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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1999 | Aftermath

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Slim Shady LP announced not only Eminem's arrival, but it established that his producer Dr. Dre was anything but passé, thereby raising expectations for 2001, the long-anticipated sequel to The Chronic. It suggested that 2001 wouldn't simply be recycled Chronic, and, musically speaking, that's more or less true. He's pushed himself hard, finding new variations in the formula by adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae, resulting in fairly interesting recontextualizations. Padded out to 22 tracks, 2001 isn't as consistent or striking as Slim Shady, but the music is always brimming with character. If only the same could be said about the rappers! Why does a producer as original as Dre work with such pedestrian rappers? Perhaps it's to ensure his control over the project, or to mask his own shortcomings as an MC, but the album suffers considerably as a result. Out of all the other rappers on 2001, only Snoop and Eminem -- Dre's two great protégés -- have character and while Eminem's jokiness still is unpredictable, Snoop sounds nearly as tired as the second-rate rappers. The only difference is, there's pleasure in hearing Snoop's style, while the rest sound staid. That's the major problem with 2001: lyrically and thematically, it's nothing but gangsta clichés. Scratch that, it's über-gangsta, blown up so large that it feels like a parody. Song after song, there's a never-ending litany of violence, drugs, pussy, bitches, dope, guns, and gangsters. After a full decade of this, it takes real effort to get outraged at this stuff, so chances are, you'll shut out the words and groove along since, sonically, this is first-rate, straight-up gangsta. Still, no matter how much fun you may have, it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is cheap, not lasting, fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 21, 2015 | Dr. Dre LP3 PS

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 15, 1992 | Death Row Records

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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 on The Chronic in order to give himself 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 for the marginalized 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. © Euan Decourt/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2008 | Universal Music Mexico

The Slim Shady LP announced not only Eminem's arrival, but it established that his producer Dr. Dre was anything but passé, thereby raising expectations for 2001, the long-anticipated sequel to The Chronic. It suggested that 2001 wouldn't simply be recycled Chronic, and, musically speaking, that's more or less true. He's pushed himself hard, finding new variations in the formula by adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae, resulting in fairly interesting recontextualizations. Padded out to 22 tracks, 2001 isn't as consistent or striking as Slim Shady, but the music is always brimming with character. If only the same could be said about the rappers! Why does a producer as original as Dre work with such pedestrian rappers? Perhaps it's to ensure his control over the project, or to mask his own shortcomings as an MC, but the album suffers considerably as a result. Out of all the other rappers on 2001, only Snoop and Eminem -- Dre's two great protégés -- have character and while Eminem's jokiness still is unpredictable, Snoop sounds nearly as tired as the second-rate rappers. The only difference is, there's pleasure in hearing Snoop's style, while the rest sound staid. That's the major problem with 2001: lyrically and thematically, it's nothing but gangsta clichés. Scratch that, it's über-gangsta, blown up so large that it feels like a parody. Song after song, there's a never-ending litany of violence, drugs, pussy, bitches, dope, guns, and gangsters. After a full decade of this, it takes real effort to get outraged at this stuff, so chances are, you'll shut out the words and groove along since, sonically, this is first-rate, straight-up gangsta. Still, no matter how much fun you may have, it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is cheap, not lasting, fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 15, 1992 | Death Row Records

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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 on The Chronic in order to give himself 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 for the marginalized 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. © Euan Decourt/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1999 | Aftermath

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 1, 2011 | Aftermath

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 21, 2015 | Dr. Dre LP3 PS

For 16 years, the third Dr. Dre album was supposed to be The Detox, but that once-mythical, canceled LP was replaced by Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, a supposedly final effort that was "inspired" by the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. When Dre says "inspired" he likely means the film gave him a reason to consider his history, and how he went from local gangsta to national threat, and on to billionaire businessman extraordinaire. Still, the most pleasing element of Compton is that it touches on all of the above but lives in the present. This brilliant kaleidoscopic LP, which was recorded in under a year, focuses on the veteran producer's connection to the modern world as it references Eric Garner, frames it with N.W.A.'s history, and decides that little has changed. It also celebrates the new breed, taking the busy, jazz-inspired structure of Kendrick Lamar's masterpiece release To Pimp a Butterfly, and adds grooves that are entirely Dre, playing it steady, swaying, and locking listeners in. Early highlight "Genocide" puts it all in one cut as robotic funk finds Kendrick in full rage, while Marsha Ambrosius and Candice Pillay provide the soul before the track exits with some wild dubstep doo wop, as the more developed Compton still has all the quirks and smart-ass humor of The Chronic. The music is crooked enough to put Snoop Dogg into the groove for the swaggering "Satisfaction," and remains raw enough to drive Eminem into dangerous territory on "Medicine Man," while fellow N.W.A. member Ice Cube is offered a challenging, compressed loop for the straight talking and rightfully agitated "Issues." Quotes from past albums and past productions are all over this album, and the Aftermath roster comes alive again with Jon Connor and Justus shining in their spotlights, and after an angelic Jill Scott feature dubbed "For the Love of Money" paints this former Death Row artist as more serene than anyone ever thought, the closing "Talking to My Diary" ties up the loose ends as Dre professes a belief that Eazy-E is smiling at him from above. It's an excellent end to an attractive and rich LP, and as the man returns to icon status with this stoic and stern stance, the most unfortunate thing about this "final" effort is that this unproductive gangsta perfectionist who moves at a Golem's pace has now flourished under a tight timetable. Since Compton crackles with life and spirit, it seems a shame to shut that door. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1995 | Priority Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 21, 2015 | Dr. Dre LP3 PS

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2010 | Aftermath

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1999 | Aftermath

The Slim Shady LP announced not only Eminem's arrival, but it established that his producer Dr. Dre was anything but passé, thereby raising expectations for 2001, the long-anticipated sequel to The Chronic. It suggested that 2001 wouldn't simply be recycled Chronic, and, musically speaking, that's more or less true. He's pushed himself hard, finding new variations in the formula by adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae, resulting in fairly interesting recontextualizations. Padded out to 22 tracks, 2001 isn't as consistent or striking as Slim Shady, but the music is always brimming with character. If only the same could be said about the rappers! Why does a producer as original as Dre work with such pedestrian rappers? Perhaps it's to ensure his control over the project, or to mask his own shortcomings as an MC, but the album suffers considerably as a result. Out of all the other rappers on 2001, only Snoop and Eminem -- Dre's two great protégés -- have character and while Eminem's jokiness still is unpredictable, Snoop sounds nearly as tired as the second-rate rappers. The only difference is, there's pleasure in hearing Snoop's style, while the rest sound staid. That's the major problem with 2001: lyrically and thematically, it's nothing but gangsta clichés. Scratch that, it's über-gangsta, blown up so large that it feels like a parody. Song after song, there's a never-ending litany of violence, drugs, pussy, bitches, dope, guns, and gangsters. After a full decade of this, it takes real effort to get outraged at this stuff, so chances are, you'll shut out the words and groove along since, sonically, this is first-rate, straight-up gangsta. Still, no matter how much fun you may have, it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is cheap, not lasting, fun. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2010 | Aftermath