On Thursday night, Los Angeles rap kingmaker Dr. Dre unveils his first album in 16 years. Called “Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre,” the 16-track record is inspired by the highly anticipated N.W.A movie “Straight Outta Compton,” which hits theaters Aug. 14. Fans will first get a chance to hear the album via Apple Music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., when it streams in its entirety before being released to the public soon thereafter.
The multi-platinum artist, producer, label chief and Beats Music co-founder Dr. Dre is responsible for one of the most influential sounds to ever roll out of Southern California. Just as important is his skill as a talent scout. Over the years he helped bring to the public artists including Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Game.
'Straight Outta Compton': A look inside
Needless to say, enthusiasm for the album is high. That’s especially true considering that on the production front he’s been relatively quiet over the last decade as he and Jimmy Iovine built the Beats empire. With the arrival of “Compton,” the rapper born Andre Young will issue his first major musical statement since 1999.
In the process, he will help introduce to the public a roster of upstarts including BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson Paak and Jon Connor, and harness the proven power of Jill Scott, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit -- to say nothing of actor and former N.W.A peer Ice Cube.
Below: a primer on the voices and producers that inhabit Dr. Dre’s new album.
Marsha Ambrosius. British singer Ambrosius got her start with the neo-soul group Floetry, signed as a solo artist to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint in the late ‘00s, left the label a few years later and released her most recent album, “Friends & Lovers,” last year. The artist is better known for her searing vocal hooks on tracks by Nas, Jamie Foxx, Wale, Tyga, the Game and many others. Ambrosius appears on four “Compton” tracks: “Genocide,” “All in a Day’s Work,” “Darkside/Gone” and “Satisfaction.”
BJ the Chicago Kid. Known for his work with Schoolboy Q and Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid is currently at work on his major label debut album after releasing several mixtapes, including 2014's "The M.A.F.E. Project" and the 2012 independent album "Pineapple Now-Laters." The magnetic singer did a searing performance at Mack Sennett Studios earlier in the year, teasing new tracks and confirming the buzz. Dre uses him on “Compton” for “It’s All on Me.”
Bink. Producer Bink has been active for nearly two decades, and in that time has worked with Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Nate Dogg, Rick Ross and dozens of others. Two prime productions? Kanye West’s “Devil in a New Dress” and two tracks on GZA’s “The Legend of Liquid Swords”: “Silent” and “Animal Planet.” His credit on “Compton” is for the track “It’s All on Me.”
Asia Bryant. Singer and songwriter Bryant has landed credits on songs by Ludacris, Killer Mike, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus. She gets her Dre break this year through the "Compton” track “Just Another Day,” which also features the Game.