The Year In Hip Hop: 1992

Intro By @TrueGodImmortal 
-1992. The year that hip hop essentially shifted to a new direction. With Dr. Dre taking the world by storm with his classic album The Chronic, he began a new wave for the West Coast, while Ice Cube kept his name buzzing with another near classic. Then the East Coast would essentially stake their claim in a way with a few select releases this year. 1992 was a pretty big deal for hip hop and today we look back on it and reflect.

1992 is the year I personally believe everyone should pay homage to. There were some pretty significant things that happened. This was the year “Juice” hit theaters and ‘Pac had officially graced the big screen in a lead role and started his acting career. Boogie Down Productions would release their last album as a group and Eazy-E and Dr. Dre would “beef”. The most significant thing about ’92 would be the LA (Watts) riots as  people were furious over the Rodney King verdict, so while this would be the first exposure some us had to the clear corruption in the world, our favorite hip hop MC’s were right there to address the racial tension that was sweeping the nation. Some of the album releases this year would reflect that in some way, but while all of this was going on, ‘92 would prove to be the year that “Gangster rap” would find its place and become the identifying quality of the decade. If I had to sum up this year in one line I would say: For better or worse, 1992 was the year of the West Coast.

On that note, I will start by highlighting Ice Cube’s “The Predator” album. This would be his 3rd solo studio release and what we loved about Cube’s previous projects was definitely his ability to articulate his anger and hunger. We’re all familiar with his run in N.W.A and his beef with the rest of his group members after leaving us with “No Vaseline”, and he comes back with renewed anger, but this time it was directed at the racial tension following the Watts riots. I think with an artist like Cube, he shines when he’s able to portray his emotions and frustrations and hostility, with the tracks “When Will They Shoot?”, “Don’t Trust Em” and “Say Hi To The Bad Guy” are accompanied by the interludes that include snippets of media from the riots. This album definitely made a statement and kept in line with Cube’s mindset and mentality. Cube had always been a no-bullshit, straight forward and right to the point artist and this album kept right in line with that.

The year of “The Chronic”, this would be Dre’s solo debut and a true gift to hip hop. Dre forever impacted west coast hip hop with this album. On this album he brought a fresh set of beat variation, incorporating live instruments and building on the “funk” from the seventies and eighties. Somehow Dre managed to bring gangster rap, which was still relatively new and make it a perfect marriage with pop. “Nuthin But A G Thang” and “Dre Day” had incredible commercial success and a ton of airplay. The chemistry with Snoop was also much needed as he would become the signature vocal sound at the time. The fans knew wherever Dre was, Snoop wasn’t too far behind. This album was definitely the highlight of year.

The man who worshipped big booties, Sir-Mix-A-Lot releases the album “Mack Daddy” and to me Mix-A-Lot is a “one hit wonder”, because I only ever liked “Baby Got Back” and this is the only reason I even mention this album. To be honest, there was no real substance, there was no depth, but this became a club staple. It's just pure and utter fun. From the instant the beat drops until the end of the song, it’s a crowd pleaser. I don't know any club banger that was better executed than this one. To give you an idea, this song sold 2.3M copies that year. Who knew this rapper from Seattle would blow up the industry to this degree, but once again the West wins.

Another West Coast debut, as The Pharcyde drops “Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde” and what I love about this album is that it’s actually like “ATCQ with a dash of west”. The sounds are different, the style is different, but the content and concept is similar. I like that. Of course “Passin’ Me By” would be the song that caught my attention  but all in all, lyrics, production, flow, concept...everything is done well.

1992 is where my personal "Golden Era" begins and this is exactly why. I've said numerous times the '90's will forever be unmatched and for me these are the albums that played a significant role in my mindset. Of course I didn't cover all the greatness, but others that I feel are definitely worth mentioning are EPMD's "Business Never Personal", which is amazing and probably the best one coming from the East, as well as Too $hort's "Shorty The Pimp". Each one of these had a hand in making this my starting point for when hip hop went from great to phenomenal.

1992 to me was a legendary year. We saw great albums released this year from big name artists. We're gonna start off with the most important album that year, The Chronic. The Chronic was Dr. Dre's first solo studio album, and it was a huge success, selling 4 million copies. It had all of these great songs with alot of great guest verses and astonishing production, from "Bitches Ain't Shit" to "Let Me Ride" to "Deez Nuts" to the powerful "The Day The Niggaz Took Over". It was simply an amazing album from beginning to end, and it was all due to Dr. Dre's legendary production. Next up, we have my personal favorite album by Ice Cube, The Predator. Most people would say AWW or DC is better than this album. No. This album was more social and political, which made me enjoy the album even more. From "When Will They Shoot?" to "Wicked" to the legendary top 10 song ever "It Was A Good Day". These 2 albums helped make 1992 a memorable year for hip hop. Here's the list for the other important albums released in 1992.

Whut? Thee Album (Redman)
Don't Sweat The Technique (Eric. B & Rakim)
Mecca and The Soul Brother ( Pete Rock and C.L Smooth)

It all started with "Baby Got Back!" That song alone set the tone for the rest of 1992. Music was taking a turn. Artists were sharing their style of creativity and it was fun. That's what made that year memorable.

Aside from Sir Mix-a-Lot, there was Kriss Kross. Two kids with quick tongues and backwards attire. Hip hop was so influential on style. Before then, you wouldn't normally see people wearing their clothes with tags in front. "Jump" is one of those songs that demands your energy. UGK's debut album, The Southern Way, released and lived up to its name.

1992 produced a lot of classic music. Eric B. & Rakim, Twista, Master P, Dr. Dre... Those are just a few artists who were a part of that era. Positive K had a hit with "I Got a Man". What I appreciate about 90s music is the template that was set. Artists embodied the 90s sound without all sounding the same (unlike what we have today).

1992. A year filled of classics like Common Sense's Can I Borrow A Dollar, Dr.Dre releasing The Chronic and getting everyone to fuck with Dre Day, or giving us an anthem still applicable to this day to pour out a 40 oz to in "Bitches Ain't Shit" or the uptempo almost carnival sounding Bizarre Ride By The Pharcyde, or the underrated Redman giving us the classic Whut? Thee album. How about Gang Starr's innovative Daily Operation produced by DJ Premier, setting the tone for the direction of what's going to be the "golden age" of hip hop in the latter years. Guru & Premier are the 96' Bulls' Jordan and pippen. You can't say this year wasn't filled with classics, even Uncle Luke and Pete Rock & CL Smooth released two good albums. 1992 was definitely a year for the books.

1992 was a brilliant year in hip hop. Dr. Dre releasing “The Chronic” around the end of 1992 was the best way of closing out a wonderful year in hip hop. "Lil Ghetto Boy" had beautiful lyrics that conveyed a message and it was emotional with some grit.  Next,  Eric B and Rakim providing their album  “Don’t Sweat The Technique”. The duo with bravado lyrics take jabs at the system in “Teach The Children” with “The hole in the ozone layer’s outta control, but they wanna fight for more oil and gold”. Redman hit with the underrated album of this year: Whut? Thee Album. The cohesive production by Erick Sermon and the lyrics and delivery provided in this album puts it down as a classic for this year. "Psycho Ward" sets the tone for the album and "So Ruff” presents that Kool and the Gang sample that shows elements funk, reggae, and rap mixed into one album without one genre stealing the thunder.

Outro by @TrueGodImmortal 
-1992 was a very interesting year. Young True was enjoying Fresh Prince of Bel Air weekly and the debut of Martin, while jamming out to the hip hop sounds of the year. While I loved all the releases from that year like Pete Rock & CL Smooth with their classic Mecca and The Soul Brother, Eric B and Rakim with Don't Sweat The Technique, UGK with the Southern Way, the Beastie Boys album, Lord Finesse, Kool G and DJ Polo, Common Sense, Das EFX, Gangstarr, and Redman. However, outside of the most underrated album that year, Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop by Diamond D, hip hop ran through the West for the best releases.

Ice Cube and The Predator, Dr. Dre and The Chronic, but most of my favorite album of this year, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. Hands down, The Pharcyde owns this year for me musically. Acclaim and sales wise, Dre gets the nod for this year for making a classic, but the most underrated group in hip hop ever, Pharcyde gets my vote for the album of the year. 1992 was an interesting year and it set the tone for what was to come in hip hop without a doubt. It was truly an interesting year.



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