February 06, 2014

Dr. Dre "The Chronic" (The Source, February 1993)

"If Hollywood continues to make movies like Scarface, Goodfellas, and King of New York, what makes you think gangsta rap will stop? More than just filling a void, NWA - the most successful real rap group of all time - unleashed the production wizardry of Dr. Dre, the man who put the funk in that gangsta shit like no one else. Now with NWA broken up and everyone doing the solo thing, each ex-member faces the test of standing on his own. After hearing The Chronic, it is obvious who was the key ingredient to that platinum sound. On his own, Dre proves that innovative production skills and solid arrangements will take him the distance once again. Following the hype behind one of his hardest tracks ever, "Deep Cover," Dre has unloaded all over this album with the same furified intensity. Cuts like "Nuttin But a G Thang" and "Bitches Ain't Shit" pack enough bottom to blow the frame out a Pathfinder, while the live keyboards coat the high ends with funky melodies. The result is that patented smooth gangsta groove combined with the flavor of the classic funkateers; an original flavor ... that rises well above a re-tread of gangsta cliches or over-used samples."

"Snoop Doggy Dogg has no trouble carrying most of the weight behind the mic, and his Slick Rick-esque style - complete with creative boasts and slinging - carves new ground for West Coast MCs. His presence is laid-back and ruff at the same time, but even when he's "chin-checking," he doesn't sound anything like the typical gangsta. Dre exchanges rhymes with Snoop like he used to with Ren, and you get the feeling they're in perfect sync. Plus, Dre has enlisted a whole crew of new MCs to catch wreck, including Korrupt, Dat N!gga Daz, RBX, and a powerful new female MC named Rage. All five of them come together for one of the hardest cuts on the LP, "Stranded On Death Row." Whether it's gangs of brothers, big booties, or Blunts of the chronic indo, smoking is the preferred topic on this record. It's all about the "g" thang, what Dre describes as the "difference between gang and gangster." No shorts are taken with any beef the Death Row crew has with other artists... Overall, an innovative and progressive hip-hop package that must not be missed." - The Source, 2/93