Retrospective: Dr. Dre's The Chronic and 2001

The Chronic 

1. The Chronic(Intro)
2. Fuck wit Dre Day 
3. Let Me Ride 
4. The Day the Niggaz Took Over
5. Nuthin' but a G Thang
6. Deeez Nuuuts 
7. Lil Ghetto Boy 
8. A Nigga Witta Gun 
9. Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat 
10. The $20 Sack Pyramid(Skit)
11. Lyrical Gangbang 
12. High Powered 
13. The Doctor's Office(Skit)
14. Stranded on Death Row
15. The Roach(The Chronic Outro)
16. Bitches Ain't Shit 


1. Lolo(Intro)
2. The Watcher
3. Fuck You 
4. Still D.R.E. 
5. Big Egos 
6. Xxplosive 
7. What's The Difference 
8. Bar One(Skit)
9. Light Speed 
10. Forgot About Dre
11. The Next Episode 
12. Let's Get High 
13. Bitch Niggaz 
14. The Car Bomb(Skit)
15. Murder Ink
16. Ed-Ucation(Skit)
17. Some L.A. Niggaz 
18. Pause 4 Porno(Skit)
19. Housewife 
20. Ackrite 
21. Bang Bang 
22. The Message 

We continue West Coast Week on the site talking two of the most important albums in rap history. Dr. Dre's The Chronic and 2001 are two of the biggest albums to come from the West and we gathered the team up to discuss them both. Let's get into it.

Here's why I loved The Chronic.... I was able to recognize a lot of the songs because of their samples. It gave me a way to finally appreciate the music my parents listened to. Samples like George Clinton's Atomic Dog on "Fuck wit Dre Day", Donny Hathaway's Little Ghetto Boy on "Lil Ghetto Boy" and The Parliament's Mothership Connection on Let Me Ride. Mind you, I didn't really get an opportunity to listen to the Album until years later as I was just in 3rd or 4th Grade and had to listen at my cousins when they got it. It was this album that introduced me to the art of production. Little did I know, Dr. Dre would be come a house hold name and a legend in the art. 4/5 Stars.

I will always remember 2001 as the album that introduced me to this white kid from Detroit who could spit bars like none other. My 1st and only impression of him around that time was an underground battle he'd lost to Juice. I'm talking about Eminem. I spent the majority of the songs that featured him wondering if it was ok for me to be laughing as hard as I was at what he was saying. Dr. Dre continued with the level of production I'd come to expect from from an Andre Young project, however this time around, I had a solid appreciation for the west coast and solid love for many of its artists. Snoop wasn't just the skinny dude from Long Beach, and Kurupt wasn't just a nameless dude from Death Row rapping his ass off killing bars. These were household names that I had come to throw in legendary categories and hip hop discussions. So being able to have them all on an album with Dr. Dre again was more than a delight. At that age, I KNEW what I was listening to and had a preference for it. 5/5 stars.

2001. One of the most beautiful albums of all time. At the time, west coast music was falling apart. It was still mourning Pac's death, Snoop wasn't putting out great albums due to no work with Dre, and Kurupt dropped a disappointing Kuruption. 2001 refined west coast hip hop along with putting them back on the map in 1999, then with Snoop's Tha Last Meal following. 2001 featured some of Dre's best production work. It has sold over 7 million copies. He had a message to prove to his fans on this album that he still has it in him. This is one of those albums that you can play years later and say damn, this is still a classic. Turns out, Dre did still have it. The beats were very fresh, with some G-Funk. This album is also very special to me, because it's one of the first I ever listened to. My dad put me on this shit. It now turns out to be my personal favorite album of all time.

I heard 2001 in full before The Chronic, but when The Chronic came out, I was still watching Bobby's World and whatnot (as an aside, Howie Mandell's voice as Bobby, almost twenty years later, is quite the auditory shock). But, I digress. 2001 served as my introduction to Dre en masse. I knew "Ain't Nuthin' But A G Thang" and "[Fuck Wit] Dre Day," but I could recite the lyrics to "Forgot About Dre" from the top of my dome. Suffice to say, 2001 kept my head ringing (pun intended). It was the perfect blend of early-to-mid '90s gangsta rap and early-2000s instrumentation (yes, it came out in 1999, but some of the Dre vibes from the release permeated throughout early-2000s rap beats). It, essentially, was the bridge between The Chronic and Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre

However, as the initial hit of 2001 began to wear off, I wanted more Dr. Dre music in my life. So, I took a hit of The Chronic. Anyone who says that Chronic is overrated doesn't understand music. I'm sorry for the brash statement, but it's true. Where 2001 was the bridge between Dre's first and last (I guess) albums, The Chronic set the building blocks for many of the releases to follow, gangsta rap and otherwise. From the heavy sampling featured on the project to the "IDGAF who I piss off" nature of the project to the social commentary that was interlaced within the G-Funk samples and "IDGAF" attitude, many artists owe their careers to that reclusive "Lil' Ghetto Boy" from Compton. It's the album that took a great artist from a legendary group and turned him into, in some ways, a rap god years before Eminem spoke on that claim. Hell, without The Chronic's shift in the game, there'd probably be no Eminem to piss people off, no Kendrick Lamar to speak on the pimping of butterflies (and creativity, along with black lives), 2Pac wouldn't have had "California Love" in the way he did, and so on. 

Two classic albums from a man who doesn't even write his own damn lyrics haha. Regardless, Dre put together something timeless with these two. Now, as The Chronic made its way into the pop culture lexicon and altered the wave of rap, Dre was merely known as the former producer and rapper in NWA. With the NWA breakup and Dre working with D.O.C. and Snoop, Dre took his production to a different level with this one, infusing that true G Funk sound and it is executed perfectly on my favorite Dre song ever "Let Me Ride". That song sums up the epicness of this whole album in some way and with that, The Chronic might be a top 5 most important album in hip hop history. It shifted the industry to the West for that moment and began a new era. Dre could be seen at this point as the pioneer for the West Coast gangsta rap rise and ascension. The Chronic is a pivotal album of the not only the 90s, but for all music.

2001 is a classic as well and I truly love this album, perhaps slightly more than The Chronic. Now, in terms of impact, I would give it to The Chronic all day. Nothing is more iconic than that, but from a music standpoint I slightly prefer 2001. The production, the guest appearances are all flawless and shoutout to Hittman who ghost wrote a majority of the album and helped bring that true West Coast lyricism for himself and for Dre. Some of my favorite songs here are "Fuck You"(Devin is that DUDE!), "XXplosive"(Nate killed it!!), "Bitch Niggaz", "Housewife"(Kurupt verse is classic), man that list could go on forever. I loved this album from beginning to end and I still bump it from time to time currently. The impact of Dr. Dre not only for the West Coast but for the entire hip hop world can never be forgotten.

Take a moment and listen to these albums again. Write your comments about these classics below. Smoke weed everyday.



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