lifting and rearranging it for his own cause. On Compton he's taken the approach and doubled down, and while the album is frequently personal, it's also communal, pushing his own voice towards the margins in favor of other vocalists.The first raps we hear on the album are delivered by King Mez, a Raleigh native who, alongside Justus, the least known of the album's features, appears to have helped Dre with the bulk of his lyric writing. (Either one or both of them are credited on all but one of Dre's vocal tracks.) When Dre comes in on verse two of the sweeping opener "Talk About It", he brags about his unopened Eminem royalty checks and jokes about buying the state of California. It's a reminder that Dre is the richest hip-hop artist ever, but he actually seems more interested in pinning down and framing his influence than bragging about his bank account. 8.8 Pitchfork

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