In 1992 Dr. Dre released The Chronic, one of the most iconic and well produced hip-hop albums of all time. Kanye West once said it was the benchmark you measured your album against. Seven years later he dropped 2001, proving to everyone that doubted him that he still had it.
Then we waited for Detox. We waited for years. 15 years, 8 months, and 23 days to be exact. But it never came.
Dr. Dre had announced that he scrapped Detox because he didn’t like it. Instead he released Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, an album inspired by the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
And it was really fucking good.
These three albums show the qualities that I look up to and strive for at Design4Change. All the albums show consistency in Dr. Dre’s production, as there isn’t a single track where he hasn’t given his full effort. That’s the mindset I have at Design4Change. I give each client I work with my full effort, and aim to produce consistently good work for them.
Each album also shows Dr. Dre’s high levels of standard. Dr. Dre is known to be a perfectionist. Every album was well polished and showcased the best of his abilities. There was no filler. The fact that Dr. Dre was willing to throw out an entire album because he didn’t like it gives you an idea of how high his standards are. He would rather release nothing than something substandard. I feel we’re the same at Design4Change. We’re not afraid to be honest with you. If we feel that a certain project will not add value to your brand, we would rather do something else that will than make something we didn’t believe in.
Lastly, all three albums show that Dr. Dre can keep up with the times. In fact what makes Dr. Dre a well-respected producer isn’t just his ability to keep up with the times, but his forward thinking mindset. Even to this day, The Chronic remains relevant because it was so trend setting. This is a quality I strive for and constantly work towards. I feel that my biggest weakness is following trends rather than stepping outside the box as often as I should. But this is something I’m working on.
I’m not looking to become the next trend setting hip-hop producer. But the reason I look up to Dr. Dre is because I admire his work ethic. Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist writes “the reason to copy your heroes and their style is so that you might somehow get a glimpse into their minds." Writing this blog gave me a glimpse inside Dr. Dre’s mind. And now Design4Change and Ricky Lam is at the door, ready to make an entrance so back on up.
Cause you know we’re about to rip shit up.