Hip hop is celebrating today (7 August) as legendary producer and rapper Dr Dre drops his long-awaited new album, Compton: A Soundtrack. With his last LP released 16 years ago, pressure was high with fans fully expecting the icon to deliver. Judging by reactions so far, Dre has excelled.
Inspired by forthcoming NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, the 49 year old's new album is perhaps his most personal release to date, drawing on his childhood growing up on the streets of the Los Angeles city before soaring to fame as part of the legendary gangsta rap collective.
Although inspired by his memory of Compton from several decades ago, the 16-track album has been given a modern feel with features from hip hop icons of both old and new – Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg – and soul singers Marsha Ambrosius and Jill Scott, in addition to Dre's long-time protege Eminem.
Twitter has erupted with heaps of praise for Compton: A Soundtrack, with many describing the record as the top rap album of 2015 already:
One Twitter user referenced the genre's recen tmajor rap feud, which started with Meek Mill getting upset when Drake did not tweet support for his new album, joking: "I hope @Drake tweets @DrDre's new album #Compton."
However, the record has received some controversy with a number of listeners offended by one of the lyrics from Eminem on the track Medicine Man, in which he says: "Ain't no one safe from, non-believers there ain't none/I even make the b*****s I rape c*m, I'm waiting on someone to say something."
Generously, Dre has announced that he will be donating all the artist royalties he earns from the sales of Compton: A Soundtrack to help fund a new performing arts and entertainment centre in his beloved hometown. The mogul said in a statement: "I feel it's the right thing to do and I hope everybody appreciates the work I put into this album."
Straight Outta Compton, the biopic, will hit cinemas on 14 August in the US and 28 August in the UK.