December 15, 1992 marked the official release date of Dr. Dre’s hip-hop classic, 'The Chronic', which continues to garner new fans and satiate the desires of hip-hop purists even 27 years later.
'The Chronic' introduced the world to stars like Snoop Doggy Dogg, Nate Dogg, Lady of Rage, Warren G, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt and R&B vocalist Jewell, sold millions, and settled scores with foes like Eazy-E and Luther Campbell.
Retrospectively, it was an impressive role-call. Snoop Dogg went on to make ‘Doggystyle’, the best-selling debut of all time, a few years after his hypnotic drawl ran through ‘The Chronic’.
'The Chronic' came out at a highly-charged time: Los Angeles in December ‘92 was struggling to get back on its feet after the April riots and the Rodney King trial. “Robberies were at an all-time high.
In terms of the musical landscape, Brand Nubian, Redman and The Pharcyde owned the year of 1992. Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer had broken through in the years preceding. ‘Gangsta rap’ had been around for a while, pioneered by Ice-T and Schoolly D and N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ flung West Coast hip-hop into the ring with its New York counterparts.
But it was Dre’s departure from N.W.A and his subsequent solo album ‘The Chronic’ that brought the sub-genre into the MTV-watching suburban mainstream, reaching No3 in the Billboard chart.
As of 2015, the album has sold 5.7 million copies in the United States, and was certified Triple Platinum on November, 1993. It is Dr. Dre's second-bestselling album, as his follow-up album, 2001, was certified six-time Platinum.
Three singles were released from the album: "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang", "Fuck wit Dre Day" and "Let Me Ride".
'Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang' was released as the first single on November 19, 1992. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & It sold over a million copies was certified it Platinum on March 24, 1993.
Today it is one of the most critically and commercially lauded hip-hop/rap songs of all time.
'The Chronic' lives on as a timeless show of strength when the stakes couldn’t have been higher, and as the herald of a tectonic shift in rap. Without it, or Dre, there is no Game, no YG, no Kendrick Lamar or To Pimp a Butterfly, no Nipsey Hussle. Dre gave shape to L.A.’s music present and future.
Listen to The Chronic down below.