American hip-hop artist Dr. Dre (real name Andre Romelle Young) is no stranger to long periods of waiting to release his albums, as his debut, The Chronic, came out in 1992, followed seven years later by 2001, released through Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Taking longer to release, however, is his third and final album, Detox, which has been in development for more than a decade, with some speculating that it will never be released. Dre eventually released Compton a Soundtrack by Dr. Dre as his final album, making Detox a canceled, unreleased album. When asked why he didn't release Detox he stated that it didn't meet his standards.
The recording of the album dates back to early 2002, where the very first version of Detox was called "the most advanced rap album ever," by producer Scott Storch. Even at the beginning of production, it was announced that it would be Dr. Dre's final studio album, which has been confirmed at different points throughout the album's production process. Because Dr. Dre had stated he was tired of rapping about marijuana use and stereotypical gangster lifestyle, he planned to make Detox a hip-hop musical telling the story of a professional hitman and his family, with an intended summer 2003 release date but this version was never released. In 2004, Dre took focus off the album to work on producing for fellow rappers Eminem, The Game, and others. Upon completion, he resumed work on Detox with a plan to release the album in late 2005. The revival and promised completion was reflected in the lyrics of Eminem's "Encore/Curtains Down" and The Game's "Higher".
The planned 2005 release date passed and Dre was still working on the album, being in the second phase of recording with 18 tracks complete at the time. The album, already famous at the time for being delayed so much, was announced for a September 2007 release date, though it was delayed again once the deadline passed. Afterwards, Dre announced that Detox would still be released while he was at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards presenting the Video of the Year award. In a 2007 interview with 50 Cent, he stated Detox was continually delayed because of Dre wanting a perfect album, saying, "He's such a perfectionist. But sometimes that can be a bad thing. You create new pressure when you wait that long. When you put a new album against the last two classics, people will scrutinize it if they become impatient."
After rumors by All Hip-Hop of Detox being complete in May 2008, it and Eminem's sixth studio album, Relapse, were revealed to be released in the fourth quarter of 2008. Snoop Dogg later confirmed the album's completion and said that Dre was still deciding which tracks would be included. During the same month, Dr. Dre revealed that he aimed to release the album in November or December 2008, saying, "I'm just now, over the last couple of months, starting to feel that it's going to be right and it's something I can be proud of, and everybody is going to love it".
In December 2008, Dre told MTV that the album would be released after Relapse and 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct, released in May and November 2009, respectively. That same yer, 50 Cent and Eminem asserted in an interview on BET's 106 & Park that Dr. Dre had about ten songs finished for the album. Finally, on that same May, Dre premiered the first official snippet of Detox in a Dr. Pepper commercial.
In September 2010, at a press conference for "Beats By Dre" headphones, Dre hinted at a Christmas release. He also expressed the inspiration and encouragement he received to finish the album, saying, "Being on the stage with Eminem and Jay-Z was one of the most incredible feelings I've felt in a long time. It inspired me, it made me want to hurry up and get back in the studio and put more effort and more work into my own project," and "The response from the people out there was just incredible,". "It let me know that I still got love out there and I'm not wasting my time in the studio with what I'm doing, with the music or with all the Beats product that we're putting out."
In January 2011, 50 Cent was interviewed by MTV regarding why the album was so highly anticipated. "I think everyone is [looking forward to Detox]. When you got a producer that has that kind of production track record, you even have to credit both Eminem's success and my success to Dr. Dre as a producer. My first single off of [his 2003 debut] Get Rich or Die Tryin' — people constantly tell me it was a classic — was produced by Dr. Dre, 'In Da Club.' Without that momentum from that song, I'm not sure they would have taken to 'P.I.M.P.' the same way or '21 Questions' or any of the other hit records I released following that."
On May 21, 2011, Swizz Beatz confirmed that he and Dr. Dre were collaborating on both Detox and Swizz Beatz's project, Haute Living. In an interview with Billboard, DJ Khalil said that Dr. Dre was in the final stretch of Detox work. "Dre's album is definitely the most important thing right now, because he is definitely in the final stretch. He has the record going, but I'm sure he thinks there are pieces missing still. Until he finds those pieces, maybe he's not comfortable putting it out yet."
In August 2011, at the BMI Urban Awards, Snoop Dogg, pledged he would put all his effort to help Dre finish recording Detox, saying, "Ya'll ain't gotta wait too much longer, the Dogg is in the building. "We gonna get this shit right." The following month, rapper Kendrick Lamar confirmed that Detox was in the mixing process.
Several musicians closely affiliated with Dr. Dre, including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, The Game and producer DJ Quik, have speculated in interviews that the album will never be released, due to Dr. Dre's business and entrepreneurial ventures having interfered with recording work, as well as causing him to lose motivation to record new material. In September 2014, Aftermath producer Dawaun Parker revealed that the name Detox had been dropped and the album now has a new title, Donezo.
On August 1, 2015, Dre announced that he would release what would be his final album, titled Compton: A Soundtrack. It is inspired the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton and is a compilation-style album, featuring a number of frequent collaborators, including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and The Game, among others. It is also slated to drop exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music. Dre also talked about his long-delayed Detox album, stating that he did not release the album because it did not meet his standards and that this album would be his "grand finale."
During the seemingly endless wait, Dr. Dre released two singles said to be tracks from Detox, "I Need a Doctor" and "Kush". However, Dre later confirmed that the two singles wouldn't be featured on the album. Many recorded tracks from the sessions, some unfinished, were leaked in 2009 and 2010, including "Under Pressure", "The Doctor", "This Is Detox", "Could Have Been You", "OG's Theme", "Say Dr. Dre", "Syllables", "Coming Back", and two different versions of "Topless".
Under Pressure ft Jay-Z
I Need a Doctor ft Eminem Skylar Grey
Kush ft Akon Snoop Dogg
2nite ft Kendrick Lamar Jeremih
Die Hard ft Eminem
Topless ft T.I Nas Eminem
Naked ft Sly Piper Marsha Ambrosius
Back to Business ft T.I, Victoria Monet Justus Sly Piper
Shooter ft Meek Mill Anderson Paak
Where I'm From ft The Game Snoop Dogg Ice Cube
Legends ft Easy E Rick Ross
Compton's Finest ft Schoolboy Q YG
Angels and Demons ft Lil Wayne Lloyd
Final Curtain ft Kendrick Lamar Marsha Ambrosius
Pyrex (It Alive) ft Kendrick Lamar
Music to drive by ft Dem Jointz and Candice Pillay
Detox ft Swizz Beatz Ab-Soul
The Psycho ft 50 Cent
Coming Back ft J Cole Keri Wilson