Sunday, August 9, 2015

Song of the Day #179 - Dr. Dre - Darkside/Gone (ft. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar)

I went from hanging out at the swap meet to driving some of the hottest cars L.A. has ever seen

Okay I don't think I'll be able to find this one on Youtube easily so I'm not gonna bother. It isn't exactly obscure. It's Dr. Dre. The richestest man in hip hop. It's his first album in 16 years. For some reason I thought it was gonna be some touchy feely sentimentaly stuff and I went into it on Friday morning with some reservation. But ha ha ha oh man I was so so so wrong. It's just ALL BANGERS. 15 bangers. Each one of them with some killer verse or amazing beat or godly transition and often all of those. In fact, if I have one complaint, it's that some stuff is a bit overly ambitious, each song has like, twice as many good ideas as required. It sorta reminds me of Smile, like, when you heard "Heroes and Villains", it was like, yeah, okay, I can see how trying to make something like this would drive you crazy.

But it didn't! And Dre finally blessed this with this album, which is - I cannot overstate this - fifteen straight bangers in a row. Even "Talking To My Diary" is a banger. A song literally called TALKING TO MY DIARY is a STRAIGHT UP BANGER. All weekend I've been in Toronto and this album is the only thing I had any interest in listening to, and being able to listen to it on my good headphones and not my earbuds was the biggest thing I was missing from home.

Okay, but one single section has captured my attention much more than the rest. Can you guess what it is? It was like... when I first heard this song, and I heard how King Mez started snapping where he's like "Momma might cry tonight if she find you high off the dynamite" and I was like oh shit this WHOLE ALBUM is gonna be like this, we're five tracks deep now and nothing's about to let up, so that was a great feeling, and you get the little Eazy-E interlude, which is pretty touching, and THEN, omg, and THEN...

Like, for 16 years we haven't had another beat quite like this, have we? If you can think of one, let me know, but know that my standards for a beat "like this" are pretty high. It's pretty simple, I got my friend to transcribe it fully... the beats behind it aren't really too crazy either, except when it starts getting more dramatic around 2:16,\ and I love how the drums come out of the hook unchanged... But oh my god, I could just sit there endlessly, restarting at the first hook, listening to the end, and repeating, again and again and again. When I wasn't listening to it, I felt like I couldn't quite remember it, like I couldn't quite capture the effect in my brain. I can never quite anticipate how much it's gonna hit me when it first comes in. The verses, too - off that beat, almost anything would sound triumphant, incredible, godlike, but Dre and Kendrick drop two instant classic verses that do just enough. It's all in the persona now, the lyrics are far secondary. It all adds up to something indescribable, uncapturable, uncontrollable... the fact that people can hear something like this and not immediately flip tf out and start breaking their neck makes me question where species lines should be drawn etc.

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