Multi-platinum producer Bernard “Focus…” Edwards, Jr. spent seven years working with Dr. Dre as an in-house producer for Aftermath Entertainment. The son of late CHIC bassist Bernard Edwards, Focus… has made ear candy for Busta Rhymes (“Respect My Conglomerate“) The Game (“Where I’m From” ) and Marsha Ambrosius (Yours Truly mixtape), just to name a few. But it was his work with the good doctor on the mythical Detox that got the most attention.
“When Hitman and Chris “The Glove” and all these people were leaving I was literally walking in the building,” Edwards tells Nodfactor.com about how he came to work with Dr. Dre. “And I’m sitting there and my mouth just dropped at the way things went down. Dre was like ‘If you’re really about your work then let’s get it on.’ So I showed him some stuff and the first record I did for Dre was on The Wash soundtrack, “Riding High“. We had a sit down, drew up the papers and I stayed with him for seven years.”
Focus eventually left to launch his own label and pursue his own interests, but he stayed a phone call away. In 2010 Dr. Dre released two singles and a video (“Kush” and “I Need A Doctor”), declaring that Detox was finally coming in 2011. However, he abruptly announced in November that he was “taking a break from music”. Given the project’s many false starts most fans were not surprised, but few were less surprised than Focus.
“The funny thing is I told everybody it wasn’t coming out,” he said having worked on the album for six years. “We have changed the sound of Detox [several times] over the years. When the leaks came out they still weren’t cohesive songs. So I know that Dre didn’t find what he was looking for. It didn’t come out like 2001. So at the end of the day Dre could have told the whole world it was coming out but it wasn’t ready yet.”
Dr. Dre even reached out to Focus…several months ago to discuss Detox. So the Atlanta resident, who just released his album Music of The Misinterpreted, flew out to California to see if there was any magic left.