December 15, 2012 - 9:56 pm
Twenty years ago, Dr. Dre released his debut album The Chronic. The seminal work marked not only a watershed moment for West Coast rap and the production talents of Dr. Dre but also a catalyst for a host of guest stars. Spark one and celebrate the groundbreaking classic with a look back at some of The Chronic’s best features.
Snoop DoggThe Chronic was as much Dr. Dre’s as it was Snoop Dogg’s. The then-newcomer used the album as a launching pad for an immensely successful solo career. From his show-stealing bars on “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” to his signature inflections on “Let Me Ride” and “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat,” it was clear that this lazy flowing pothead was a superstar in the making.
Much of The Chronic’s mass appeal came from its soulful, Funk soundscape and singer Jewell vocally added greatly to that. “Death Row is in the house,” she sings in the outro of “Fuck with Dre Day” and her smooth timbre took “Let Me Ride” to the next level.
No one can forget Nate Dogg’s silky baritone on “Lil’ Ghetto Boy” or “Deeez Nuuuts.” Who else could make lyrics like “I'm a nigga from the motherfucking street” sound so soulful? R.I.P. Nate Dogg.
The beloved Geto Boys member was a bit of an odd feature on The Chronic but his intro and outro vocals gave “Stranded on Death Row” a sermon-esque quality. “There's three types of people in the world/Those who don't know what happened/Those who wonder what happened/And people like us from the streets that MAKE things happen.”
The Lady of Rage
Another woman who left an indelible mark on the album was the Lady of Rage (pictured at left.) Her verses on “Stranded on Death Row” and “Lyrical Gangbang” proved that this “lady” was not to be fucked with. “Now I'mma kick up -- dust, as I begin to bust/On the wick-wack, fucked up suckers ya can't trust,” she ferociously ripped through “Lyrical Gangbang.” Play it high volume. Preferably in a residential area.
Tha Dogg Pound
Kurupt and Daz were just pups on The Chronic and their appearances on cuts like “Stranded on Death Row” and “Deeez Nuuuts” helped propel the group, as well as individual members, into the hip-hop stratosphere.
Rapper RBX was all over the album including “The Day the Niggaz Took Over,” “Lyrical Gangbang” and of course, “The Roach.” RBX has cemented his place in hip-hop history as the first artist to ever leave Death Row Records. In 2007, he said in an interview “Everybody thinks, Okay, its beautiful and lovely, the success. Youre gonna get the nice car and the nice house. Yeah, I have the nice car and I had the big house, but imagine the mafia being after you, ya dig? It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. Then I went underground.”