Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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The Chronic

Dr. Dre


God-tier street rap powered by weed, vitriol, and G-funk.

The Chronic is powered in equal parts by weed, vitriol, and G-funk, a West Coast hip-hop subgenre that Dr. Dre had minted by way of optimizing some of the funkiest and most innovative sounds of his adolescence and young adulthood. And atop their rejiggered masterpieces? A crop of then still-bubbling yet incomparably talented MCs who, in that moment, shared an insatiable hunger to make a name for themselves—including, of course, a young Snoop Dogg.

“It felt like tension in the studio. You got Bloods over here and Crips over there. But it added to the creativity.”

Dr. Dre

The album, named for a high-grade marijuana of its time, contains fiercely competitive posse cuts (“Deeez Nuuuts,” “Stranded on Death Row”), vivid depictions of the lives of young hustlers (“Let Me Ride,” “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”), and a handful of ruminations on the perils of street life and also solidarity in the Black community (“Lil’ Ghetto Boy,” “A N***a Witta Gun”). All of which is not to mention a large dose of misogyny (“Bitches Ain’t Shit,” etc.). But The Chronic was then, and is still, everything the legendary Death Row Records would become known (and notorious) for—god-tier street rap and incubator of some of the most memorable talents in rap history.