Review Summary: An early west coast album that has been greatly overlooked, it truly makes you believe that “No One Can Do It Better.”2 of 2 thought this review was well written
The D.O.C. (born Tracy Curry) was originally affiliated with Ruthless Records, he was a writer for N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton as well as Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It, his work on these projects enabled him to record his own album for Ruthless. Probably remembered today only for being name-checked by Dr. Dre on “Nuthin' but a "G" Thang” as well as appearing in the video for that song. Although on the Ruthless label and writing for N.W.A., The D.O.C. was not about gansta rap at all, mostly sticking to boasting about his skills (as shown on the album title).
Perhaps overlooked at the time because the only thing coming out of the west coast that was gaining notoriety were the violent gangsta raps of N.W.A. and Ice-T, the D.O.C. had more of an east coast style with his intricate lyricism and speedy(at times) flow. Produced entirely by Dr. Dre who was starting to get recognized as one of the premier hip hop producers, he really began to come into his own with this project, using his trademark Parliament and Funkadelic samples, he provides the D.O.C. with a great canvas to showcase his skills. Even when the production falters as in the uninspired “No One Can Do It Better” or the lazy Marvin Gaye sapling “The Formula,” the D.O.C. holds your attention with his superb lyrics and flow. Not that those are terrible beats but they aren’t up to par with the rest of the album like the outstanding electric guitar-laced “Beautiful But Deadly,” the hypnotizing bass line of “It’s Funky Enough” or the funk-infused “The D.O.C. & The Doctor,” with the D.O.C.’s laid back flow it’s probably the best track on the album.
With his commanding voice and great enunciation, you won’t miss anything that the D.O.C. is saying. On the aptly titled “Mind Blowin’” D.O.C. spits out lines full of syllables that don’t give the listener the feeling that he’s just showing off, he does it so naturally that you’ll believe that this is just the way he talks:
A little something for the brethren with intellect you truly understand
it's like a message from the one who's getting candid
Making a mark on the strength with rhyming like nothing
When you're pumping something that's bumping
On “It’s Funky Enough,” the D.O.C. displays a bit of reggae styling and switches his style back and forth smoothly without skipping a beat on “Portrait of a Masterpiece” he raps at a feverish pace non-stop with no hook, towards the end he stops and tells Dre he needs to catch his breath then keeps going for a bit longer. Ice Cube, MC Ren and Eazy-E join the D.O.C. for “The Grand Finale” a track that closes the album out with a bang
In the song “Lend Me An Ear” D.O.C. asks “Who’s the kid with the golden voice?” unfortunately, shortly after this album’s release the D.O.C. was involved in a car accident that crushed his larynx and tragically caused irreparable damage to that golden voice. The D.O.C. was left with not much more than a raspy croak that prevented him from having a proper follow-up to his great debut and the once wide open door of fame and fortune was slammed shut on him, he was relegated to ghostwriting for N.W.A. after Ice Cube left and also for Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic.” One can only wonder after hearing this album if he could have been an MC capable of standing side by side with the icons of his era like Rakim and Big Daddy Kane. Oh what could’ve been…
The D.O.C. & The Doctor
It’s Funky Enough
Portrait of a Masterpiece