"I'm working hard on it. I'm stopping to work on other artists in-between, but the minute it's done and I feel it right here, that's when it will come out," Dre told The Guardian. "Hopefully the beginning of 2010."
But that timetable was ambitious, and even Dre quickly admitted that the key word in that quote was "hopefully": "You'll probably hear something in a year or so," he told Slam magazine for their March issue. That puts the latest ETA at January 2011, but undoubtedly he'll have another excuse ready by then. Perhaps too much time in the clubs?
"I have to go out to clubs now," Dre told The Guardian. "You need to understand what people are listening to."
He didn't say if that same kind of Detox research from several years ago still helps him today.
It's become a nearly annual winter ritual for Dre to tease the release of Detox, dating back at least to 2002 in The 411 Online's records. That January he said he it could be done by the end of the year, a statement he's echoed in one way or another in January 2006, December 2006, December 2008 and now January 2010. (Dre did not, however, address it in our interview with him in 1995. Back then, it was the Dr. Dre-Ice Cube reunion album that was perpetually on hold. Still waiting for Helter Skelter.)
More than just fans are fiending for another hit of Dre's golden touch.
"He's gonna drop it. He's just ... a perfectionist," Warren G told Hard Knock TV. "When he feels right, that's when he's gonna let it go. I think he's close because when he starts working with Snoop, that's when I know he's getting down to the wire."
And Snoop Dogg certainly won't be the only one making a guest appearance.
"Me and him are supposed to do a record on there," Warren G added. "He said as soon as he finds the right record, with the right melody, we'll do it. I think it'll be something that the world would love to see 'cause it's never been done. The publicity on it will be huge. It's like, 'Warren G and Dr. Dre doing a song? That's crazy.' I'm open. I'm with it."
Who knows if that collaboration will become that "perfect song" Dre mentioned he is searching for.
"I don't think I've done that record yet," Dre told The Guardian. "I'll know what it is when it comes; I know exactly what it is in my head, but I haven't done it yet. It's close. ... Once that sound is right, once that mix is right, it's a feeling that you get. It's unexplainable."
And of course, once Detox finally does hit stores, Dre thinks there's only one way to listen to it: Through his Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones. "I just want to get my music out and make sure that it's heard in the right way," Dre said, who added that speakers might be next because so many people are listening to music "the wrong way" -- on cell phones, MP3 players, etc. "Once it gets to your computer, everything's compressed. It's like smashing sound. So we're trying to fix that."
Let's hope the repairs are done on time, or we may never see Detox.