Some might go so far as to declare it “Dre Day,” as the Good Doctor is officially turning the page on his fifty-sixth birthday. With a new album clearly in the works, a project that may or may not be the long-awaited Detox, it feels appropriate to highlight one of Dr. Dre’s many classic tunes. And while the natural inclination may be to look at The Chronic and 2001, it’s about due time to start recognizing Compton for the elite project that it is. Case in point, the absolute monster that is “Darkside/Gone,” a two-beat banger featuring Mez, Kendrick Lamar, and Marsha Ambrosius.
The first beat is sinister in nature, driven by a shuffling drum-line and a creeping synthesizer. Mez and Dre slide over it with dexterous flows, the former setting the pace with an introductory verse before the latter makes his presence felt. “Now who you know who came this fucking far from the fucking bottom?” he raps. “Thirty years in this bitch and I’m still here, decade after decade / And evidently I must be doing somethin’ right, word to my ni*ga Eazy.”
From there, the track shifts into a different space altogether as Kendrick Lamar and Marsha Ambrosius enter the mix. Following an anthemic chorus from longtime Aftermath collaborator Ambrosius, Kendrick Lamar absolutely obliterates Dre’s signature pianos. “I thought I was holding my city up, I thought I was good in the media,” he vents. “You think I’m too hood in my video? But really, no clue, you idiot!” To this day, “Darkside/Gone” stands alongside the Doc’s finest works, and even at fifty-six, there’s no indication that he’s about to slow down his pace. Happy birthday to the Great Instrumentalist.
It’s your choice, I took this industry by storm, young and black, killing them softly
Don’t ever call me fortunate, you don’t know what it cost me
So anybody complaining about they circumstances lost me, homie
We ain’t even talkin’, fuck that energy, fuck up off me