Things I enjoyed more than Dr. Dre's Compton: A Soundtrack by Dre:
• Last week's Rethuglican debate. Fly, Donald Trump! You're a walking crazy-thermometer for white America, you piece of shit.
• Literally everything else Dr. Dre has ever done (especially finally admitting that Detox is never coming out).
• YG's "Twist My Fingaz."
On the aforementioned "Fingaz," YG recounts getting shot outside the studio, stanches the flow of fake Bloods, and brags that he's the "only one that made it out the West without Dre." Totally unpretentious and thankfully theater-free (I can really do without all the post-TPAB Hamlet that Dre is doing on Compton), Mr. Fo-Hunnid exemplifies everything I love about West Coast rap over a tone-perfect '90s thumper courtesy of Terrace Martin.
His homeboy DJ Mustard is back with 10 Summers: The Mixtape Vol. 1, too—starring Mustard's signees RJ and Choice alongside The Game (sounding more relaxed than he does on Compton), Iamsu!, and Nef the Pharaoh. It's not quite on par with Mustard's 2013 Ketchup album, but it's nice to see a left coast collective vibe going, and to get a solo song ("I Be Wit") from the ever-slickening Choice—aka the favored Seattle son Royce the Choice, one of rap's driest wits to date. That said, even as derivative as Mustard tends to be—and once you overlook the contributions of the terrible and terribly named DrakeO—Mixtape at least feels like an authentic read of 2015 Califas street rap.
Compare that to Compton, which, despite some nice hooks, beats, and guests (especially Anderson Paak), smacks too much of the high-tech, hermetically sealed melodrama of an Eminem album—WHY ARE WE YELLING?—and too little of the creeping, laid-back menace-funk that Dre practically invented. To paraphrase Spekulation: from 187 to undercover cop. (And if we're still mad about rappers with ghostwriters, at least Drake manages to sound natural saying his lines.)
To (town) business: Seward Park–bred MC turned New York factor Aaron Cohen hits home at Barboza on Wednesday, August 12, Silas Blak headlines the next Home Slice at the Croc on Thursday, August 13, and ATL goes very ham at Showbox Sodo with Yung Rich Nationals Migos and neo-crunk rap moralist OG Maco on Friday, August 14. The Bay Area's inventor of Girl Scout Cookies, Berner, hits the Croc on Saturday, August 15—expect some material from the excellent Drought Season 3, the latest installment in the collab series with the late great Jacka (MIP).
Now, as much as Capitol Hill's pride-painted crosswalks were slyly meant to hip the New Pike Street scum to where they were, those DIY RBG crosswalks in the CD—shout-out to United Hood Movement and all the folks who did that—should be allowed to rock. But since they weren't city-authorized (and paid out the ass for), they're apparently a bit of a controversy. I fully expect SDOT to move in and apply a fresh coat of glossiest white, and maybe add an #AllLivesMatter, but they say they're planning to make those red, black, and green stripes permanent. Moral: You absolutely have to speak up, act out, and fuck up the program or things will simply proceed as usual. (In the words of Run the Jewels: "Riots work.") All this shit belongs to the Duwamish, anyway—even though the federal government has recently declined to recognize them as a tribe.
That earthquake will be well deserved.