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Emimen & Dr. Dre/ Relapse & Detox

Producers: Dr. Dre, Eminem, DJ Premier,

Leads: “Crack A Bottle” “Could Have Been You”

Quotable: It’s sorta like pourin’ Draino down a live volcano.

You never know what’ll happen next, it may blow.

Same things happen to the beats when Dre blows

Yes, I’m cheating by combining these, but am I really? Up until last year Dr. Dre’s Detox was given an improbable November ’08 release date and then got pushed for Em’s Relapse project (going clean is only fun after a weekend-long bender in Vegas, right?). At that point I had officially put Detox in the same box with my New York Knicks championship hopes and wasn’t even going to list it for ’09. But then the leak happened. “Could Have Been You” featuring R. Kelly and 50 Cent found its way onto the Internet. Dre’s anger at the premature release only gives credibility to the track and makes me think this might actually happen.

The other reason I’ve put them together is that we know that Em is writing most of Dre’s rhymes and Dre is doing most of Em’s beats so isn’t the separation of barcodes at Best Buy a mere formality?

As for the music itself I have it on very good authority that the time off since 2004’s Encore has done Eminem some good. “Lyrically, he is going somewhere else with it,” said one person who I caught rummaging through wastebaskets for crumpled up rhyme notes at Interscope records. “He’s hungry, gotta chip on his shoulder. He’s heavily influenced by what he grew up on for his first album, like The Pharcyde and Masta Ace.”

The Pharcyde and Masta Ace??  So Em is about to put a size whatever limited-edition Jordan up the ass of the rap game. Did you hear the flow on that last verse of “Crack A Bottle?” And he isn’t even finished.

“It wasn’t close to finished, and it even has me doing guide vocals for Dre as a suggestion of how he could lay his verses down,” Em told Billboard.com. “It’s like someone catches you peeping in your window before you got the Spider Man costume all zipped up! Nobody is supposed to see that. We are gonna finish it up, though, and get it out there how it’s supposed to be.”

As for Detox, just listening to the rough and ugly version of the “Could Have Been You” instrumental below lets me know the man is not playing. But after waiting this long I will accept nothing less than the most immaculately produced hip-hop album ever. No pressure, Dre.

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