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In order to wholly remark on West Coast legend, Dr. Dre's third album release, it's vital to first recognize the history behind it, the current landscape sustaining it and the legend propelling it. Cinematic in rule and resolve, Compton is more than a soundtrack, more than a statement of timely nostalgia and more than an answer to a decade-and-a-half of questioning. It's Dre's grand finale. Inspired by and released alongside the upcoming biopic Straight Outta Compton, (the anticipated blockbuster highlighting the story of boundary-breaking gangster rap crew NWA,) Dr. Dre uses not only his city, but his come-up streamlining one of the greatest rap groups of all time as his conceptual muse, while he takes his final bow on rap's main stage.

To say that Dre's third studio album has been anticipated would be the most profound understatement of the past two decades and for the new generation of millennial rap fans, the long-running joke of Detox's supposed release has stood as a life-long farce - an impeding threat to Dre's unparalleled legacy. But Detox isn't coming. Its legend surpassed its potential years ago and the album "just wasn't good" enough, the rap mogul ultimately admitted himself last week during an interview with Beats 1. Detox-closure however, allowed room for Compton-anticipation, though murmurs of doubt and expectancy never ceased leading up to the release of the 16-track project, 16 long years after the delivery of its predecessor. Would the 50-year-old headphone-mogul be able to come close to the cultural blueprint of his legendary low-riding G-funk debut album, The Chronic in 1992, or the momentous boom of 2001 in 1999 or even the reign of Eminem's shock-hungry innovations delivered by the Dr. in the early 2000s?

As if expectations weren't high enough, an A-list cast of characters promised to adorn the cinematic composition, uniting multiple generations of rap stars under a single opus; a formal reminder of Dr. Dre's longstanding influence on hip-hop's interrelated timeline. Contemporaries Ice Cube, Xzibit and Snoop Dogg, acolytes Eminem and The Game, as well as unremarked Los Angeles-based newbies Anderson .Paak and King Mez accompanied by R&B flairs from Marsha Ambrosius and the adorned Jill Scott arrive spritely, delivering mammoth vocals and lyrical dexterity as they pass mics between them. But it's Compton's current torcher-bearer, Kendrick Lamar, who in the prime of his career, lambasts with more ubiquitous revelations than the year as welcomed from his rap contenders combined.

"Compton was the American dream," a news broadcast first opens up the album's flagrant intro, reporting the city's history through statistical analysis that depicts its shift from suburbia to a stigma-stricken crime-invested hood. "47 homicides last year gave Compton one of the highest per capital rates in the country. Juvenile gang activity, muggings, small robberies make some blacks want to leave..."

If anyone should be regarded for grasping a hold of the American dream, it ought to be Dr. Dre, a Compton-bred rapper and producer who's claimed the title as hip-hop's first billionaire. And like the legend of Dr. Dre, Compton as a cohesive product is just as ambitious and extensive - a fitting (supposed) end to a monumental musical career. Through 16 textured and decorative cuts, the album mutates through sound-arrangements combining hip-hop, rock, funk, soul, jazz, dancehall and R&B clusters into grand-scaled embellishments that serve as a sonic ego for Dre as he recounts the early beginnings of NWA, his journey through the ranks of hip-hop's hierarchy, while reprimanding doubters who even attempt to deny his legacy through aggressive raps, (that, of course he may or may not have written himself, but we've reached our current ghostwriting-conversation quota for the month.)

But moments with solely Dre atop his assembled creations are fewer than essential as he allows his guests to take precedent. 'Genocide', is a jazzy-rap dancehall hybrid, grated with busy instrumentation perfect for Kendrick's multi-personality raps, as the good kid grates through his first of three combative verses. "My discretion, fuck your blessing, fuck your life, fuck your hope, fuck your mama, fuck your daddy, fuck your dead homie. Fuck the world up when we came up, that's Compton homie," he raps before later taking shots at nemesis Drake on the obstinate 'Darkside/Gone'.

On 'All In A Day's Work', Dre gets melodic, while nitpicking current rap politics and the pressures and expectations that come with fame after the hustle to garner and maintain it are prosperous. With bounce, bite and bravado, he raps: "Though I gave everything to this game, they still complain." And he couldn't be more correct. In a disposable social media-centric era of rap, where artists' shelf-lives are relevant by the hour, Dr. Dre has lasted decades in contrast, carving and tiling the road from rags to riches, making it only natural to take the opportunity to scoff at inquisitorial casual rap fans. Nearing the album's end, he expands this firmness on 'Medicine Man', giving the younger hip-hop generation, the scolding they need. "Listen, this is my evaluation: This shit over saturated, y'all can get evacuated. Kids sipping Actavis and they ain't even activated. Married to the internet, stuck in place, salivating. Ain't nobody graduating. Don't nobody love this shit the way I love it," he spits fervently.

Despite the crucial message however, headlines highlighting the single have nearly overshadowed its intention with attention to Eminem's verse, which teeters evenly between accolades for one of the strongest lyrical offerings on the project, matched with disgust for Marshall Mather's continuing blatant disregard of gender politics, rape culture and overall human decency with a single deplorable rape line. But what's a Dre/Em collaboration without some deep-rooted misogyny, right...

Serving as more than just the nostalgic release that many expected it to be, Compton carries Dr. Dre back into spotlight from the boardroom on his own terms, with his own verification. While The Chronic defined an era through confident West Coast G-funk and 2001 pillared center stage of hip-hop's marketable expansion, Compton exists now as a reminder to the current oversaturated pit of modern rap that legends aren't born overnight and there will never be another Dr. Dre. Hip-hop's first billionaire hasn't forgotten where he comes from so let's not forget what he's done to get here.

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