Filed under: Editor Picks, Throwbacks | Tags: Dr. Dre, Editor's Picks, gangsta rap, Kanye West, NWA, Snoop Dogg, The Chronic
Whenever I feel discontented with today’s excuse for “rap” music, or whenever Kanye’s neon shutter-shaded ego bores me, I pop in Dre’s The Chronic, and all is right with the world again. There is something strangely freeing about taking the advice at the beginning of “Lyrical Gangbang” which says,“This should be played at high volume/Preferably in a residential area,” and blasting it as I drive through suburbia.
I wouldn’t trade those looks from my principal as I used to pull into the high school parking lot, bass bumping with Dre, for anything. This album is free of vapid, meaningless rhymes about yachts, Ferraris, and designer B.S. With The Chronic, it’s back to the basics of g’s and l’s.
Snoop’s calm, nothing-phases-me-because-I’m-high-flow matches Dre’s smooth, G-funk beats, creating an album so original, it revolutionized the gangsta rap genre. Well over fifteen years after its release, this is still my favorite rap album. And regardless of the fact that I’m supporting the wrong coast, maybe we should take the genre back to the days of east/west coast rivalries when rappers sounded like this.
Peep this old school video for “Nuthing But a G Thang.” ’68 Impala, hydraulics, Snoop with short hair, house parties … so ’90s and so great.
— Carly Wolkoff