Forgot about Dre? It's easily done. In a decade where hip-hop has been dominated by the Neptunes and Timbaland, Dr Dre – the biggest figure of the Nineties – has achieved little of note, other than to launch 50 Cent upon a, er, grateful world.
'Detoxification' is Dre's third album since NWA split, and it's also, he assures us, the final one. Never the greatest rapper himself, he's pulled in favours from several of the stars whose careers he kickstarted. They invariably sound as though they're doing it out of obligation. A dash of Snoop normally spells instant charisma, but on "The Office" and "Do You Know", he's relatively anonymous, as is Eminem on "The Take Over". Even 50 Cent sounds more alive. Their lethargy is understandable, because Dre's driving over very old ground. Despite stating up front "I'm not talking about lowriders and blunts and all that anymore... I mean, that's played", ye olde Jeep-bouncing beats are back again. 'Detoxification' smells like one last payday for Dre and his crew. But a masterpiece? Forget about it.
Pick of the album: Wu-Tang goes west: 'The Rock'