Released: December 15, 1992
Label: Death Row Records • Interscope
Genre: West Coast hip hop • G-funk • gangsta rap
Producer: Dr. Dre & Suge Knight (executive producer)
Dr. Dre was a member of the most influential groups in Hip-Hop music history, N.W.A. ( Niggaz Wit Attitudes) from 1987-1991. The group was one of the popularizers of the gangsta rap sub genre, with Dre being one of the group’s producers. While the group was deemed controversial for lyrics that were sexist and speaking of crime and drugs as well. What doesn’t get talked about enough is how N.W.A’s music was more political than anything…firing back at how police brutality and how life was for Black people during that time.
Niggaz4Life was the group’s final album when they disbanded after the departure of Dr. Dre & The D.O.C. for Death Row Records, which Dre formed with Suge Knight.
Dre began working on his debut solo album The Chronic in 1992. Named after the slang term for high-grade marijuana, The Chronic is a significant album not only from Dre’s catalog, but for rap period. Even the album cover pays homage to zig-zag rolling papers. By 1992, Dre was already considered one of the biggest producers, with people comparing him to the likes of Quincy Jones. QUINCY. During his time with Ruthless Records, the majority of the albums he produced, went platinum.
The Chronic was released December 15, 1992, and has been praised for being one of the most well-produced hip-hop albums of all time. As of 2015, the album has sold over 5 million copies..and is certified 3x platinum. The Chronic changed hip hop forever, popularizing the sub genre that is G-Funk.
Being influenced by A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, Dre’s album’s soul samples and rhythms makes it the most innovative album in the hip hop world. Although being a Dr. Dre album, the album contains features RBX, Jewell, Daz Dillinger, step brother Warren G, Nate Dogg, The Lady of Rage, Kurupt, Bushwick Bill, The D.O.C. and most notably Snoop Dogg. The album not only gave the rising stars an opportunity to launch their solo careers, but made them household names. Snoop Dogg was a huge part of The Chronic, and has made him one of the most successful rappers of all time.
The album was recently selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. It is one of the 10 rap albums to have such an honor, with N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton being another.
Complete National Recording Registry Listing
Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic.”
The Chronic (Intro) featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg
Written by Andre Young, Calvin Broadus & Colin Wolfe
The intro welcomes everyone to the world of Death Row, while Dre & Snoop make disses at Eazy-E and Jerry Heller. The song contains samples from The Honey Drippers, Solomon Burke, Ohio Players, Jim Dandy, Gylan Kain & Parliament. The intro was sampled by Keyshia Cole for her single I Changed My Mind.
Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’) featuring Snoop Doggy Dog & Jewell
Written by Andre Young, Calvin Broadus & Colin Wolfe
The follow up single to Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang, Dre Day took jabs at Eazy-E, Tim Dog, Luke Campbell and Ice Cube..who recently took shots at Dre inn their respective work prior to the release of this song. The music video is even more hilarious. The song has been certified Gold by the RIAA and peaked in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 & R&B/Hip-Hop charts. The song contains samples from Parliament records.
Let Me Ride featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg, Jewell & Ruben
Written by Eric Collins & Calvin Broadus
My favorite song from The Chronic is definitely Let Me Ride. Everything about this song is purely magic. The song won the Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1994, and was a top ten hit on the charts. Let Me Ride samples James Brown’s Funky Drummer, Bill Withers’ Kissing My Love and Parliament’s Mothership Connection (Star Child).
The Day the Niggaz Took Over featuring RBX, Snoop Doggy Dogg & That Nigga Daz
Written by Andre Young, Eric Collins, Calvin Broadus & Delmar Arnaud
The Day the Niggaz Took Over is in response to the L.A. riots that occurred in 1992 after justice was not served for Rodney King, who was a victim of police brutality. The song contains samples of a documentary about the riots and Boogie Down Productions’ Love’s Gonna Get’cha (Material Love).
Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg
Written by Calvin Broadus, Tracy Curry & Andre Young
The iconic Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang was the lead single for the album, and is considered to be one of the songs that shaped Rock and Roll. Built around a sample of Leon Haywood’s I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You, the song was a number one hit on the charts and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The song also contains samples from songs from Public Enemy & Kid Dynamite, and was sampled by Trina & Ja Rule.
Deeez Nuuuts featuring That Nigga Daz, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Warren G & Nate Dogg
Written by Andre Young, Delmar Arnaud, Calvin Broadus, Colin Wolfe & Nathaniel Hale
An album cut that features Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Daz Dillinger & Nate Dogg. It contains samples of songs from Rudy Ray Moore & One Way, and was sampled by Ice Cube for the remix to Check Yo’ Self.
Lil’ Ghetto Boy featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg & The D.O.C.
Written by Calvin Broadus & Tracy Curry
Built around the sample from Donny Hathaway’s song of the same name, Lil’ Ghetto Boy speaks about encounters with young gangstas. The song also contains samples from songs by George McCrae & Gil Scott-Heron.
A Nigga Witta Gun
Written by Tracy Curry & Calvin Broadus
I love the production on A Nigga Witta Gun because of the inspiration Dre got from ATCQ’s The Low End Theory album. The song contains samples from The Kay Gees, Johnny “Hammond” Smith & Whodini.
Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat featuring RBX, BJ & Snoop Doggy Dogg
Written by Andre Young & Calvin Broadus
One of the highlights from the album, the song starts off with a sample of the 1973 hit film The Mack. The song contains samples from Willie Hutch, Lou Donaldson & Donny Hathaway…and was interpolated on Snoop Dogg’s hit record Who I Am (What’s My Name).
The $20 Sack Pyramid (Skit) featuring Big Tittie Nickie, The D.O.C., Samara & Snoop Doggy Dogg
Written by Tracy Curry, Calvin Broadus and Andre Young
Named the greatest hip hop skit ever, The $20 Sack Period is a gangstafied version of a 70s game show. The skit samples Papa Was Too by Joe Tex.
Lyrical Gangbang featuring The Lady of Rage, Kurupt & RBX
Written by Andre Young, Robin Allen, Calvin Broadus, Eric Collins, Tracy Collins & Ricardo Brown
This album cut contains samples from The Nite-Liters, Led Zeppelin, King Tee & Cypress Hill.
High Powered featuring RBX, That Nigga Daz & The Lady of Rage
Written by Andre Young, Colin Wolfe & Eric Collins
I like High Powered because of the utilization the high -pitched squealing from the moog synthesizer and the mellow vibes it gives. The song contains a sample of Buffalo Gals by Malcolm McLaren and was sampled for Mary J. Blige’s Be With You record for her My Life album.
The Doctor￼’s Office (Skit) featuring The Lady of Rage & Jewell
Written by Andre Young, Kevin Lewis, Jewell Caples & Robin Allen
A skit where a “patient” comes to Dre’s office for an appointment, but is already with another “patient.”
Stranded on Death Row featuring Bushwick Bill, Kurupt, RBX, The Lady of Rage & Snoop Doggy Dogg
Written by Ricardo Brown, Robin Allen, Eric Collins, Calvin Broadus & Richard Shaw
Featuring the “Death Row” inmates and Bushwick Bill from The Geto Boys, the song contains samples from songs by Isaac Hayes, B.T. Express & Graham Central Station. The song was also sampled by 2Pac.
The Roach (￼The Chronic Outro) featuring RBX, That Nigga Daz, The Lady of Rage, Emmage, Ruben & Jewell
Written by Eric Collins, Robin Allen & Delmar Arnaud
The outro for the album is The Roach which is basically the small piece of a joint after it has been smoked out. It contains an interpolation of P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) by Parliament, and samples of Colour Me Funky by Parliament & Impeach The President by The Honey Drippers.
Bitches Ain’t Shit featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg, Jewell, That Nigga Daz & Kurupt
Written by Andre Young, Colin Wolfe, Calvin Broadus, Tracy Curry, Ricardo Brown & Delmar Arnaud
The final song on the album speaks about women who they do not find respectable. Dr. Dre also takes direct shots at Eazy-E and Jerry Heller on his verse. Built around a sample of Funkadelic titled Adolescent Funk, the song also samples Let’s Get Small by Trouble Funk. It has also been sampled by artists like Westside Connection, UGK, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dogg & Lil Wayne
Dr. Dre remains one of the best music producers of all time. The Chronic not only established him as one of the biggest hip hop stars of his era, but gave his peers a jump start in their respective careers. The Chronic is one of the albums that put West Coast Hip Hop to the forefront of mainstream music, and we’ve been intrigued ever since. -MJ