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Dr. Dre

"I Need a Doctor" (Feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)

[Aftermath / Interscope; 2011]

By ; January 31, 2011 
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Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

If you hadn’t heard, Dr. Dre’s been working on this whole Detox thing for years. At 45, it’s caught up with him: rap has changed in drastic ways, ways the producer probably couldn’t have fathomed when he started. As the first Detox single (now that “Kush” is being treated as a buzz track), “I Need a Doctor” is a bizarre ultimate result: with producer Alex da Kid coming in, it’s influenced by the “Love the Way You Lie” wave, if anything.

But it’s easy to misunderstand Dre. With ghostwriters and what could be called ghostproducers, people are quick to poke fun. Dre’s a modern day hitmaker with an old school method. He influences everything, regardless of the extent of his input: the type of guy who looks over every detail. So, give Dre the benefit of the doubt, and presume this track at least had his stamp on the beat. That doesn’t make this the single fans wanted. The idea works, Eminem serves as the loyal friend calling Dre back to a game that needs him, and Dre comes in to affirm that he and Slim are, in fact, best friends forever, while also declaring his grand return.

You can criticize the verse ratio (two Em to one Dre), but Andre Young has never been one to worry about placement on his own albums. Assisted by a strong Skylar Grey hook, the song essentially works. However, it’s hard to be too excited about a Dr. Dre single that would have sounded at home on Recovery. It’s highly listenable, but it certainly wouldn’t sound at home on a proper follow up to either Chronic album. This song should be massive; it’s Eminem and Dr. Dre, god damn it, for Detox, no less! It’s hard not to want to hear a proper “Forgot About Dre” follow up, and this song is anything but. There are really only two things to do: first, enjoy this for what it is—it is Dre and Em, after all—and, second, pray that Em’s featured much more on better cuts, and that this doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album.


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