The Doc is back. Hip-hop’s legendary producer Dr. Dre is finally preparing to release his highly anticipated comeback album, Detox, and XXL got the chance to pick the rap icon’s brain for the December/January 2011 issue.
After over a decade the West Coast superproducer is finally preparing the first quarter 2011 release of the long-awaited Detox. In a candid interview with Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten, the master beatsmith said, “I’m really feeling it now. My energy has been back and forth with the record, tussling with doing it out of obligation, as opposed to doing it because I really feel it. My feelings about it have been going up and down. Now I’m in that place where I’m really feeling it, and it’s coming out right. It’s like, Yeah, I’m excited about it.”
Dre has been teasing fans with the disc’s release since first announcing Detox in April 2002 but, as he explains in the XXL cover story, it’s been Dre himself that has been the cause of the many years of delay. The beat maestro, who turned 45 this past February, says, “The only part that has been pushing me back is just the fact that I’m getting older, and certain things to talk about… But I can incorporate other artists, new artists with this record, to say some of the things I won’t say. It’s been a little tussle in that area also, just because of age and being able to identify with the younger audience.”
Staying motivated over the years has been a struggle for Dre, who told XXL that there were moments where he almost gave up on Detox. “I’ve been through that thing several times, where I’m like, ‘You know what? I quit. I’m not doing this. Everything is starting to sound the same.’”
In the story, Dr. Dre also reveals that Detox might be the last time fans will hear him rap. “I don’t ever see myself retiring totally from music, because I have a genuine love and passion for it,” he said. “But as far as me going into the mic booth, that shit is over. I’m always going to talent scout and try to find new artists to work with. But, yeah, that’s it. I don’t see myself doing it the way I’m doing it now. I’m in the studio at least five or six days a week for 16, 18 hours. I think I’m going to back off a little bit and spend some time with the family.”
With 27 years in the industry, Dre has experienced one of most successful runs in the game, but the mysterious legend is conflicted about his own legacy. “I have mixed emotions about it,” he said. “I think it’s incredible what I’ve done. A lot of sweat. But as an innovator, I look back and can’t help but go, Damn, there’s things I could’ve done better, you know?”