Before we even get started, lets make a few things clear. One, this album is a fucking classic. Two, it plays out as one of the most cohesive, weed-inspired album sounding like a movie. The highly reliable production provided by the Dr, saw some of the funkiest, laid-back and incredible G-Funk instrumentals ever to be included on an album. From the jingle and string-led “The Watcher” to the aggressively smooth synths on “Bang Bang”.Dre doesn’t always provide vocals, however, his production at this time in Hip-Hop couldn’t be questioned and his influence since then has been undeniable.
While the album does contain a lengthy tracklist, containing 5 skits and 17 original records, what is really one of the most impressive elements of the album is Dre’s ability to sample songs. Not only that, but also how he is able to make his fans and listeners feel while listening to the album. On the pretty…misogynistic “Fuck You” which sees Dre, the slow-flow-paced MC Devin the Dude and a young Snoop Dogg trade bars about their desired female company although they want no real emotions involved.
While this track is an extreme example to use, you may not necessarily feel angry or misogynistic while rapping along to the track, however, you feel that vibe of just wanting the company of a woman. Although the album does discuss in depth and at length of crime, gang culture, drugs and women, Dre also discusses police brutality, the loss of NWA member and collaborator Eazy-E on “What’s The Difference” and on the Royce Da 5″9 written “The Message” featuring a short tongue-and-cheek outro from Tommy Chong.
Obviously, there are some over-exceptional records on this album. “Bitch Niggaz” instrumental consisting of a smooth loop of guitar strings and a simple drum pattern. “The next Episode” is blatantly a standout for Nate Dogg’s superb vocal performance as well as the Jazz and Funk infused “Housewife”, which is one of my favourites off the album. Eminem’s writing and vocal performances on this album as well as Xzibit and Hittman are essential to the progression of this album and how Dre was able to develop his sound and to bring it to the forefront of Hip-Hop.
To conclude; this album is a classic in Hip-Hop history. It brought forward the sound that Dre and his past NWA members experimented with and gained worldwide success with on both solo albums as well as group ones. Although Dre’s authenticity as a Hip-Hop writer does come into question, Dre is known more for his production skills, which are still to this day; unfathomably better than a lot of producers today.