Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18: Dr. Dre, "The Chronic"

Artist: Dr. Dre
Album: The Chronic
Year: 1992
Label: Death Row

When it comes to records that completely changed the musical landscape, one would be remiss to not include Dr. Dre's monster 1992 release, The Chronic. Not only did this album bring the "G Funk" sound to the world, but it also introduced us all to one Snoop Doggy Dogg. It goes without saying that this album also spawned the now classic track, "Nothing But A "G" Thang."

Upon it's release, it was clear that a new era of rap music had begun as there had never been an album as hard and heavy before. Dr. Dre used The Chronic to show just how amazing a producer and beat maker he had become since his days with N.W.A. Pounding bass, whining keyboard melodies, all behind smooth, yet gritty rhymes from Dre and Snoop.

Lyrically, the album is second to none. Dre, Snoop, and the rest of the rappers on the record are all in top form and there is not a "whack" ryhme anywhere. The Chronic is also significant because it was one of the few Death Row releases that contained no "feuding" with East coast rappers (read as "Bad Boy Records"). Dre uses a few tracks on the album to attack former rap partner Eazy-E. While Eazy did make a pair of "retort" songs, Dre hit first, hit hard, and was the one left standing.

Much like Ice Cube's The Predator gave a peek into street life, The Chronic goes deeper inside and the tales are darker and more pointed to the drug and thug life of South Central Los Angeles. The album title itself is perhaps the clearest sign of just what was contained inside.

Nearly every track on The Chronic is a hip hop classic and the music behind it is to the level t which all records since have been compared. Dr. Dre has brought the world three of the largest rap stars of the past 20 years, and on The Chronic, he unleashed the biggest Dogg of them all. To be a true music scholar (or music snob if you prefer), you MUST own and know Dr. Dre's The Chronic.

Standout tracks: "Fuck Wit Dre Day," "Nuthin' But A G Thang," "The Roach."

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