It's seemed obvious for quite some time that Dr. Dre's long-anticipated third solo album, "Detox," will never, ever come out. November will mark 15 years since he released his last album, "2001." The legendary N.W.A. producer has since been preoccupied with mentoring the next generation of superstars and appears to have shifted his focus from creative strategies to business development.
Here are six reasons why we think his rap days are over:
6. He's lost his passion as a rapper.
Dr. Dre has always been known as one of the greatest beatmakers of all time, but his rap flow has been considered average at best. When he and Ice Cube were feuding after Cube's exit from N.W.A., Cube suggested that Dre "stick to producing" on his 1991 diss track "No Vaseline." According to rumors, Dre's relied on ghostwriters to pen his lyrics. So maybe he hasn't put out an album in more than a decade because he's simply just not interested.
5. He doesn't have anything new to rap about.
Have you noticed that most of Dre's lyrics are about how much money he has, how many women he's got, and his legendary status in general? How many times can he rap about the same story? We're talking about an artist who is 49 years old and has been making hip-hop since he was a teenager. Really, he tried to tell us that he was tired of this shtick back in 1997 on "Been There, Done That," but we wouldn't let him move on.
4. He'd rather focus on his protégés.
Dre can take part of the credit for breaking some of hip-hop's biggest names over the last 15-plus years: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, the Game, Kendrick Lamar. Maybe he's given them some of better material intended for "Detox."
3. Being a rap star is too much work.
In order for Dre to reintroduce himself as a rapper, he would need to hustle like one of his protégé acts. Aside from recording music, he would need to get back into the mode of promoting this music by doing extensive press, radio visits, and tours, not to mention social media and maybe even a reality show. Could you imagine seeing Dre posting Instagram videos, tweeting about studio sessions with Lady Gaga, and fighting with babymamas on cable TV? Dre is too cool for that.
[Related: Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Needs Dr. Dre]
2. He's been away too long.
Fifteen years is a long hiatus. Honestly, the young pop music consumers know his name, buy his headphones, and love his oldies, but that doesn't mean that they are going to embrace his new work. When he released songs "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor" in 2010 and 2011, the songs did well. The latter featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey reached No. 4 on the pop charts and warranted a performance on the Grammys and a headlining set at Coachella in 2012. But honestly, those songs didn't resonate like his greatest hits. And the most memorable part of the Coachella show was the Tupac hologram. Dre's got too much at stake to risk a lukewarm response to a new album.
1. Beats By Dre.
According to Forbes, if Apple purchases Beats Electronics, for which Dre reportedly owns a 20-25 percent share, the acquisition won't officially make him a billionaire, but his take of the $3.2 billion would get him $800 million before taxes. Do you know how many albums and concert tickets he would need to sell to gross that amount of money?
It looks like Dre has his priorities in order. Just cue up "The Chronic" and "2001" albums on your devices, enjoy, and be grateful. "Detox" is never ever ever ever ever going to come out.