The Chronic – Dr. Dre

Released December 15, 1992 this was Dre’s first solo album after leaving N.W.A. and the first on his own label, Death Row Records. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified triple-platinum selling over 3 million copies in the U.S. The Chronic solidified Dre as a top selling artist of the early 90s and launched the career of then unknown Snoop Doggy Dogg. It is also regarded as one of the most well-produced hip-hop albums ever and is #138 on Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time.

Jason: First of all, my spellcheck hated me when I was typing the track listing. Every third word had a red squiggly line under it.

Brad: Not surprising. Lots of deliberate misspellings in these titles. 

Jason: Also, Spotify doesn’t have this album so I had to find it on YouTube and I hope it was the right one.

Brad: Did you enjoy this one?

Jason: It wasn’t bad. I don’t like the skits of course but i do like Snoop’s raps. I can see why this was so popular.

Brad: This album launched Snoop’s career. I like the sound of his voice. I think the production and vocal delivery are really great on this album. However, much like a lot of 90s rap, the lyrical content does not hold up well at all. 

Jason: Agreed on all points. I really like Snoop’s voice. It’s very unique but yeah, the content is questionable. Lot’s of misogyny. Is it fair to say that “Nothin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” is Dre’s most famous song?

Brad: Maybe? “California Love” with Tupac went to #1 on the Billboard charts and “Nothin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” only went to #2.

Jason: Really? I feel like “G Thang” gets sung more often. By that I mean people IRL will just break out into the chorus randomly. Maybe that’s just me.
“What are you drinking?”
Me: “Ain’t nuthin’ but a green tea, baby!”

Brad: …

Jason: Anyway, I mentioned earlier but I don’t like the skits although they are WAY better than Eminem’s stupid acting skits.

Brad: I hate ALL skits on ALL albums. They are rarely funny or entertaining. They mostly just seem like inside jokes. Also, even if the skits were good, I wouldn’t want to listen to them as often as I do songs. So they are just an annoying thing you either have to endure or skip over for repeated listening. 

Jason: Can you skip them on the album? Since I had to listen to it on YouTube the entire album was one long 58-minute track.

Brad: Some of them you can. You can skip  “The Doctor’s Office” but you can’t skip the intro to “Deeez Nuuuts”

Jason: Hmmm. Well, skits aside this album is really well produced. Each song is a real toe-tapper. (I am fully aware that I sound like a middle-aged white square.)

Brad: Yes, I agree. I enjoy this most when I don’t pay attention to lyrics and just chair dance to the beat. In fact, I found myself doing this on the train this week. 

Jason: Yes. I’d like an instrumental version of this album because I like the music but I am not about to listen to this often. Partly because I couldn’t sing half the words without accidentally perpetuating a hate crime.

Brad: That’s true. Also, I’ve grown so tired of rap rivalries. Yeah, we get it. Eazy E screwed you over Dr. Dre. I don’t care. I especially don’t want to hear song after song with homophobic insults and violent revenge fantasies about those who have wronged you. I’m just not interested.

Jason: Which is mostly why I won’t voluntarily put this album on again and listen to is over and over. But I didn’t hate the album overall, it’s just not for repeat listening for me. 

Brad: Same for me. One interesting bit of trivia I noticed is that “The Chronic (Intro)” samples the 1973 song by The Honey Drippers called “Impeach the President”. The original has been pretty popular this past week with the launch of the the Impeachment Inquiry. It is worth a listen. 

Side note. Look how many songs sample “Impeach the President”  

Jason: I’ll check that out. What grade do you give The Chronic?

Brad: Even though I hate the skits and a lot of the lyrics, the production and overall sound of this album is so good that I have to give it a B.

Jason: I’ll go with a B as well because the production is really fantastic. Now let’s go impeach the president.

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