December 15, 2019

Dr. Dre & Snoop "The Chronic" (December 15, 1992)

December 15, 1992: It's not that there wasn't any hip-hop out west in 1992. Ice Cube, Digital Underground, Too $hort, E-40, Ice-T, and DJ Quik were all innovative participants. Just not like this. The Chronic redefined an entire genre's sound and attitude but, more crucially, its tempo. This was slow, creeping music to ride out to: in your car, at a party, locked inside your bedroom. N.W.A. alum Andre Young raided Parliament-Funkadelic's deep, springy bottom end, customizing it with live instrumentation and glimmering splashes of '70's soul. The combination became rap's first Wall of Sound, infiltrating mass culture in a way that seemed both impossible and inevitable. Soon, 13-year olds in Stokie, Illinois, were instructing their teachers to "lick deez nuts." The Chronic spawned thousands of fake gangstas who knew nothing about what was really going on in the hood," says L.A. native Dam-Funk, who played keyboards for like-minded artists MC Eiht and Westside Connection. "But it was just a final hooray of legitimate respect for the West Coast. This wasn't Young MC; this was the real vibe." Chalk it up to Snoop Doggy Dogg, a low-level Long Beach weed dealer with a lean build and insouciant tone, who appears on 12 of the album's 16 cuts, including the era-defining single, "Nuttin' But A G Thang." But ultimately, what stands out about The Chronic is its viciousness: the shots fired at Eazy-E, the misogynistic flair, the absurdly violent skits. It typified a new moment, when gangsta rap grabbed all the chips on the table and dragged them westwards, consequences be damned." - Spin, 5/10. 10 Things You Didn't Know. Listen to The Chronic HERE.