When news broke out that Kendrick Lamar would be releasing the official single from his Aftermath Records debut on April 2nd, I knew this wasn’t just going to be regular song. Something historical was happening…
Kendrick was following a long line of legendary MC’s who were brought to Dr. Dre from various regions and were eventually groomed into super stars. The last real co-sign from Dre was back in 2005 for Game’s ‘The Documentary’ album which went 5-times platinum. Kendrick was doing something Bishop Lamont failed to do. Something Hittman & Stat Quo weren’t able to do, which was rise through the Aftermath ranks and graduate from the school of Andre Young. You could even add Joell Ortiz in there too but he eventually signed with Shady through Slaughterhouse. Kendrick is emulating the steps of a Calvin Broadus, a Marshall Mathers, a Curtis Jackson & a Jayceon Taylor. All who have released multiple platinum albums and have had lengthy rap careers under the guidance of the Good Doctor.
The first thing I noticed on the ‘The Recipe’ is how ill the beat is. Once the drums kick in and the Twin Sister sample hits, I’m already mesmerized. Produced by Scoop Deville, who’s probably best known for his work on Snoop’s “I Wanna Rock” single, did an outstanding job in capturing the laid back California vibe. Ironically, this beat was first played for Stat Quo and then given to Dre to perform scrupulous surgery on. Throughout the years, Dre has notoriously been accused of taking other people’s beats and throwing the “Produced by Dr. Dre” label on it without any real production from him but there’s a big difference between ‘making a beat’ and ‘producing a song’. It’s all in the details, from the theatrical violins in the background, to the simple piano chords, to how precise the verses go back and forth with one another. Dre’s in his own league, and on this track he proves it once again.
With “The Recipe”, Kendrick Lamar has proven how good of a writer he really is and how versatile he can be with his double-time flow. And to actually make Dre sound natural and comfortable on this track is an accomplishment in itself. Marshall might have to retire his outdated 40 ounces, hydraulics, and chronic leaf bars he’s written for Dre and leave ghost-writing duties to Kendrick from now on.
Ultimately, this is what you expect from an Aftermath single with the name ‘Dr. Dre’ attached to it. There’s something strangely addictive about it and the more times you hear it the better it gets. This sets up Kendrick’s debut studio LP “Good Kid In A Mad City” perfectly for a mid-summer release. And hopefully with the warm reception of “The Recipe”, it will give Dre that final push to release “The Planets“…wait I mean “Detox” once and for all. West up!