What’s more important, quality or quantity? That question has been debated over and over for many years within music circles and after all this time, one thing is certain: when it comes to
, quantity doesn’t mean a thing.
Dre’s debut album, “The Chronic”, was released in 1992 is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. When you debut with an album of that nature, fans want one thing and one thing only; another album.
Instead of quickly churning out a follow up, Dre made fans wait. And wait. And wait. During this time he worked on producing and discovered a rapper named Eminem. But finally, in 1999 he gave fans what they were waiting for: a new album.
” was the long awaited follow up to Dr. Dre’s debut and it also helped revitalize the West coast hip-hop scene. They say sequels are never as good as the original, but this album puts that statement to shame. Fans were clamoring for another album, and Dre didn’t disappoint.
The album harps on the same topics Dre took on years ago, like gangs, violence, crime and marijuana, but this time around he digs deeper into those subjects (especially marijuana) and the beats are just unbelievable.
While other artists have produced way more albums, Dr. Dre is 2-2 in his career and batting a thousand. “Chronic 2001” is at 22 tracks long is stacked from top to bottom and includes a slew of guest stars including Nate Dogg, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige.
"Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre" are probably the most popular songs on the album, but "What's the Difference", "Big Ego's", "Xxplosive" and "Bang Bang" are all excellent as well.
"Still D.R.E." was the first single off the album, and it is easily one of the best songs of all time. The track, which features Snoop Dogg, has one of the best beats I’ve ever heard and it marked Dre’s return to the hip-hop scene.
The chorus is one of the most memorable in hip-hop history, with Dre and Snoop rapping: “I'm representing for them gangsters all across the world/Still hitting them corners in them low low's girl/Still taking my time to perfect the beat/And I still got love for the streets, it's the D-R-E.”
You can hear how enthusiastic Dre is to be back in the game once again as he raps: “Still, I stay close to the heat/And even when I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet/My life is like a soundtrack I wrote to the beat/Treat rap like Cali weed, I smoke till I sleep/Wake up in the A.M., compose a beat/I bring the fire till you're soaking in your seat.”
“Bang, Bang” is one of the more underrated tracks on the album, and it has Dre spitting some of his cleverest lines. The track takes a fly on the wall look at crime on the streets. Dre raps about the violence that lurks around every corner and how things have gotten a bit out of hand since he last was in the game.
The constant ringing of gunshots throughout the beat fits in perfectly with Dre as he spits one of the best verses on the album. He puts is all in to perspective as he raps: “I think the attitudes are twice as worst/It takes half the time to get your life reversed/Always tryin to play Rambo with they ammo/Make a nigga wanna stay in family mode.”
“The Next Episode” was nominated for a Grammy award and is my personal favorite tracks on the album. The track features Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, which gives an old school West coast feel to it. The entire track feels like it should be playing out of a low rider convertible riding along the California highway.
Dre is at his gansta high point as he raps: “It's California Love, this California bud got a nigga gang of pub/I'm on one, I might bail up in the Century Club, with my jeans on, and my team strong/Get my drink on, and my smoke on.”
Snoop just kills it on this track as he raps in his perfected, laid back style: “Top Dogg, bite 'em all, nigga burn the shit up/D-P-G-C my nigga turn that shit up/C-P-T, L-B-C, yeah we hookin' back up/And when they bang this in the club baby you got to get up.” Nate Dogg’s line at the end of the track: “Heeeeeeey……smoke weed every day,” is perfectly placed and extremely memorable to any hip-hop fan.
Dr. Dre made fans wait a long time for “Chronic 2001”, but it was completely worth it. The album was the perfect follow-up, with Dre expanding on everything he previously created and throwing the spotlight back on the West coast and gangsta rap.
It’s been over a decade since “Chronic 2001” was released, so only time will tell when Dre will release a third album (if he ever does). Either way, his second effort was a fantastic combination of amazing beats and clever rhymes and will go down as one of the best ever.