Saying Dr. Dre's new song, "I Need A Doctor," featuring Eminem and newcomer Skylar Grey, is powerful is an understatement akin to saying that an A-bomb is "destructive." Watching the "I Need A Doctor" video that accompanies the single is to witness just how aggressively rap can push the powers of emotion, how high a hook can soar and how far the artistic boundaries of the music video can be pushed.
While "I Need A Doctor," off of Dr. Dre's Detox album, is dominated by Eminem's paean to Dre as his creator, mentor and ultimately savior, Dre -- who plays himself in a very cinematic car crash that takes him into a bionic hospital operating room where his life, death, past, present, successes, sufferings and soul are decided in what almost feels like a passion play -- is the star of this epic piece of rap cinema.
Along with the unbearable tension of Dre's fate dangling in front of a captive audience, interspersed with scenes of his children, painful reminders of Tupac, early days with Snoop and a young Eminem, Dre's "I Need A Doctor" video is rife with symbols of rebirth, resurrection and spirituality. A beautiful holy presence -- played by model, actress and former synchronized swimmer Estella Warren -- looms over the ominous scene below. Where once Dr. Dre encouraged Eminem's recovery, Eminem begs for Dre's survival. Skylar Grey's (who plays one of the doctors)'s razor-edged hook ties a terrifying burial shroud around the the entire imperious scenario, while the physical manifestations of and metaphors for needing a doctor help culminate into an eerie, unforgettable artist experience with depth and dimension rarely seen or felt in videos. It's haunting, harrowing and heroic.
+ Watch "I Need A Doctor."