Dr. Dre's The Chronic is so much more than just a rap record. Released in December, 1992, this 16 track opus was Dre's debut as solo artist and the first album to be released on Death Row Records, the label he founded with "Suge" Knight and The D.O.C. Both events signalled the end for one of the genre's most important and influential groups in N.W.A., and the start of a new era in hip-hop. Dre opted to use more live instruments so he could have more control over samples, ultimately redefining the West coast sound. The birth of G-funk introduced new faces, most notably rapper Snoop Dogg who provided the answer to Dre's writing concerns after The D.O.C. suffered serious vocal damage in a car accident. Following the album's intro, Snoop's funky, laid back voice is featured on Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin'), cooly expressing the animosity between Death Row and Dre's former team members.
The Death Row roster (including Warren G, Nate Dogg, Samara, Bushwick Bill) features heavily, mixing and matching and taking turns to lay down their bars over Dre's beats. The largest collaborative effort comes on Stranded on Death Row on which RBX, Snoop, The Lady of Rage and Kurupt sound as if they're taking turns to show their worth as rappers to the man behind the glass screen. Lil' Ghetto Boy and A N**** Witta Gun (the only track on which Dre is the sole artist) outline the realities of life and what it takes to survive when you're victimized by those who are supposed to protect you.
The Chronic's crown jewel, and arguably the king of all G-Funk, is the iconic Nuthin' but a ‘G' Thang. Its high pitched synth melody, deep bassline and back and forth between Snoop and Dre add up to one of the most recognizable tracks in all of rap, cementing Dr. Dre's status as one of the genre's greatest producers and getting the ball rolling for Death Row Records.
To stay up to date with everything happening at Qobuz, follow us on Facebook !