BURBANK, California Detox is no place for chronic, so expect something different from Dr. Dre on his third and final album.
"I'm not talking about lowriders and blunts and all that anymore," Dre said at his studio recently. "I mean, that's played. As a matter of fact, I'm tired of hearing other people talk about it, to tell you the truth."
So what is the hip-hop pioneer going to talk about?
"I had to come up with something different but still keep it hardcore, so what I decided to do was make my album one story about one person and just do the record through a character's eyes," Dre said. "And everybody that appears on my album is going to be a character, so it's basically going to be a hip-hop musical."
Detox's story line will chronicle the life of a hit man, describing "what he goes through and how he lives his life," said Dre, who played a trigger-eager crooked cop in "Training Day." "[It's] about his family and how he makes a living."
So far, the album, which Dre said will be his last in front of the mic, is still in the early stages.
"I've been blueprinting, getting ideas together for the past six months or so, just trying to figure out which direction I want to take and how I'm gonna present the project," he said. "Just gathering sounds and what have you. I want this one to be really over the top."
Dre expects to start recording by summer, after he finishes a few tracks with Eminem (see "The Doc's Diagnosis: Eminem Still Crazy") and upcoming albums for three artists on his Aftermath label, Truth Hurts, Shaunta and Rakim (see "Rakim Out To Change The Game Again, With Help From Dre").
He said Detox should be out by summer 2003. "It's probably going to take me like a year to get it all the way together."
One thing that won't get in the way of recording is acting. After roles in "The Wash" and "Training Day" last year, Dre said he will hang up that hat.
"I had fun doing it, but acting ain't really my thing. I am more of a production/director type. I would rather be behind the scenes and organizing and putting things together like that."
Look for a feature interview with Dr. Dre on MTVNews.com next Thursday.