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Dr. Dre

"Kush" (Feat. Snoop Dogg and Akon)

[Aftermath / Interscope; 2010]

By ; December 3, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

With the amount of hype and fear circling the release of an actual single from Detox, it was going to be essentially impossible to view the track as simply a song. It has to be more than that: it’s the return of Dr. Dre. Yet, inevitably, that’s just what “Kush” is. For years, the tune has been a simple one: Dre has quite probably entirely fallen off, his work on Relapse was a sign to the contrary, but the leak of “Under Pressure” was just depressing.

After all the waiting, is it that terrible? Well, yes and no. Considering the man’s past work, this song probably could never have measured up. Still, it has a saving grace: there was nearly no possible way for them to entirely fuck it up. Heads everywhere have to appreciate Snoop and Dre back together again, even if the results are middling, and at the very least, being in Dre’s company once more brings out more life from Snoop than seemed to remain on Malice n Wonderland. Chances are this cut will get a fine reaction overall – it’s easy to like, to hear the oh-so-Dre piano meanderings with Snoop and the Doc over them and think another classic has been delivered.

It hasn’t. Despite the relative fun it offers, this is a simplistic weed anthem complete with an Akon chorus and a silly “Inhale, Exhale” refrain: it’s by the numbers. Classic Dre was making moves, not conforming to his own standards. That, ultimately, was going to be the impasse this album faced. It may well turn out to be fine music, but “just alright” just isn’t alright for The Doc. Also important to realize – and damn saddening – is that Dre isn’t doing this on his own anymore. Relapse was full of co-producers behind the scenes, and “Kush” is credited to both Dre and DJ Khalil. Put alongside a recent leak supposedly entirely produced by Alex da Kid, Detox isn’t sounding to be as “Dre” as a classic would need to be. To be fair, Dre’s said this is the only “weed track” off the album, and, of course, everyone was saying more or less the same thing before 2001 dropped, so perhaps we’ll learn to bite our tongues. One can only hope, but based off this single, it’s unlikely.


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