Throwback Thursday- The Chronic
‘The Chronic‘ was monumental for a few reasons. Let’s start first with Dr. Dre. Fans took sides after he left NWA. Ice Cube had already moved on and enjoyed moderate success after leaving the group.
No one could predict that Dre would be the Dre we know now. He stayed under the radar for a couple of years before going into business with Suge Knight and forming Death Row Records.
The first sign that something big was about to happen was the Deep Cover single. That was a dope single, but the B side, Puffin On Blunts and Drinking Tanqueray was our introduction to the Death Row Roster. That track allowed the entire family to showcase their skills with too many bars to count, no hook and a dope beat. We knew we were in for a treat.
Dre had officially won us over and we were ready for more. So when he released ‘The Chronic’, and the Nuthin But A G Thang single with Snoop Dogg, 1992 and ’93 were officially his.
On ‘The Chronic’, he included both subtle and direct insults at Ruthless and its owner, former N.W.A member Eazy-E. Although a solo album, it featured many appearances by then-emerging American rapper Snoop Dog, who used the album as a launch pad for his own solo career.
‘The Chronic’ also featured Daz, Kurupt, The Lady of Rage, and RBX. Dre even figured out a way to work the D.O.C into the project- damaged vocal chords and all.
‘The Chronic‘ peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America with sales of 3 million copies in the United States, which led to Dr. Dre becoming one of the top ten best-selling American performing artists of 1993. ‘The Chronic’ spent eight months in the Billboard Top 10.
The production on ‘The Chronic’ was seen as innovative and ground-breaking, and received universal acclaim from critics. Until this point, mainstream hip hop had been primarily party music (for example, Beastie Boys) or pro-empowerment and politically charged (for example, Public Enemy or X-Clan), and had consisted almost entirely of samples and breakbeats.
Dr. Dre ushered in a new musical style and lyrics for hip hop. The beats were slower and mellower, samples from late 1970s and early 1980s funk music. By mixing these early influences with original live instrumentation, a distinctive genre known as G-funk was created.
‘The Chronic’ would cement Dre’s place in the industry as one of the best producers of our era. And it provided an up close and personal view into the West Coast lifestyle. In a retrospective piece, Jon Pareles from The New York Times said that ‘The Chronic’ “made the gangsta life sound like a party occasionally interrupted by gunplay”.
The singles from ‘The Chronic’, though dope, were nothing compared to songs like Lil Ghetto Boy, Lyrical Gangbang and Bitches Aint shit. But you’ll have to settle for the Fuck Wit Dre Day video. Look at how young they were!
Check it out