While most of the albums on this list made the cut because of a mix of rapping and production, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic got on here because of the influence it’s had on nearly ever rapper from the west coast. Now no one is saying that Dre is a great rapper, in fact, he doesn’t even write his own lyrics. However, what he does better than everyone else is create a funky sound that is damn near impossible to copy.
You can see how he was influenced by groups like Parliament – Funkadelic and the Ohio Players in his production, especially in a song like Nuthin’ But a G Thang where the bass and the synths just mesh so perfectly. Of course, it’s got a young Snoop Dogg and plenty of tracks so you know there’s some good rapping but the true enjoyment of The Chronic is in its production.
The Chronic is the debut studio album by American hip hop recording artist Dr. Dre. It was released on December 15, 1992, by his own record label Death Row Records and distributed by Interscope Records and Priority Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in June 1992 at Death Row Studios in Los Angeles and at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. The album is named after a slang term for high-grade cannabis, and its cover is a homage to Zig-Zag rolling papers. It was Dr. Dre’s first solo album after he had departed from hip hop group N.W.A and its label Ruthless Records over a financial dispute. On The Chronic, he included both subtle and direct insults at Ruthless and its owner, former N.W.A member Eazy-E. Although a solo album, it features many appearances by American rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, who used the album as a launch pad for his own solo career.
The Chronic peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and had been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America with sales of 5.7 million copies in the United States, which led to Dr. Dre becoming one of the top ten best-selling American performing artists of 1993. Dr. Dre’s production has been noted for popularizing the G-funk subgenre within gangsta rap. The Chronic has been widely regarded as one of the most important and influential albums of the 1990s and regarded by many fans and peers to be one of the most well-produced hip hop albums of all time. The Chronic was ranked at #138 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.