I always wondered if Dr. Dre was a philosopher when I was younger but now I finally understand what the Doc meant when he said, “This is dedicated to the n****z that was down from day one,” in the opening line of the intro on his album, “The Chronic.”
It’s been 25 years since the album dropped and took “gangsta rap” to the forefront of the music industry and forever changed urban lifestyle and culture on the West Coast.
The album has influenced producers and DJ’s all around the world as DJ Dahi, who has worked with artists such as Drake, said in a Fader magazine article, “Dre for me has been the stamp of rap music for the last 25 years.”
As a kid, the album was dope to me because of the melodies and sounds which captivated my imagination. It was the first album I ever heard with the “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” on it, but I didn’t care about the bad words because I heard them inside my home everyday.
The album shaped people’s lives from a cultural perspective because the music made it all the way to the suburbs, according to website BET.
The website said, “The Chronic broke through like never before. Rap was becoming as American as apple pie.”
The rap was “gangsta” and influenced individuals such as T.I., Juicy J and Big Boi from Outkast and Big Boi even said, according to billboard.com, The Chronic inspired Outkast’s 1994 album, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.”
The album also influenced me.
Today my perception of the album has changed as an aspiring journalist at San Francisco State: I appreciate his message of loyalty, allegiance and dedication.
I interpreted the entire album as his loyalty to all the musicians he has ever worked with while illustrating his allegiance to what would become his Aftermath Record label company, plus his dedication to making perfect music with whatever obstacle stood in his way.
It’s basically what I do everytime I write.
The gist of it is, I’m loyal to my sources, I pledge allegiance to my publication and I am dedicated to telling the best story no matter who I will shock or bore.
Overall, the album is a classic placing number 138 out of the greatest 500 albums according to Rolling Stone. So I felt it was only appropriate to spark up the conversation of the The Chronic once again but this time during a generation of music composed by producers such as Metro Boomin, Mike WILL Made-It and DJ Mustard.
First off, “F**k wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” is an anthem for all generations to slap in the stereo system all day long and motivates the listener to get through any type of adversity.
There is an intro and outro along with some skits including a hilarious rendition of the hit game show, “The 10,000 Pyramid,” titled, “The $20 Sack Pyramid.”
“Let Me Ride,” should be played after every semester ends and Friday nights, solidifying another week worth of work. “The Day the N****z Took Over,” still bleeds heavily into what is going on in today’s society surrounding police brutality and the injustices minorities battle with through the disenfranchised political system.
Track number five was the original, “Nuthin’ but a G thang,” and nothing really needs to be said about the revolutionary song except to mention it is one of the best music collaborations to ever hit the airwaves with Snoop Doggy Dogg.
“Deeez Nuuuts,” is a metaphor and according to the urban dictionary it means to, “flaunt one’s genital superiority to either gain a great laugh or just piss them off,” and the song features another classic collaboration with the late great musician Nate Dogg.
And that’s what the doctor always ordered: Features from new artists with dope beats to create great music.
“Lil Ghetto Boy,” is my favorite song, personally, and really illustrates how great Dre was at finding talent such as Snoop Dogg and making them relevant today just like he did with Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
The rest of the album plays out like a good directed film would be and Dre stays behind the boards composing G-funk sound, a subgenre of hip hop music that emerged from West Coast Gangsta rap in the early 1990s, in an era so simple yet complex in striving for perfection.
“The Chronic” is 1990s nostalgia at its best and we should pay homage to the creator of great beats, and dope headphones.
Like he said: “So sit back, relax and strap on your seat belt. You never been a ride like this before.”
He’s right and music has never been the same.