Label : Death Row (Dec, 1992)
Beats : Dr Dre
1. The Cronic (Intro) [5/5]
2. Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin') [5/5]
3. Let Me Ride [5/5]
4. The Day The Niggaz Took Over [5/5]
5. Nothin' But A 'G' Thang [5/5]
6. Deeez Nuuuts [5/5]
7. Lil' Ghetto Boy [5/5]
8. A Nigga Witta Gun [4/5]
9. Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat [5/5]
10. The $20 Sack Pyramid (Skit)
11. Lyrical Gangbang [5/5]
12. High Powered [5/5]
13. The Doctor's Office (skit)
14. Stranded Of Death Row [5/5]
15. The Roach (The Chronic Outro) [4/5]
16. Bitches Ain't Shit [5/5]
Overall : 5/5
I still remember the first time I heard this album in the record store. The second the intro beat dropped I knew this album was going to be special. I had never heard anything that raw but damn smooth at the same time. From the beginning you know you're in for something completely different and that's exactly what you get ; this is the album that changed hiphop music.
Lyrically this album really doesn't offer anything new, it's basically the same things Dre was doing with NWA but with a whole new crew on board. Not only did it introduce the world to a huge hiphop superstar in Snoop Dogg but it also gave somewhat successful careers to people like Daz, Kurupt and RBX. But while the lyrics weren't that different the flow and delivery sure was. This (along with Doggystyle) remains Snoops best work and his lazy singsong drawl makes the first half of the album extremely interesting. His presence isn't as felt on the second part of the CD where especially RBX, Kurupt and Lady of Rage take charge. While this is (in name at least) a solo album the dope result is really a group effort. Who can ever forget Snoop and Dre's old school vibe on the stunning "Nuthin But A G Thang", Dat Nigga Daz show stealing verse on "Deeez Nuuutz" or Kurupts menacing appearance on "Stranded on Death Row" and I haven't even mentioned the Bushwich Bill cameo.
Dated subject matters aside the rhymes are dope but this album all comes down to the man known as Andre Young. He had already produced some classic albums (if you haven't already heard No One Can Do It Better" stop reading, log onto amazon.com and get your copy ASAP!) but few had expected this. Dre cooks up a Parliament/Funcadelic frenzy mixed with soulful backing vocals and perfectly orchestrated live music. The album is perfectly balanced between radio friendly songs and hardcore street music and one highlight seems to be replaced by next. I have to mention the beat on "Lil Ghetto Boy" because it's easily the best Dre ever did (that flute is
Sure, the album isn't flawless. The skits are still horrible and a few songs haven't aged as nicely as the rest ("The Roach" and "A Nigga Witta Gun") but overall this is a perfect set. It started a genre but set the bar so high it almost ended it as well (there are only 3 or 4 G-Funk albums that come remotely close to this and Dre produced one of them...). I remember reading an interview with ?uestlove who said that The Roots always got by on their ability to rock shows but when they heard "Nuthin But A G Thang" his initial response was "It's all over, we gotta make singles now...!" and I think it sums the impact of this album up pretty good.
It's not just a hiphop classic, it's a piece of music history. Not only did it put gangster rap on the charts but it brought hiphop in general to a whole new audience. Whether that's good or bad is a whole new discussion.
It's more than a classic, it's essential!