November 26, 1996
Rap, Gangsta Rap, Urban, Underground Rap, West Coast Rap, G-Funk, Contemporary R&B

Album Review

Dr. Dre shifted directions drastically halfway through 1996, leaving Death Row Records and abandoning gangsta rap, claiming that he had "Been There, Done That." So, Dre founded a new record label, Aftermath, and built an artist roster consisting entirely of new, unproven talent. He also decided not to concentrate on rap, signing urban R&B acts as well as hip-hop. Aftermath's initial release was the various-artists compilation Dr. Dre Presents...The Aftermath and one listen proves that Dre wasn't kidding when he said he wasn't interested in gangsta anymore. There are a number of rappers on The Aftermath, even a handful of hardcore rappers, but nothing fits into the standard G-funk template. The true revelation of the album is Dre's skill for urban R&B and soul, all of which sounds fresh and exciting compared to several of the fairly pedestrian hip-hop tracks. Despite the success of these urban productions, none of the actual performers make much of an impact -- the tracks are impressive only because they demonstrate Dre's musical versatility and skill. In fact, the two tracks that really stand out -- Dre's stately, sexy "Been There Done That" and the powerful "East Coast/West Coast Killas," which features cameos by B-Real, KRS-One, Nas, and RBX -- are a combination of terrific production and personality, which is usually what results in great singles. But that doesn't mean that The Aftermath is a washout. Instead, it's a promising fresh start for Dre that is full of potential and enough great music to make it a vital listen.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Aftermath (The Intro)
  2. East Coast/West Coast Killas
  3. Sh**tin' on the World
  4. Blunt Time
  5. Been There Done That
  6. Choices
  7. As the World Keeps Turning
  8. Got Me Open
  9. STR-8 Gone
  10. Please
  11. Do 4 Love
  12. Sexy Dance
  13. No Second Chance
  14. L.A.W. (Lyrical Assault Weapon)
  15. Nationowl
  16. Fame
purchase full album