Top Ten Dre Songs, #6 – Forgot About Dre

The #6 greatest song of all time in Dr. Dre’s oeuvre is…

Forgot About Dre – click here

This is another song that you might expect to hear higher up in the list. Now, don’t get me wrong, this song is amazing – the strings sound so foreboding, and Eminem delivers an extended verse (more than 16 bars long) that is certainly one of the most memorable in his output, if not one of his greatest verses ever. Notice how he raps through the small distorted guitar solo – it just makes him sound so fierce, rapping for so long. Dre is also sick, but by this point, unlike “The Chronic” album and his work with NWA, he didn’t write his rap. He had someone write his rap for him, which is known as ghostwriting. This is something everyone should know about Dre – he doesn’t write his own raps. I think that’s okay though, since he still delivers the rap with good delivery and hitting all his rhythms, and he’s an amazing producer. Besides, when Eminem can interpret how Dre feels so well, like he does on Ice Cube’s “Hello”, why would Dre need to write his own beats?

But again, this song suffers from the production not being deep enough – I don’t think it stands up to a ridiculous amount of replays, which is what I give it. There aren’t any of the elaborating ideas that we find in his output after “1999”, like in the song “Oh!”, which you can find in another rap analysis of mine, #6.

Also, “Forgot About Dre” is a pretty good indicator of Dre’s artistic direction post “1999.” He would take the orchestral strings one step further, and turn to using real orchestral instruments whiled still preserving the minor third sound world. Also, note how Dre uses strings in his own work in contrast to other producers. Rather than using strings as soft, dramatic, kind of melodramatic elements, he uses them as strong, foreboding elements. Definitely a hallmark of his style.

Come back tomorrow for #5! It’ll be a song that pretty much everyone knows…

Martin Connor is a music teacher & writer from Philadelphia, PA, with a music degree of high distinction from Duke University who is currently studying for a master’s degree at Brandeis University in Boston, MA, while focusing his research on the vocal melodies of the rap genre. He has contributed freelance articles to HipHopDX, Complex, and Pigeons and Planes, and had multiple articles from his website, www.RapAnalysis.com go viral on BET, The Source, XXL, and MTV. He teaches rap lessons online through the music school LessonFace, and has a book, The Artistry Of Rap Music, forthcoming from the McFarland Publishing House, scheduled for release in late 2017, as a follow-up to his 2014 contribution to their anthology "Eminem & Rap, Poetry, Race." He welcomes all comments, compliments, insults, and restaurant suggestions at mepc36@gmail.com.

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