1989's Straight Outta Compton
, by Dre's previous outfit N.W.A., may have shined the public spotlight on the genre, but The Chronic
legitimized it. That is not to say that Snoop Doggy Dogg (The Chronic
marks his debut) and Dre's raps are for everyone; the subject matter is the sex, drugs, violence, and politics of South Central Los Angeles, and the phrasing is explicit, to say the least. But The Chronic
's real genius is the music. By breeding hip-hop, jazz (studio instrumentation includes saxophones and flutes), funk, and soul (sampled artists include Parliament, Donny Hathaway, and Isaac Hayes), Dre creates downright intoxicating grooves. If you can't feel The Chronic
pulsating through your veins, maybe your heart's not pumping. --Bill Crandall
Death Row Records. Digitally remastered and repackaged in jewel box in slipcase. Enhanced portion features the classic video Dre Day. 2001 reissue.