17. Dr. Dre f/ Eminem "Forgot About Dre" (1999)
Producer: Dr. Dre, Mel-Man
Label: Aftermath, Interscope
Between its squiggly melodic ticks and faux-elegiac strings, "Forgot About Dre" is not quite like anything else the producer has ever put out, and yet it feels like a quintessential example of the producer's style. Though it is obvious that Dre had been making a study of Timbaland—whose early work with Missy Eliott has a similar snaky smooth insistence about it—this song betrayed some of his archetypal traits.
For one, "Forgot About Dre" has the Doctor's clockwork bearing—its pacing is reliable as a Swiss army watch. The song's great pleasure is the tension generated between the measured precision of the beat and the utter unpredictability of Eminem's rapping. You get the feeling that had Dre simply decided to loop the track for 90 minutes Marshall would have continued to uncover new ways to flow over it.