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Picasso Gets a Mention on the New Dr. Dre Album

compton-dr-dre

The album.

Yesterday the storied West Coast musician and entrepreneur Dr. Dre released his first album in 16 years. It is titled Compton, and it is well worth a listen. Since this is an art website and this is what we do, we just wanted to note quickly that on one of the album’s best tracks, “Deep Water” (which features a verse by Kendrick Lamar that seems to jab at rapper and curator Drake), Dre unspools a clever comparison to the 20th century’s most famous painter. The passage:

Would you look over Picasso’s shoulder and tell him about his brushstrokes?

This joins a long list of shoutouts that Picasso has received in rap lyrics over the years, which includes, perhaps most famously, Jay Z’s truly awful “Picasso Baby.”

The late, great Beastie Boys, to name another prime example, were big fans of slipping Picasso into rhymes. Here’s Beastie Boy MCA on “The New Style” in 1986:

Down with Adrock and Mike D. and you ain’t
And I got more juice than Picasso got paint

And here’s Adrock in 1999 on “Alive,” paying tribute to the artist’s work in one of his more obscure mediums:

I use the microphone like Picasso used clay
Down with freckles from around the bay
Peace to Bambaataa and Jazzy Jay
I rock on the mic from here to Bombay
I give it my best to say come what may
‘Cause everybody’s got their dues to pay

And it just keeps going! Long rhyme. That video is below.

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