Tag: ice cube

MUSIC REVIEW | Dr Dre – The Chronic (1992)

Dre 1
On the 20th anniversary of Dr Dre’s The Chronic, billboard.com posted an article saying, “It redefined the West Coast sound, is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time and made gangster rap that was accessible to pop radio and MTV. In short, “The Chronic” brought hardcore hip-hop to the suburbs.” I listened to The Chronic a few years ago, I was kind of aware of tis legacy, and thought it was just OK. But in the years since, I’ve learned more, and come to appreciate the genre a whole lot more as well. So I thought I was due give this ground breaker another go and see if my new context would help me appreciate it more.


A response to Ice Cube’s post N.W.A solo effort that included a dis to Dre, The Chronic (Intro) sounds like a semi improvised screed from a fresh on the scene Snoop Dogg, letting everyone know that everything that came before is old news, and that Dr Dre is about to change this forever. Snoop is back to take centre stage on Fuck wit Dre with a song that would be used as the basis for his breakthrough single, Who Am I? (What’s My Name)? (more…)

***2015 RECAP**** MUSIC REVIEW | Dr Dre – Compton (2015)

compton
Dr Dre is possibly the most enduring name in hip hop.  Other people have come along to become more famous and sell more records than him at certain moments in time, but he’s always there when they disappear.  Often, he’s the production mastermind behind those people who temporarily take hip hop’s crown.  So when he surprise dropped his first record in 16 years, it was a pretty big deal for a musical genre that Dre helped make a big deal in the first place.  I listened to his solo debut The Chronic once years ago, and never listened to its follow up, 2001.  So while it means I don’t have all that much context about where his latest, Compton, fits into Dr Dre’s discography, it also means I don’t have huge expectations for it to reach.


Why release an album now, with no proper warning?  Well, Talk About It opens Comptoin by letting us know just exactly why.  “Still got Eminem cheques I haven’t opened yet…  I Want it all…  Fuck you, fuck you and fuck you in the corner too…  One thing I do know, is one day I’m have everything”. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Compton Movie
“Let me tell you what I see here: a lot of raw talent. Swagger. Bravado. People are scared of you guys. They think you’re dangerous, but the world needs to hear it.”

Walk Hard, the John C Reilly starring, Judd Apatow produced parody movie was a piss take of Walk the Line and Ray.  But while it may have taken specifics from those two movies, it was really a piss take of all music biopics, because they’re all the same.  It seems like the only musicians worth making movies about all share a similar story arc.  They come from humble, if not downright oppressive origins, their raw talent and will power refuses to let them be beaten down by their many knocks.  They find fame and fortune, they’re almost destroyed by that fame and fortune, then they either die from their vices or conquer them.  Despite the predictability, I still like these movie, which is why I was pretty stoked for Straight Outta Compton.


It’s the mid 80s, and in South Central Los Angeles, that means things like poverty and police harassment are pretty common.  A young wannabe rapper, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr) writes rhymes for young drug dealer, Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell).  With DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) also working on production and lyrics, things don’t really take off for this group until they recruit young wannabe DJ, Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins).  Once they find each other and become N.W.A, it’s not long before a montage of making music in the studio leads to local notoriety and attracting the interest of manager Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti). (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Dr Dre – Compton (2015)

compton
Dr Dre is possibly the most enduring name in hip hop.  Other people have come along to become more famous and sell more records than him at certain moments in time, but he’s always there when they disappear.  Often, he’s the production mastermind behind those people who temporarily take hip hop’s crown.  So when he surprise dropped his first record in 16 years, it was a pretty big deal for a musical genre that Dre helped make a big deal in the first place.  I listened to his solo debut The Chronic once years ago, and never listened to its follow up, 2001.  So while it means I don’t have all that much context about where his latest, Compton, fits into Dr Dre’s discography, it also means I don’t have huge expectations for it to reach.


Why release an album now, with no proper warning?  Well, Talk About It opens Comptoin by letting us know just exactly why.  “Still got Eminem cheques I haven’t opened yet…  I Want it all…  Fuck you, fuck you and fuck you in the corner too…  One thing I do know, is one day I’m have everything”. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton (1988)

Compton Album

Even with my limited knowledge of hip hop, I know how important N.W.A are in the genre’s history.  They were one of the first hard core, gangsta collectives to break big.  And Dr Dre has spent that last three decades as one of hip hop’s most influential and successful names.  I know the singles that everyone knows, but I’ve never gone back to where it all started.  Which is why it was time for me to listen to Straight Outta Compton.


The opening, title track is probably one of the most well known in gangsta rap, and there’s a reason.  Dre’s beats, samples and production seem like they there was no way this hook laiden song wouldn’t be hit.  Add to that amazing verses by each MC, even Eazy-E, and there’s nothing in this song not to love. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Compton Movie
“Let me tell you what I see here: a lot of raw talent. Swagger. Bravado. People are scared of you guys. They think you’re dangerous, but the world needs to hear it.”

Walk Hard, the John C Reilly starring, Judd Apatow produced parody movie was a piss take of Walk the Line and Ray.  But while it may have taken specifics from those two movies, it was really a piss take of all music biopics, because they’re all the same.  It seems like the only musicians worth making movies about all share a similar story arc.  They come from humble, if not downright oppressive origins, their raw talent and will power refuses to let them be beaten down by their many knocks.  They find fame and fortune, they’re almost destroyed by that fame and fortune, then they either die from their vices or conquer them.  Despite the predictability, I still like these movie, which is why I was pretty stoked for Straight Outta Compton.


It’s the mid 80s, and in South Central Los Angeles, that means things like poverty and police harassment are pretty common.  A young wannabe rapper, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr) writes rhymes for young drug dealer, Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell).  With DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) also working on production and lyrics, things don’t really take off for this group until they recruit young wannabe DJ, Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins).  Once they find each other and become N.W.A, it’s not long before a montage of making music in the studio leads to local notoriety and attracting the interest of manager Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti). (more…)

***2014 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | 22 Jump Street (2014)

COL_BILL_TEMPLATE_14
“He has one class in Human Sexuality, and now he’s Harvey Milk.”

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are having a pretty great year. They directed a family friendly animated movie that became one of the biggest box office hits of 2014. When I wrote about The Lego Movie, I said,  “If there’s anything that could have been more of a lazy, cynical, nostalgia based cash grab than a movie based on a cheesy 80s TV show, it’s a movie based on a kids’ toy.  But like 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie has too much genuine affection for its characters and history, to ever be lazy, cynical, or nostalgically cash grabby.”


Now, after already conquering the PG market in 2014, they’re back to kill it R rated style with a surprisingly great sequel to a surprisingly great franchise opener. Making 21 Jump Street anything even close to decent would have been a tough enough task. Following it up with a sequel? There are so many ways that 22 Jumps Street could have been terrible. Somehow, Lord and Miller avoid them all. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | 22 Jump Street (2014)

COL_BILL_TEMPLATE_14
“He has one class in Human Sexuality, and now he’s Harvey Milk.”

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are having a pretty great year. They directed a family friendly animated movie that became one of the biggest box office hits of 2014. When I wrote about The Lego Movie, I said,  “If there’s anything that could have been more of a lazy, cynical, nostalgia based cash grab than a movie based on a cheesy 80s TV show, it’s a movie based on a kids’ toy.  But like 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie has too much genuine affection for its characters and history, to ever be lazy, cynical, or nostalgically cash grabby.”


Now, after already conquering the PG market in 2014, they’re back to kill it R rated style with a surprisingly great sequel to a surprisingly great franchise opener. Making 21 Jump Street anything even close to decent would have been a tough enough task. Following it up with a sequel? There are so many ways that 22 Jumps Street could have been terrible. Somehow, Lord and Miller avoid them all. (more…)