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The Chronic

Review

by Steve Huey

With its stylish, sonically detailed production, Dr. Dre's 1992 solo debut, The Chronic, transformed the entire sound of West Coast rap. Here Dre established his patented G-funk sound: fat, blunted Parliament-Funkadelic beats, soulful backing vocals, and live instruments in the rolling basslines and whiny synths. What's impressive is that Dre crafts tighter singles than his inspiration, George Clinton -- he's just as effortlessly funky, and he has a better feel for a hook, a knack that improbably landed gangsta rap on the pop charts. But none of The Chronic's legions of imitators were as rich in personality, and that's due in large part to Dre's monumental discovery, Snoop Doggy Dogg. Snoop livens up every track he touches, sometimes just by joining in the chorus -- and if The Chronic has a flaw, it's that his relative absence from the second half slows the momentum. There was nothing in rap quite like Snoop's singsong, lazy drawl (as it's invariably described), and since Dre's true forte is the producer's chair, Snoop is the signature voice. He sounds utterly unaffected by anything, no matter how extreme, which sets the tone for the album's misogyny, homophobia, and violence. The …  » Read more

Releases

Year Type label Catalog #
CD Death Row P2-57128
1992 CS Death Row INTC57128
1992 CD Death Row 50611
1992 CS Death Row 50611
1997 CD Interscope IND 57128
2001 CD Death Row DROW 110
2001 CS Death Row 63000
2002 LP Death Row DRS125 5001
2004 CD Death Row 62834
2006 CD Eagle Rock 318
2007 CD Death Row 1001
2007 CD ZYX Music PDR 1001
2008 CD Hi-Note 19