22 Years Ago Today, Dr. Dre Fired Up The Chronic & We’ve Inhaled Ever Since
Twenty-two years ago today (December 15, 1992), Dr. Dre released The Chronic. Dre’s solo debut, after parting ways with N.W.A., also marked the premiere release for Death Row Records, a would-be hundred-million-dollar label he founded with bodyguard-turned-manager Marion “Suge” Knight.
Now boasting more than 3,000,000 copies sold, The Chronic may arguably be the most meaningful Rap album ever released. The LP would prove to be a full introduction of stars including Snoop Doggy Dogg (who was heard on “Deep Cover” earlier that year), as well as Kurupt, Dat Nigga Daz, The Narrator RBX, Warren G, and Nate Dogg. The Lady Of Rage was also prominently featured, following a previous appearance on Chubb Rock’s The One album one year prior. The D.O.C., Jewell, Kokane (uncredited), and The Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill were also involved in the album, boasting ensemble production from Dre, Colin Wolfe, Daz, Warren, and others.
With hit singles, “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” “Dre Day,” and “Let Me Ride,” the album would play strongly to video platforms, with a patched together storyline, as well as a set-up to Snoop’s 1993 debut Doggystyle. Beyond Death Row’s burgeoning roster, The Chronic brought G-Funk into vogue, as heard on N.W.A.’s Efil4zaggin, Above The Law’s Vocally Pimpin’, and DJ Quik’s Way Too Fonky, among others.
The LP paid close attention to lyrics, rhymes, and overall vibe. Andre Young’s breakthrough solo set included all audiences in on its party, and shaped a movement that would last throughout the 1990s.
Where would Hip-Hop be today without blazing The Chronic?